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Interview: ‘Mass’ Writer/Director Fran Kranz on Crafting One of the Year’s Most Powerful Films

Yes, Fran Kranz once played the stoner in The Cabin in the Woods. But, it’s hardly his only acting credit. Moreover, he’s now established himself as one of the premiere new writers and directors in the industry with Mass. Not only was the movie the class of the Sundance Film Festival, it’s one of the year’s best, overall. Once upon a time, Kranz and I spoke during the press tour for his flick Murder of a Cat. During that interview, conducted in a PR firm’s headquarters, the phone in one of the offices rang, and we joked Kranz should answer it (he did). It’s not much more than a cute anecdote, but was a nice moment years ago. Now, months after first being blown away by his film, I got the chance to talk to Kranz again.

For those who didn’t read my rave review out of the Sundance Film Festival, here is a bit of my thoughts on the movie:

The four principle characters in Mass are individuals you hope you never have to personally identify with. They’re each going through incredible grief and pain, having suffered unimaginable loss. The cost and toll on themselves has been terrible. There isn’t even necessarily a light at the end of the tunnel. And yet, they go on, because they must. The emotions of that feeling are brilliantly captured in this film, easily the best movie I’ve seen this year at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. What writer/director Fran Kranz, along with his cast, achieves here is nothing short of staggering. It may prove to be difficult to convince audiences to seek this one out, but if handled correctly, it’s an awards player down the line.

Actor turned filmmaker Fran Kranz makes a stunning directorial debut. Best known for his amusing role in The Cabin in the Woods, Kranz showcases an incredible handle on volatile material. His direction holds tight on their faces, leaning in to every single emotion. Kranz’s script is just as impressive, crafting a complex yet sadly all too familiar situation. Immediately, I can’t wait to see what Kranz opts to do behind the camera next.

Below, you can hear my discussion with Kranz. I tried to avoid most of the usual questions he’s had to answer about Mass, but a few really were on my mind. Aside from that, we just spent our time quickly reminiscing about our last chat, as well as talking about his filmmaking inspiration. He’s an emerging talent in every sense of the word, so if you need any more cajoling to see this incredible flick, hopefully this does the trick…

Fran Kranz

Here now is my interview with Mass filmmaker Fran Kranz. Enjoy:

Mass is in theaters this weekend!

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Written by Joey Magidson

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