February 11, 2011 / Mediation, Uncategorized
In 1991, the Academy Award for Best Picture went to the disturbing psycho thriller, The …
May 10, 2012
On directing actors:
“I want to see them do the work. All I’m trying to do is make it easy on the actor, because once you start to shoot, the actor is the artist. I don’t say, ‘Here’s the way I want it done,’ because I want to see something I’ve never seen before. How can I say what that is? I’ve got to let them know that if they stretch and they do something that’s bad, I’m not even going to show it in dailies. The actors in Gosford Park all took care of themselves. As a director, I have to give them confidence and see that they have a certain amount of protection so they can be creative. The actors know that even though they don’t get paid well, they trust that I’ll let them do the creative work. I let them do what they became actors for in the first place: to create. And I not only let them do it, I insist that they do it.
On filming Gosford Park:
“I used two cameras almost all the time except when the room was so small we couldn’t get two cameras in. I arbitrarily had them moving, with no particular pupose. … The standard thing with a film like this is a guy sitting watching television who gets up to go open a beer, and then comes back and he says, ‘Did she kill him yet?’ He knows he’ll be shown the important stuff in close-up three times. But I wanted to put the audience on notice, right off the bat, that they have to pay attention or they’re going to miss something. … We have created this film in a way that if you like it, you really have to go back and see it again and you’ll see a different film.
– Robert Altman, quoted in Conversations at the American Film Institute with The Great Moviemakers: The Next Generation
Jeffrey Overstreet watches far too many movies, writes film reviews and two weekly columns for ChristianityTodayMovies.com, maintains the Web site LookingCloser.org, contributes to Paste Magazine, and is at work on a series of novels. He works at Seattle Pacific University.