Although I had only a few minutes with Mercedes and Jack Kilmer for the documentary Val, they delivered some value added insight on their father and his work. During the brief chat they talked about their favorite Val Kilmer films, what they want viewers to take away from the experience, and why director The Island of Dr. Moreau director John Frankenheimer is a “phony.”
Though Val can be enjoyed by movie buffs as a way to reflect on his extensive body of work, the documentary also conveys Val Kilmer’s unabashed love for his children Jack and Mercedes Kilmer. The journey of an artist is also part of the documentary’s narrative thread.
“I think (viewers) have resonated with just this condition of . . . right now we are all documenting everything all the time,” said Mercedes Kilmer, who co-starred with the actor in Paydirt. “My dad has been doing that since the ’60s, way before social media. I’ve been surprised to see how that universally resonates with people – this idea of making sense of life through creating art. That is what I hope people will see in the film.”
As much as I love the work of John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, Seconds), he was definitely gruff towards the press during the Reindeer Games press junket. That behavoir surprised me (but didn’t keep me from loving his movies!), and Jack Kilmer had a pointed comment regardingThe Island of Dr. Moreau filmmaker.
“I think (viewers) should take away that John Frankenheimer is a phony and the truth will come out about him,” said Jack Kilmer. “And hopefully people will see that.
Find Your Film co-hosts Bruce Purkey, Eric Holmes and I talk about Val and our favorite Kilmer movies in the following episode (coverage starts at 72:00):
Val Kilmer’s reputation took a hit during the making of The Island of Dr. Moreau, as media reports were singling him out as one of the reasons why the production was not a creative or financial success. That said, Kilmer’s interaction with Frankeheimer is featured in Val, and you can judge for yourself.
My only interaction with Frankenheimer came during a press junket (I believe it was for Reindeer Games), and he came across and gruff and unfriendly to the press. I’m still a huge fan of his movies (separating art and the person of course!)
Most importantly, check out Val on Prime Video and tell us what you think!! I’ll be posting my interview with Val directors Ting Poo and Leo Scott will be up this weekend!