Love and Death on Set
I'm still tired as hell from the production process, but in moments like this (before the flurry of problems that come AFTER the film is "wrapped"), I think about what I've just gone through for the past month.
It's funny how completely anti-intellectual filmmaking can be. The actual process of production is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together in the back of a 4x4 that's rolling really, really fast over a rocky, pothole-ridden road. At night. With no headlights. There's very little time to think. Most of the time you just hope you've gotten it in the can.
At the same time, you exert tremendous brain-power trying to solve problems before they blow up into full-fledged crises. Or, on a better day, make things smoother, or make the shot more interesting or the performance deeper.
There are a handful of movies that sort-of capture this process well. "Living in Oblivion" does a good job. "State and Main" gets the army-invades-small-town vibe right, but misses the actual production part. "Heart of Darkness" is interesting to watch but most of the filmmakers I know (myself included) would like to have Coppola's problems (a studio film? a big budget? trying to control a "small" fleet of helicopters? Sign me up!) And of course, there's "Day for Night," which is terrific, but everyone has a lot more sex in it than I remember ever having on one of my sets (of course, it is a French film).
I think, though, that the definitive movie-about-making-indie-movies has yet to be made.
I scanned in a picture of a pita for CityMinx (link to her blog). I liked what the scanner did so I decided to mess with the pic a bit. Now it's the pita from hell!
A MOVIE YOU SHOULD SEE
"The Fountain." Okay, it's not necessarily the greatest thing since sliced pita (you knew that was coming). It's NOT as wonderful and fantastic and profound as Darren Aranofsky would have you believe. But it's a lot smarter and more daring that 90% of what's out there right now, and if you can let yourself watch it without trying to impose too much on it, you'll see its beauty, its meditative nature, its brave attempt to ask some very big questions.
The fact is that any movie that stirs up such mixed reviews is something you should see. If the critics can't decide on it, it's worth looking at to see what they're so confused over. Film history shows that many of the "classics" got bad reviews when initially released.
Anyway, that's it for now. Mo' structured, less rambling posts to come, I promise.