Friday, March 7, 2008

My Dinner with...

It's meme time!

1. Pick a single person past or present who works in the film industry who you'd like to have dinner with and tell us why you chose this person.

This is a headscratcher; not only are there numerous technical virtuosos,
who wouldn't necessarily spring to mind straight away, yet who would be fascinating to dine with (I'm thinking of people like Roger Deakins, Christine Vachon, Philip Glass, Colleen Atwood) but the sheer plethora of chatty actors, directors and scriptwriters that I wouldn't mind sitting down with renders my answer to this question dependant on whatever mood I'm in. If you'd asked me a week ago, my answer would have been Sissy Spacek. On any number occasions, it could have been Pedro Almodóvar, Laura Linney, Cary Grant, Roz Russell or Donald O' Connor. Dinner-table manners have to be taken into consideration; Robert de Niro circa 70s would be fascinating, but according to Jodie Foster, he wasn't such a great lunch partner back then. Likewise, I'd have a million questions for Alfred Hitchcock, but he'd probably play some awful practical joke on me and leave. So, I'm looking for somebody intelligent, verbose and who I'm assured will be polite and warm, somebody who I have many questions for but who remains a bit of a mystery, and somebody who I've recently been watching. Todd Haynes, care to join me for dinner?

2. Set the table for your dinner. What would you eat? Would it be in a home or at a restaurant? And what would you wear? Feel free to elaborate on the details.

I'm afraid of poisoning any potential dinner guests, so we'd head out to the city for our meal. Maybe
Acapulco, the Mexican place on Georges Street. Not only is it my favourite restaurant (I'm going there tonight, actually) but it adds a certain ping of intertextuality referencing to our evening. Its a casual enough place, so we wouldn't have to dress up fancily - although Mr Haynes has proved that he can scrub up as well as he dresses down. After the meal, we could drop into a cafe for some coffee and maybe a slice of cake, in honour of our shared birthday (Jan 2nd).

3. List five thoughtful questions you would ask this person during dinner.

1. You graduated from Brown with a degree in semiotics. Perhaps as a result of this, your films have been dismissed by some critics as university projects, dominated by intellect rather than emotion. How do you respond to this?
2. I've noticed you tend to surround yourself with superb actors and technicians. Especially in a film like "Far From Heaven", which functions as a real "team effort", between your script, Julianne Moore's acting, Elmer Bernstein's score, Edward Lachman's camera and Sandy Powell's
costumes. So, on one hand you cultivate an air of intense collaboration, yet there's also a very singular vision dominating all of your work. Do you see filmmaking as a solitary or collaborative pursuit?
3. Did you experience even a small twinge of disapointment when I'm Not There was almost roundly passed by during awards season? I don't think you've ever been a director who tries to court awards, but your latest had great critical buzz.
4. Are there any actors who you'd love to work with, but haven't yet? What about Julianne Moore, any plans to write another script for her? She has a tiny part in I'm Not There, but I'm harking back to films such as [safe] and Far From Heaven, films that showed me that Moore is a great talent, rather than just a lousy mother who mopes around on swings.
5. Finally, what music are you listening to at the moment? I already know we share some tastes; Haynes directed a Sonic Youth video (and Kim Gordon has a cameo in I'm Not There). He has also made biopics of Bob Dylan, Karen Carpenter and Glam Rock; and these feel more like personal obsessions, rather than studio-urged projects. What's your favourite Sonic Youth album? Mine is either Daydream Nation, Goo or Murray Street. Care to recommend me any other musicians you're into? How about we trade mixtapes?

I can't think of 6 people to tag for this, but anyone who comes across it is free to run with it. That means you, Ann Marie, Damien et all. Thanks to Piper for the original idea and Emma for the tag.


Ann Marie said...

And here I thought you'd pick Ian McKellan. Great answers though. Ah semiotics, not my most favourite section of English.

I probably won't be able to do this for a while cause I have an essay due in next week.

Kayleigh said...

Cool choice, it would be cool to ask him about his Karen Carpenter film he made with the dolls. Very odd film that was too.
My dinner choice was a bit pretentious but I would genuinely love to sit down and have cookies with him.