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FIDO

A Fido Conversation With Andrew Currie
I've always been interested in films that defy or subvert a specific genre, yet at the same time use certain conventions from genre films as a way of telling the story, and ultimately of expressing character and theme in a new and unique way. BLUE VELVET used Film Noir, the detective story and melodrama. BRAZIL, KILL BILL, DELICATTESEN, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS all went against the conventions of a specific genre in telling their stories, and redefined how their stories were told. 

As a writer and director, I feel that walking this line between different genres and choosing where to emphasize and or subvert the conventions is very exciting. It is rewarding to be inside a genre, then shift the focus of the scene and reveal something deeper about the characters and the theme. 

In FIDO, I wanted to explore melodrama, social satire, comedy, boy and his dog films, and the zombie film, all within a 50's style Technicolor world. And, although it felt like a risk, it was so clear in my head that I felt that others would connect to it as well. 

In 1996 I made a short film (NIGHT OF THE LIVING) which is probably best described as a personal horror film – it was about a boy whose alcoholic father falls off the wagon and starts drinking again. The boy, not understanding his father's behavior, interprets the situation as his father literally becoming a zombie. 

What I liked about this idea was that the boy used his imagination as a way of dealing with a painful and confusing truth. I used certain touchstones of horror (lighting, music, tone) in order to express the boy's interpretation, and grounded this in a very realistic world that helped explore the emotional fallout of the relationship between the father and the son. 

In FIDO I took that idea quite a bit further. FIDO deals with themes that all my films deal with (the often difficult relationships that develop between children and parents) but on a larger level. At its core, FIDO is about the human heart and what it means to be alive, to be a human being in this world. We use zombies as metaphor for the ‘other'—those in our world who are dehumanized. The central irony of the whole film is that the zombie who is brought in to serve this family is more emotionally alive than the living father. 

FIDO is also a social and political satire. Because, on one level, the film is an allegory (about our modern world) I wanted to set the story in something closer to a fable. Something not grounded completely in realism. 

I have always been drawn to the visual boldness of Douglas Sirk films, and I love the way he used melodrama and contrasting imagery to comment on a society. For me, FIDO has something in common with those films, and drawing from his work was a big inspiration.

The zombies in the story are what I would call a non-specific metaphor. I didn't want them to be reduced to one specific thing (like the alcoholic in my short film) but instead, be something that audiences from different perspectives, could interpret for themselves. 

That said, because the film touches on xenophobia, zombies are clearly representative of ‘the other' in society – what ‘the other' means, really depends on who you are and how you read the film. However it is read, xenophobia is about fear of the other and I think that fear is one of the most prevalent and dangerous social and political weapons being used today. 

When I looked at this broader concept of fear, I realized that it could and should be enmeshed into the characters themselves. The Robinson family is the central focus of the story. The way fear is shown in this family and the way that it changes their lives forever is, I hope, a reflection of the broader social and political comments as well. 

I really loved using comedy as a way of telling a ra

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