Michael Winterbottom: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers Series)

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When we were casting I was really clear to say to everyone that the idea was to start with two people in a bed making love - in a way, the purest form of the film would be that all you ever saw was the making love. I said: "Don't do this film because you want to do 90 pages of dialogue and there's going to be five seconds of sex in the middle of it all.

We hoped that if we filmed it intimately enough, and they were honest enough, the smallest little changes in mood and atmosphere would come through in the film. There was no script at all at any point. The idea was that they wouldn't really talk to each other, and that you didn't have a situation where they were telling each other interesting bits of information, or plot points, or what they were feeling about each other.

But then, that's something I generally like to avoid in films - I think scenes where characters sit down and tell each other their history, or what's going on inside their head, are fake. I prefer to watch people, and hope that if you watch them closely enough, you might be able to imagine what's going on inside their heads. What about the choice of live music. Were there any themes within that? We just looked in the paper to see who was playing. A couple of bands said no but on the whole everyone was very relaxed. We were filming them from the point of view of Lisa and Matt going to the concert, so the idea was to capture the idea of being at the concert rather than necessarily the music.

We went around with three small cameras and became invisible within the crowd. The idea was that there would be a contrast between the thousands of people in the crowd and the two of them alone in bed. When you go to concerts you're very intimate with each other, in a weird way, because you're sharing the music you're listening to.

At the same time you've got all these other people sharing the music but you never ever talk to them; it's this weird little bubble you're in. Once we'd done a few, people seemed much more relaxed about letting us come in. We had some great times.


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What was nice is that we'd do something that was quite quiet and intense in a way, quite And it was nice then to just go and see this great band. It was great relaxation. Do you feel you've broken one of the final taboos of cinema, especially after the film's uncut 18 certificate in the UK? Certainly when we started making it, people said to us: "You're stupid, and one of the reasons you're stupid is that you won't be able to show it in cinemas, so why make it? You won't be able to sell it in Virgin or HMV, so why make it?

Weirdly, it shows that filmmakers have been censoring themselves much more than the BBFC has been censoring them! It's been weird with censors - in Ireland, for instance, we got an 18 very easily, whereas in France there was a possibility at one stage of getting an X pornographic certificate. I'm a big fan of Jim Thompson and when we made the film we tried to make as literal a version of his book as possible.

It was sort of the opposite approach to how I'd worked on films like Tristam Shandy or Jude. On set Casey Affleck and I would often have copies of the book, debating whether his or my version was more accurate to Jim's vision. His novel was a kind of bible for our filming. Obviously his novels are dark and in the case of The Killer Inside Me it's a first person narration by a madman about his violence towards people and women in particular.

I was surprised by the reaction to the film. Especially when we first showed it at Sundance, when people seemed to see it as a naturalistic almost documentary version of the world today. It was never intended as that. Maybe somehow we failed to clarify in the film the idea that Casey's character is crazy and that the story is seen through his eyes. However one reaction I strongly disagree with is that because the violence against women in the film was shocking the film was morally wrong.

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Violence against women should always be shocking. In fact all violence should be shocking, Plenty of films show violence against women and in general as a form of entertainment. I think that is morally wrong. KHarvest asks:. I think it's always pot luck with trying to find funding for a film.

I have a company called Revolution Films and most of the films I've made we've developed and then gone out to try and find the finance. Sometimes the first person you ask says yes and sometimes it's the th and sometimes it never happens. The good thing is that you only need one person to say yes. In the case of The Weding Guest I sent the script to Dev Patel who loved it and called me up and said he could raise the finance for the film.

Three weeks later he had the money and two weeks after that we started pre-production.

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Arthur Sternom asks:. Does the crew have to cater for themselves on The Trip, or do you all get a quality nosh up while working? The crew don't have cater for themselves on The Trip but on the other hand they don't get to eat the food that Steve ad Rob are eating.

Except at the end of the take when we all dive in and grab the scraps off their plate.

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The Trip series are a relaxing treat the UK in particular, has never looked so serene but 24 Hour Party People is a cracker: Which of those bands from that era do you wish you had been part of and which would have been an absolute nightmare to be in? I think if I had to choose a band from 24 Hour Party People which I wanted to be a part of it'd be the Happy Mondays and if I had to pick one it'd be a nightmare to be in it'd be the Happy Mondays.

MarkFilmgoer asks:. Your contemporary Danny Boyle came close to making a Bond film. Would you ever consider doing one of those tentpoles? Also, I remember Alan Parker saying you should make fewer films.

Why do you like having a prolific output rather than going all David Lean or Terrence Malick on projects? I don't think anyone is going to ask me to make a James Bond film, fortunately or unfortunately, and to be honest I never go and watch them or any of the other tentpole movies that you mention. It's funny you remember Alan Parker saying I should make fewer films - that was a long time ago and to be honest I think after he said it he never made a film again.

You also mention Lean and Malick as examples of the other type of director who makes far fewer films. Interestingly, Malick didn't made a film for decades but recently has been bashing them out like nobody's business. But the Loeb Classical Library is a series of editions, not of works. Home Groups Talk Zeitgeist. I Agree This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and if not signed in for advertising. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms. Common Knowledge Series Conversations with Filmmakers. Series: Conversations with Filmmakers Series by cover.

Series description. Related publisher series Cinema nuova serie Minimum Fax. Roman Polanski. Akira Kurosawa. Quentin Tarantino. Fritz Lang. George Cukor.

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Charles Burnett: Interviews (Conversations With Filmmakers)

Buster Keaton. Howard Hawks. Errol Morris. George A. David Lynch. Orson Welles. Charlie Chaplin. Michelangelo Antonioni. Steven Spielberg. Francis Ford Coppola. John Ford, film director.

Clint Eastwood. Brian De Palma.

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