Monday, February 15, 2016

Carol/The Revenant/Spotlight

I've been listening to the BBC's Kermode & Mayo's Film Reviews on podcast for sometime now and it's got me thinking how much I enjoy listening to conversations about films. I think I like listening to them even more than having actual conversations myself.

It was on Kermode & May's program that I heard Cate Blanchett describing working with Todd Haynes on Carol, Leonardo DiCaprio disclosing the 'transforming' experience of working with an 'artist' shooting a 100 minute film with dialogue that covered half an A4 sheet of paper for The Revenant and my new Hollywood Husband Mark Ruffalo - sorry Edward Norton, you've been displaced  - on ensemble acting in Spotlight. They were all wonderful subjects: serious, engaging, generous, totally committed to their craft and getting their films seen. I can report in the world of professional film people at the top of their game seem to try hard and give it their best.

I know that probably sounds cynical, it's not intended that way. Some days I just feel like the distance between our private and public selves is a gap so wide it pulls apart logic and sense. I got to thinking about this recently reflecting on my feature film rewrite which was a herculean effort. Writing every day for a month was gruelling. Doing it with two monkeys on school holidays with Christmas in the middle felt like a folly of the highest order. Moving between work and home was something akin to daily time travel, right down to edgy camera shakes to signify the awkward transition. It was discombobulating in every way and felt harder with each passing day. The needs of small children –  their moods and variable temperaments – and the exhausting detail of domestic life, as well as the demands of a complex and large creative project almost broke me, except it didn't. Even virtual strangers stopped me to tell me "Looking gggreeeaat". Go figure.

It's even stranger to consider that writing is an imaginative interpretation of the space between those different spheres - our public and private selves - and how we feel and behave as we inhabit them. Off air at BBC headquarters maybe Mark Ruffalo kicked himself for describing himself as an 'activist' - and not just a wealthy movie star. Cate Blanchett could have disconnected and thought "Banging on about the theatre, AGAIN". Leo? I couldn't even speculate. What I'm imagining is not really for sharing publicly. It's staying private.

By the way they were all fine films. All three of them.

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