Category : Fiction
Paul Schrader is a filmmaker who is most recently the director of Adam Resurrected. The film opens in limited release on December 12th.
Condition of Mr. Segundo: Waiting for Deborah Harry to call him.
Guest: Paul Schrader
Subjects Discussed: Being asked to direct vs. originating a film project, Jeff Goldblum working against his natural tics, Goldblum’s considerable preparation for the role, balancing the element of play with too much preparation, making a film from Yoram Kaniuk’s untranslatable novel, initial efforts to adapt Adam Resurrected, defying the fixed notion of a Holocaust film, adapting books into films, working with cinematographer Sebastian Edschmid, mimicking the memory of specific historical times, making a film without the prospect of financial returns, why the present time is the worst for independent film, clarifying the details about Extreme City, recent events in Mumbai, the opening scene in Lolita, allowing for a minimum of verisimilitude within a magical realist narrative, actors barking like dogs, clearing up some of the information in Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, keeping a loaded gun, Sam Peckinpah, the importance of being crazy, and whether or not Schrader has exorcised all of his demons.
EXCERPT FROM SHOW:
Correspondent: Did you have any of the actors study dog movement at all?
Schrader: Jeff did. He hung out with this guy. The dog whisperer guy. And the boy who plays the dog….
Correspondent: Tudor [Rapiteanu]?
Schrader: Tudor. He spent a fair amount of time with dogs. And the dog in the film, Sam, he was with us quite a while. Jeff spent quite a lot of time with Sam. The two of them.
Correspondent: Tudor is hiding under the blanket. At least, that is what we are led to believe. I don’t think that he hid under the blanket the entire time. Or did he? Was there at any point somebody else? Did he have a dog double? Was there a Tudor double? Was there an actual dog there?
Schrader: Oh, no, no. That’s always Tudor.
Schrader: Yeah. He’s a rather exceptional kid. He was twelve at the time. Smart as a whip. He had just placed fourth in the Romanian Academic Olympics. But he was totally into that whole dog. He would play a dog even when we weren’t shooting.
Correspondent: And the actors were perfectly okay and happy? They felt fairly safe being dogs like this? Because you’re working on all fours. I don’t think I’ve done that for longer than an hour, I suppose, in my life. And so I’m wondering, what did you do to ensure that their performances would be safe? To perform and have this, I guess, canine verisimilitude.
Schrader: Well, you have to sort of watch out for their knees. You can hurt your knees trying to go around down on all fours.
Nacho Vigalondo is a filmmaker who is most recently the writer and director of Timecrimes, a film that opens in New York and Los Angeles on December 12.
Condition of Mr. Segundo: Searching for future Bats.
Guest: Nacho Vigalondo
Subjects Discussed: What to expect when attending one’s first press day in New York, being isolated from the Hollywood scene by making films in Spain, unexpected attention, Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, the current speed in adapting comic books, Mark Millar, the Timecrimes remake, the pink bandaged head as an old Universal Horror motif, finding the monster within the movie, writing a script out of sequence, Steven Zaillian, trying not to bore the audience, showing the ridiculous side of the situation, using the best bits of Karra Elejalde’s cinematic career for the different Hectors, the influence of fashion choices upon performance, making a movie work in a natural way, the criticism of “improvisation,” criticizing the reasons behind Chica’s nudity, not explaining everything within a movie, the tendency for music to blare throughout every environment, learning from Hitchcock, practical locations vs. planned sets, and making a timeless movie.
EXCERPT FROM SHOW:
Vigalondo: When you’re writing a script, sometimes the script is put into a nightmare. Sometimes, it’s giving you some gift. And in this case, when I was writing Timecrimes, I found a monster inside the story. But the story itself gave me the monster. I needed someone with a hidden face, with a scissors on the hand. So I found out that the story was building a monster. A monster that had these classical resonances, as you are telling. So I feel so fortunate. Because when you have a monster in your movie, the movie gets better most of the time. Every movie with a monster is better than the same story without the monster. You can apply this to all the other — to every example. I don’t know. If Million Dollar Baby had a monster, it would be a better film.
Once you find a monster inside your film, well, in my case, it’s something you have to celebrate. For two reasons. It’s a monster that sounds like a Universal classic film monster. And at the same time, it’s a pretty cheap Halloween costume. If the people like your film, they can disguise as the big mummy with little money on the bandages and the scissors. So if you want to dress like Freddy Krueger, it’s more expensive than my monster in my film. So it’s like giving something to the people. In depression times, giving cheap monsters to the people is something I really appreciate. (laughs)