Poe Inspired Anthology The Sprits of the Dead Comes to Life Again, This Time in New Orleans

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Filmmakers John LaTier and Matt Goldman team up to produce a re-imagining of the 1969 Italian film The Spirits of the Dead.

John LaTier on the set of a film in south Louisiana

“The recent vote by the Louisiana legislature to uphold the tax credit incentive program solidified my decision to move forward and film these projects in Louisiana instead of Georgia or Mississippi," said filmmaker John LaTier.

New Orleans based film director John LaTier and New York filmmaker Matt Goldman are teaming up to produce a re-imagining of “The Spirits of the Dead,” an Italian film from 1969 comprised of three segments based on stories and poems written by Edgar Allan Poe. The project is set for production in New Orleans this summer.

Renowned European directors Federico Fellini, Roger Vadim and Louis Malle directed each of the three original shorts, which featured Jane Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, and Terence Stamp among its stars. LaTier and Goldman are aiming to pay homage to the previous works while breathing fresh life into the omnibus format that has not been widely utilized since the 1960s.

Each filmmaker will direct one segment of the trilogy, the first being the erotic thriller “The Cask of Amontillado,” with Goldman at the helm. The script is written in the vein of “50 Shades of Grey” set against the decadent backdrop of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Regarding his choice of adapting “The Cask Amontillado,” Goldman said, “When I learned that Orson Welles was originally slated to direct “Cask” in 1969, I knew we were onto something special. I can think of no greater honor and no greater American geniuses to pay homage to than that of Welles and Poe.”

Goldman launched his filmmaking career in 1999 when his award-winning debut short film “Broke” was exhibited in dozens of film festivals worldwide. Goldman’s second award-winning short film, “The Perpetual Life of Jim Albers,” was screened at Sundance Film Festival, RESFEST, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and dozens of other international film festivals. The great success of “Albers” landed Goldman an accolade in “Filmmaker Magazine” as one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

LaTier will film the second segment, an action thriller based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Sphinx.” “The Sphinx” will be LaTier’s second project based on a work of Edgar Allan Poe filmed in Louisiana. He has a slate of 10 more Poe-inspired films lined up to be produced in the state thanks to the recently renewed tax credit program.

“The recent vote by the Louisiana legislature to uphold the tax credit incentive program solidified my decision to move forward and film these projects in Louisiana instead of Georgia or Mississippi, both of which offer film tax credit incentives,” said LaTier. The great film infrastructure here coupled with the renewed tax credit program makes me all the more certain that I will continue to make films in this state and permanently call it home.”

Funding for the Poe-inspired slate of projects utilized the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter. This method represents a new way for filmmakers to not only raise money, but to interact directly with their audience.

“While using kickstarter.com, even though my fundraising goal was not met, I encountered people around the world with a love for Poe who were willing to invest money, therefore making this current project a reality, ” LaTier commented.

LaTier recently completed the feature length literary thriller “The Tell-Tale Heart” starring Peter Bogdanovich (“Paper Moon,” “The Simpsons,” “The Sopranos”), Rose McGowan (“Charmed,” “Planet Terror,” “Scream”), and Patrick John Flueger (“Footloose,” “The Princess Diaries,” “Hatfields & McCoys”). The film will be released this year by Arclight Entertainment.

The third and final director and short film of “The Spirits of the Dead” will be announced in the coming months.

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Tiffany Napper
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