Exclusive: Michael Ironside to Hold Masterclass at Fantasia Fest

ComingSoon.net is proud to announce that The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, in association with Fantasia Fest and Frontières, will present a live masterclass with movie legend Michael Ironside (Total Recall, Starship Troopers, Scanners). Titled Michael Ironside: Live in Conversation, the event will be moderated by producer, make-up artist and all-around horror aficionado Heather Buckley (The Ranger, We Are Still Here). It will be held at the York Amphitheatre at Concordia University in Montreal on Friday July 20 at 5:15pm with free admission for all.

In recognition of Fantasia’s screening of Knuckleball, a project birthed from its Frontières International Co-Production Market, The Miskatonic Institute is proud to present a career talk with one of the most iconic character actors of our time, and a true legend of the genre film world. Over the course of an hour-long illustrated discussion of key films, directors, and collaborators in his life, Ironside will discuss his many film roles – which include work with David Cronenberg, Claude Jutra, Jean-Claude Lord, Tony Scott, Walter Hill, James Glickenhaus, Paul Verhoeven, RKSS, and more – his origins and approach to acting, how he captures his characters, and his command of voice and physicality.

Founded by film writer/programmer Kier-La Janisse in 2010, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is an international educational community that offers classes in horror film history and theory in London, New York, and Los Angeles, as well as hosting special events worldwide.

Here is a brief introduction to the program written by Heather Buckley:

Michael Ironside is a force. When he’s cast in your film, all bets are off and everything is elevated. He plays psycho, he plays threatening — he is also J.P. Morgan in The Alienist. He finds the grounding of his characters; the humanity—their motivations, their centers — he keeps it truthful and interesting. There is a playfulness to his work, a joy, even in roles that are the most strict or the most savage, that makes his work so compelling. Having interviewed him once before for the release of the film Turbo Kid, I can attest that he’s a warm, charismatic man, offering great insights into the craft of acting, and fascinating, hilarious stories from his amazing career.

Some of his most famous appearances:

— David Cronenberg’s Scanners (1981)— introduced to U.S. audiences his smouldering menace, gleeful sadism, and unrelenting malevolent concentration, making heads literally explode. The head explosion is key, but his b/w monologue is the movie.

— In Walter Hill’s Extreme Prejudice (1987) (based on a story by John Milius) — in a film that is a sweat-soaked, bullet-riddled convention of scary bastards —  Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Rip Torn, Clancy Brown, just to name a few — he outbastards them all.

— In Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers (1997) — He plays a supporting character who you wish the whole damn movie — a whole damn series of movies — was about. Of course he is the source for the film’s famous line “Everyone fights, no one quits. If you don’t do your job, I’ll shoot you.”  — And you know he will. An inspiration to project managers everywhere.

— As a voice actor he has played the scariest versions of the scariest DC Comics characters: the megalomaniacal space-god Darkseid and the “Dark Knight Returns”-version of Batman — for me, the definitive incarnations of both.

Mr. Ironside brings conviction and power to any role, any venue — and has been doing so for decades now. His background as a writer no doubt informs his ability to understand the styles and structures of the larger dramas that his characters inhabit — this intelligence is a crucial component to the continuing longevity of his career. He is also an inspiration to me in daily life for projecting an air of sinister gravitas — with his laser-scope stare, biting-shark smile, and voice that sounds as if it is rises from the very depths of perdition. Of course there is only one Michael Ironside, but it gives a girl something to aspire to.


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