Posts tagged Director
Posts tagged Director
[T]here was a moment when I was writing Upstream Color where I fell so hard for what it was becoming that I couldn’t think of anything else.
It really started with this notion of personal identity. […] And I think I had this view that, if you could strip away all that subjectivity, strip away everything you’d learned or that you’d been taught or accumulated, that maybe underneath would be this core—that would be plurality of thought, that would be the ability to be malleable to circumstances instead of having a predefined understanding of them. Eventually [it] lead to the idea that maybe there wasn’t anything inside, that maybe we are just an accumulation of these subjective key points of experience. That’s the bit that started to make this whole thing horrific, this idea that you’re not left with anything, that you’re just a lost consciousness in the world.
[on his next film] It’s actually set all over the world, in all sorts of remote places. It’s about shipping routes and trading commodities, pirates and privateers. It’s a tragic romance. I really can’t wait. It’s going to be a good thing.
“My ability to make another film is directly connected to whatever revenue this movie generates,” he says. “It’s not like, ‘Maybe I can buy a house someday.’ It’s more like, ‘I get to make this film exactly the way it needs to be.’ ”
JH: But you act in both your films and you’re a handsome boy. You could probably get acting work.
SC: Oh, well…thank…well, I don’t even know if that’s true. No. No one’s ever – well, actually, that’s not true…
I’m not saying I’m developing a thing for Shane Carruth, I’m just saying he is an engineer and a genius who has decided to use that genius to make movies and I’m not sure how to finish this sentence so I’ll just stop typing.
Any film that succeeds in touching on deep themes through perfect comedy is bound to build a lasting connection with audiences. In his DVD commentary for Groundhog Day (1993) Harold Ramis recalls some of the feedback he received on the film and plenty of fun tibits from it’s production.
Bill Murray called it ‘probably the best work I’ve done’ and, 20 years after its release, Groundhog Day can still take your breath away. Its original screenwriter Danny Rubin and admirers such as director David O Russell explain its lasting appeal.
How did you come up with the idea for “Groundhog Day?”
There’s so many parts to answering that question. I think the big idea, if there is a — the big think or the accidental happenstance was when I was trying to solve a story problem. If a person could live forever, if a person was immortal, how would they change over time? I was curious about whether one lifetime was enough for somebody. There are some people, those arrested development type men who can’t really outlive their — out grow their adolescence and I thought, well, maybe one lifetime isn’t enough. Maybe you need more. So, I was just thinking through if a person could live long enough, how would they change and that seemed like a cumbersome experiment because of having to deal with changing history. So, I was trying to solve the problem how you can have a person be immortal without having history change from underneath him so that the movie would not — the story of the movie would not have to deal with the French Revolution and with the future and things like that
And then, to solve that, I remembered an idea I had had about a year or two before that about a guy repeating the same day and I realized that having a person repeat the same day turns an eternity into a circle and that’s when all the dramatic possibilities came and the comedic possibilities and all the resonances with repetition. So, that was the idea like that. I was actually getting ready to read one of Anne Rice’s novels about vampires and I was sort of thinking about why I thought that was interesting and the most interesting thing to me was that it was a different class of people. They were just like people except some of the rules were different and the most interesting one being that they were immoral and that’s what got me thinking about immortality. There, that’s all of it. —Big Think Interview With Danny Rubin
Screenwriter Danny Rubin, also a professor of screenwriting at Harvard, graciously agreed to come to Red River Theatres for Q & A following a screening of his beloved comedy/romance Groundhog Day. Coincidentally, Rubin’s Kindle Edition e-book on the screenplay How to Write Groundhog Day was released by Amazon.com the day before this appearance.
In his book, How to Write Groundhog Day, the man who wrote the legendary movie shares the story behind the film and his secrets for aspiring screenwriters. Here, his Top 10 rules for writers.
One of the best DVD commentaries.
The good ideas will survive.
“I couldn’t spell anything. I couldn’t remember anything, but I could go to a movie and I knew who starred in it, who directed it, everything.” - Quentin Tarantino
by Scott Beggs
Don’t Forget Humor
“I want everything I do to have humor in it, because it seems to me that all of life has that. Even the most dire situation – sometimes those are the most close to hysteria …”
Comfort is the Death of Artistic Freedom
“You see, that’s the trap, becoming a slave to your lifestyle. Then you’ve given up the power. You can’t fight the power if you’ve given them the power. If that becomes your priority, which is understandable when people reach middle age, they become used to a very comfortable lifestyle that is enviable because you get to do work you like and then you’re well-remunerated for it. But when that becomes the priority, you’re dead meat as an artist, because you no longer control your destiny. The only way to control your destiny is to not need things…I’ve got as many weaknesses as anybody, but what I can’t buy is people complaining that they have to do this kind of work. Why do they have to? In Hollywood, I think you can make almost any kind of movie if you’re passionate about it.”
Be Prepared to Serve a Larger Vision
It Doesn’t End After Graduation
“Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.”
You’ll Probably Have to Choose Between Personal Statements and Popularity
“Truffaut said that when what you’re interested in matches up with the public, it’s an accident. It’s so true. It’s all timing and gestalt. If you’ve had the luxury of expressing something personal, and no one goes, that’s not a shock. If it’s personal, and people go, that’s the shock.”
Quentin Tarantino while making Pulp Fiction
While most cop shows lean toward utilitarian two-shot directing or shaky “in the moment” camera-work — LUTHER is art.
The style, especially in the first series, quietly tells you not to notice it. But you do, you have to. Maybe not on the first watch, it’s too compelling to reflect on the visual artistry. But you’ll be left with a distinct impression that you’ve really watched something crafted with style and intention. So when you find yourself back at the beginning again, and you will, knowing how the story happens will shift your focus to the visual way the story is told.
Brian Kirk, Sam Miller and Stefan Schwartz each directed two episodes. The changing eye behind the lens is barely perceptible except upon a repeat viewing. The division of work is camouflaged by the three act structure arced through its six episodes. But each are unafraid of distance, texture, focus, or composition.
Brian Kirk gives you the first episodes and pulls you in with a strong sense, not just of the character, but the world he inhabits. It’s mature but unquestionably modern. The style of framing has the sense of proportion, tone, and flesh of a Hopper painting. It’s staggering and brilliant. It’s fearless directing.
Sam Miller can see the quiet moments. His sense of atmosphere is sensitive to the beauty and brutality of Luther’s reality, but without the clutter. His ability to show you what’s in an actors eye is only second to his ability to help them make their performances works of art.
Stefan Schwartz brings a sense of rough, a kinetic pulse in direct opposition to the savoring pace of the opening episodes. This fevered pace builds but never loses its footing, never sacrifices clarity for thrills. The final ten minutes of the fifth episode which continues into the sixth episode finale is a satisfying third act that gives you more than you could want seconds before it ends — visually returning to beginning.
The music of Luther is never stronger than in that sixth episode and deserves a stand-alone post. It’s that perfect.
There are things in the story to dislike — an elevation of psychological depravity and a created reality sometimes too in favor of its main character, but the production — the directing, is strong storytelling. Is art.
You need philosophy. It sounds a little pompous but I think when you direct a film, the only way to find a response to the questions you keep asking yourself is to have a philosophy.