Thumbsucker Director Mike Mills' Upcoming Documentary

thumbsucker's mike mills documentaryIn a recent interview with art and pop culture magazine LEMON, director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker) discussed his in the works documentary for IFC TV. Already touching on Ritalin use in Thumbsucker, his next film, with the working title Does Your Soul Have a Cold?, will focus on the newly growing acceptance of antidepressant use in Japan (Between 1998 and 2003, sales of antidepressants in Japan quintupled, according to IMS Health). The (tentative) film title is named after an American pharmaceutical ad campaign in Japan that helped to open up discussion of depression on a nationwide level. Besides the gradual shift in thinking taking place about depression in Japan, the film also addresses how American interests and influences are molding the change there, and notions that our own culture has about mental illness issues.

Of interviewing Tokyo residents currently using drugs to treat their depression, Mills said, “They’re wildly open to talking about it. Partly because in Japan it’s so shameful to have any mental illness. Often these people get kicked out of their jobs or their families or their relationships, so they’re kind of like outsiders. So here I come along, and I want to hear their story, and I think there’s nothing shameful about them, and I’m totally interested, and they’re just like, wow.”

Coming from a graphic design and video background, working with such groups as Beck, Air, Sonic Youth, and Yoko Ono, on both album covers and music videos, Mills noted that after Thumbsucker, he was happy to be focusing on a project that could be done with much fewer resources. The documentary will be his first feature-length shot on video, rather than film, and Mills also will shoot at least part of it himself. His recently founded documentary production company is named The Mabel Longhetti Group, after Gena Rowlands’ character in John Cassavetes’ A Woman Under the Influence. Mills explained, “I really dig on Cassavetes’ whole way of making things, which is by himself, at his house. It’s much more of a small scale, ‘How much can you do it by yourself, how cheap can you do it’ notion.”

You can read the full interview in LEMON, available at newsstands now, along with more information about Does Your Soul Have a Cold? at the Cactus Three site. And check out Mike Mills’ HUMANS blog, featuring projects from his design side: fanciful t-shirts, bags, and what-nots available for purchase.

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Posted by Ted Zee on August 23rd 2006 | Home Page | 6 Comments Subscribe to this site's feed

6 Responses

  1. go-to girl Says:

    whenever they do the mike mills bio pic, josh lucas can play him. to a T. is he still with miranda july?

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