Mike Mills is a Pussy

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The writer and director of C’mon C’mon on the beauty of therapy, grief as a superpower, and the maddening toxicity of “manspreading whiteness”. Plus: his film faves, from Lanthimos to Campion, Keaton to Wenders.

“Feelings are my genre.” Mike Mills bursts into laughter. “That’s a good line for you. The perfect pull quote.” Partway through a conversation with Letterboxd’s senior editor Mitchell Beaupre about his latest film, C’mon C’mon, and he has said this with a knowing smirk—yet at the same time, he and Mitchell both realize how true the statement is. It’s rare to find a filmmaker so attuned to the emotional currents of his characters the way that Mills has been over the course of his four-film career, and that emotional intuitiveness has passed along to the viewers who connect so strongly with his work.

In a Life in Film interview with Letterboxd, Mills discusses how therapy has helped him to achieve this superpower in his films, while also digging into the films that have hit him the most over the course of his life. From the ones that scare him (the feral nature of Dogtooth and palpable anxiety of All the President’s Men) to the ones that bring him joy (Casablanca, Steamboat Bill Jr.) and so many more, the filmmaker gives us an insight into the cinema that has influenced one of the finest filmmakers of our time. So fine, in fact, that C’mon C’mon is currently placed near the top of Letterboxd’s Top 50 Films of 2021, and included in our Top 250 Narrative Feature Films of All-Time, based on average user rating. 

Read our full conversation with Mike Mills.