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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Dante Ferretti On Working With Pasolini (2’36”)

From Criterion’s “Trilogy of Life” boxset. “Legendary production designer Dante Ferretti is known to moviegoers everywhere for the elaborate and period-precise but fanciful worlds he has created for such films as Terry Gilliam’sThe Adventures of Baron MunchausenNeil Jordan’s Interview with the Vampire, and Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (for which he won an Oscar this year). Among his first projects as art director were the films in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Trilogy of Life,” which also tread the line between the gritty and the fantastic. In this clip from a new Criterion interview with him—who had already served as an assistant production designer on Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew, The Hawks and the Sparrows, and Oedipus RexFerretti describes envisioning The Decameron with Pasolini, divulges the director’s penchant for sliding down banisters, and explains the importance of making mistakes.”

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“We don’t defy the laws of physics: There are no flying men or cars in this movie. So it made sense to do it old-school: real vehicles and real human beings in the desert. We shot the movie more or less in continuity, because the cars and the characters get really banged up along the way. The biggest benefit of digital technology for me was that the cameras were smaller and much more agile, so you could put them anywhere. We also spent a huge amount of time on spatial awareness—making sure the viewer could follow the action and understand what was happening. There has to be a strong causal connection from one shot to the next, just the same way that in music, there has to be a connection from one note to the next. Otherwise it’s just noise. Too often, if you just cram a lot of stuff into the frame, you get the illusion of a fast pace. But there’s no coherence. It doesn’t flow. It comes off as headbanging music, and it can be exhausting. We storyboarded the movie before we had a script: We had 3,500 boards, which helps the cast and crew understand how everything is going to fit together. Movies are getting faster and faster. The Road Warrior had 1,200 cuts. This one has 2,700 cuts. You have to treat it like a symphony.”
~ George Miller

“I was having issues with my script for It’s All About Love, so I called Ingmar Bergman and we ended up talking about everything but the script. He said, “Well, Festen is a masterpiece, so what are you going to do now?” At that point, I had not decided if I was going to make It’s All About Love, so I answered, “Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe this, maybe that.” There was just a long pause, and then he said, “You’re fucked.” I said, “Well, how can you know?” “Well, Thomas, you always have to decide your next movie before the movie you’re doing presently opens.” And I said, “Why is that?” “Well, two things can happen. One thing is that you fail, and then you’ll feel scared and humiliated. It’ll get into your head. Second, and even worse, you have success, and then you’ll want more of it, or you’ll want to maintain it. But if you decide on your next film while you’re in the middle of editing, it becomes a very nonchalant choice. And then it’s shorter from the heart to the hand.”
~ Thomas Vinterberg

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