Interviews: Mike McCarthy

Memphis Spoon


Mike McCarthy combines arcane rock-and-roll trivia, and B-Movie myths to craft his uniquely southern take on post-modern America. He is alternately dubbed "the godfather of independent cinema" and "an exploitation auteur". McCarthy has created a pseudo-futuristic world that renders hippie-versus-rocker battles (THE SORE LOSERS) and saucy burlesque dancers (BROAD DAYLIGHT) in day-glo colored scenes inspired by the pages of a circa-1950's comic book. An integral part of the Memphis underground, McCarthy is revered as a cult hero in Europe and Japan. His newest full-length feature, CIGARETTE GIRL, which premiered in Australia in July 2009, segregates nicotine addicts in a glamorous social commentary populated with babes and bad boys galore.

With Mike McCarthy and April Novak, Memphis Belles Dancer. Photos by Maggie Louie Text by Andria Lisle.

"Photographer Maggie Louie and I were in search of a restaurant facade for my Memphis Spoon photograph when we decided on the Arcade (great burger!) We arrived in a bit of a rush since I was leaving for Australia the next day and Maggie had a deadline of her own. Then I saw a vision of World War 2 loveliness. It was Memphis Belle APRIL NOVAK dressed to the nines getting out of a car near the empty parking lot where the Arcade Hotel use to be. Her friend Starla Steward Holl was there to photograph her and a soldier friend soon to return to Iraq. The fateful (and accidental) pairing of me and April worked out well for both photographers. Memphis may have lost their namesake aircraft but we still got April Novak! JMM".