Interviews: Hitchcock, Coppola, and More

On Film / The Daily — Jun 21, 2017

The interview of the day, hands down, dates back half a century. Via Movie City News comes word that American Cinematographer has posted Herb A. Lightman’s interview with Alfred Hitchcock, which originally ran in its May 1967 issue. What makes it such a fascinating read is that Hitch never fails to come up with a specific example with which to illustrate each of his strongly held views on lighting, the use of color, and so on. He’d just completed and released Torn Curtain, and the image above is his trademark cameo from that 1966 film.

“I’ve embraced the fact that most people watch movies on their electronic devices,” Hal Hartley tells Emily Buder at No Film School. “I do myself. So I think about the picture a little bit differently.” They also discuss Henry Fool (1998), Fay Grim (2006), and Ned Rifle (2014); Hartley’s currently raising funds via Kickstarter to release the trilogy as an extras-laden boxed set.

“I loved The Beguiled,Kristen Yoonsoo Kim tells Sofia Coppola in GQ. “Would you say this is the rare feminist film that struggles to pass the Bechdel test?” Sofia Coppola: “The what test?” Her interviewer explains. “Oh, I guess I've never studied film. That's so funny, but there are a lot of women talking about a man in this.” Film Comment editor Nicolas Rapold talks with Coppola as well, and she explains why her version of the Thomas P. Cullinan novel is “sort of the opposite look at the same story” in comparison with Don Siegel’s 1971 film. For WhereToWatch, Loren King reports on John Waters’s conversation with Coppola at the just-wrapped Provincetown International Film Festival.

And then there’s Stephanie Zacharek’s profile of Coppola for Time: “‘I feel like part of my role is to be protective,’ she says. ‘I’m also grateful to actors. They’re exposed—they have to be vulnerable.’ Yet there’s no doubt that Coppola always gets what she wants, and she slyly admits as much. ‘Maybe it’s being not aggressive, and petite,’ she says. She is also, you suspect, adept at the fine art of asking people to help, instead of just ordering them around. She says that Bill Murray calls her the Velvet Hammer, which she loves.”

At RogerEbert.com, Sheila O'Malley talks with Charles Taylor about his new book, Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American ‘70s. And look who comes up:

The only thing I can think of in terms of something like Two-Lane Blacktop is Somewhere by Sofia Coppola. She is a quiet movie-maker. She works in inchoate moods, and shifting emotions, fleeting moments between people. I had a weird experience seeing Somewhere. I went to the screening and I was thinking, “This is good, this is the kind of thing she does so well” and I was carried along with it, but then the credits came on, and I burst into tears. The movie just caught up with me. One of the things I wonder is if being aware of the moods that Coppola is aware of—how fleeting those moods are—how good she is at making emotionally articulate what is verbally inarticulate—I wonder if in some ways that doesn't lead you to an awareness, an unselfconscious awareness, of American loneliness, which is what I think Two-Lane Blacktop is about. Those landscapes. They're not pretty landscapes, but those people in Two-Lane Blacktop are caught in those landscapes. There are connections that feel like they're barely made even as they're together.

With The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography opening on June 30, Nick Schager talks with Errol Morris for the Daily Beast. Among the topics covered are Dorfman, of course, but also The Thin Blue Line (“the issue is not how we present reality; the issue is how we investigate it”) and Donald Trump. Plus, there’s a brief mention of the series he’s working on at the moment: “I can tell you it’s called Wormwood and it’s about a 1953 murder.”

For the New York Times, Alison Smale talks with Wim Wenders about collaborating with Daniel Barenboim to direct his first opera. Their production of Georges Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles premieres on Saturday at the Staatsoper in Berlin.

“I can’t say I was trying to get anything across,” Ana Lily Amirpour tells Katie Rife at the A.V. Club. They’re discussing The Bad Batch (2016), Amirpour’s followup to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014). “But for myself, I was thinking about how life has chopped me up. I’ve lost parts of who I was and how I defined myself.”

At 4:3, Jeremy Elphick talks with Kirsten Tan about Pop Eye: “I was born in Singapore, but I’ve lived in Thailand. I’ve lived in Korea. Now, I’m based in New York. So this idea of being on the road, being on the move, I guess it’s something almost inherent to myself. So I’m really not surprised that a road film is the first feature film I would make.”

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