Screenwriters

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An Objective Subjectivity: Julius Onah and J.C. Lee on Adapting Luce, Code-Switching and Frantz Fanon

Julius Onah’s Luce follows the story of Luce (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), a Black 17-year-old prodigy. Adopted at a young age from a war-torn country by two Caucasian parents, this straight-A valedictorian and all-star athlete is deemed perfect by everyone. After his teacher, Ms. Wilson, finds illegal items in his locker and becomes concerned over the submission of a violence-themed research paper, she contacts his parents. His adoptive parents start to question his actions, leading to his mother Amy uncovering a barrage of secrets held by her son. Adapted from the stage play of the same name by J.C. Lee, the […]

Jennifer Kent on Shooting The Nightingale One-Camera, Contractually Obligated Aspect Ratios and Directing from Handheld Monitor

Australian filmmaker Jennifer Kent’s first two movies present different parental nightmares. In The Babadook, a mother’s fear that she doesn’t love her son manifests itself in the form of the titular monster. In her latest, The Nightingale, a young woman explores the extremes she’s willing to go to in order to punish someone who’s harmed her child. Set in the early 1800s, The Nightingale stars Aisling Franciosi as Clare, an Irish prisoner finishing out the final days of her sentence in servitude to brutal British soldier Hawkins (Sam Claflin). When Hawkins rapes her and attacks her family, Clare sets out […]

Vice Squad: Director Abel Ferrara on Screenwriter Zoë Lund on Bad Lieutenant

Bad Lieutenant was the cover story for the Winter, 1993 edition of Filmmaker — this magazine’s second issue. This feature by Scott Macaulay, with quotes from director Abel Ferrara and screenwriter Zoë Lund, appears online for the first time. ***“No one can kill me. I’m blessed. I’m a fucking Catholic.” — Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant. “The title is so ironic, Bad Lieutenant. Because of course it doesn’t mean he’s bad. You have the semantic irony of the “baaad” lieutenant and the central irony of ‘Is he bad or is he not bad and perhaps one needs to be bad […]

An On-Set Education: Graham Swon on The World is Full of Secrets

When The World is Full of Secrets showed earlier this year at a festival for debut films in remote Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia, its director, Graham Swon (a 25 New Face of Film in 2016), briefly became almost as much of interest to the public audience and critics there as did his hypnotic cinematic spectacular. That I was there as the only international journalist in attendance to witness Swon fielding eager questions from this newfound audience of intrigued Siberian spectators strikes me now as a fluke of wondrous good fortune. The movie’s long, discursive monologues, in which 15- and 16-year-old girls narrate […]

“I Don’t Know How to Fake It, To Do Something I Don’t Believe In”: Michael Almereyda on Vampires, Mummies, Writing Hollywood Screenplays and Directing Independent Films

After more than a quarter century of publication, Filmmaker has a huge archive, and most of our print articles have never appeared online. Over the next several months we’ll be correcting that by curating some of our best articles and interviews, particularly from directors who continue to make strong and vital work today. We’ll start with this Winter, 1999 interview of Michael Almereyda by Ray Pride, published on the release of his film Trance, that is also an excellent overview of his early directing career and Hollywood screenwriting work. — Editor Filmmakers working outside the major studios often find themselves […]

“Arrogance and Confidence Comes with Film School and That Age”: Joanna Hogg on The Souvenir, Shooting 16mm and Film School

There are many movies about making movies, far fewer about film school. Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir (the first in a diptych—part two is supposed to shoot this summer) grounds itself in the early ’80s at the UK’s National Film and Television School (NFTS), where Hogg herself went to school. It was there that she experienced a tumultuous relationship, dramatized here as the story of clean-living Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne), a student who falls for Anthony (Tom Burke) after they meet at a party. All well and good, but what Julie doesn’t clock is that Anthony is a heroin addict. A real-life […]