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By DP30 david@thehotbuttonl.com

DP/30: Anna Karenina, actor Keira Knightley

7 Responses to “DP/30: Anna Karenina, actor Keira Knightley”

  1. Lex says:

    LOOK AT HER. The world’s most perfect and CHARMING woman.

  2. NightTale says:

    I thought she was frighteningly good in Anna Karenina. It really takes a fearless actress to play such an unlikable/complex character. She deserves praise for playing such a role and I hope AMPAS gives her a second Oscar nomination.

  3. Not David Bordwell says:

    I would like to point out that she played an equally unlikable/complex character without fear in Cronenberg’s A DANGEROUS METHOD without all this effusive praise. She was already astonishing in that film, but now she gets the Oscar buzz? Perplexing.

  4. Actionman says:

    Sooooooo disgusted that AK hasn’t opened in my area. What are they doing with the release of this supposedly groundbreaking adaptation?

    She’s stunningly beautiful, and hugely talented, a rare combo. Have always been a massive fan. Domino POWER.

  5. Lex says:

    Anna Karenina is terrific, big Joe Wright fan, and Keira is one of my absolute favorites (and the only woman for whom I’d maybe take a pass on K-Stew), but quick stylistic question about AK:

    This is a minority opinion, but anyone else think its stylistic “audacity” is being maybe overstated? Reviews both pro- and con talk at length about its formalistic quirks, like the “staged” elements and going backstage, etc. Anyone else feel like those were kind of neither here nor there? Honestly, 95% of the movie seemed to play like a really good, invested, visceral period movie, and then every 25 minutes or so they’d break the fourth wall just a smidge, and you kinda go, “Okay, fine, going with it, whatever,” then it returns to the big epic movie that it is.

    Just everyone talking about how CRA-A-A-AZY Wright’s choice to do that is, but it’s hardly what I remember about the movie, and didn’t seem to add or detract in any real way. Honestly think a lot of casual viewers wouldn’t even notice it.

  6. Mike says:

    Lex, I haven’t seen AK, but I remember bits and pieces of Atonement in a similar way. I remember the weird score–which used the typewriter–and how I thought it was clever at first, but then overused. The same with the long uncut shot on the beach in Dunkirk. His flair for the dramatic feels too calculated sometimes, and adds little to the whole work.

  7. Actionman says:

    That shot at Dunkirk is a fucking marvel of filmmaking, and his one-take-fight with Bana in Hanna was supreme. Joe Wright feels like he came from the same school as Mendes.

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DP/30

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“I was a brat back when I made Pootie Tang. I was dealing with people every day whose pressures I didn’t understand, and I wasn’t very nice about how I said no to them. I put myself in a position I didn’t have to be in. A lot of what makes this kind of stuff work is empathy. If you’re taking money from somebody, they have a right to look after it. It’s all just trying to be clear about the arrangement. That’s why when I set up ‘Louie,’ I just said, ‘This is what I’m comfortable doing, and if you don’t want to do it, I don’t blame you. But in exchange, I’ll take very little money.’ I was only getting $200,000 per show from them, which is insane, and it goes up just by tiny increments every year. The other part of the arrangement with FX is that if this stops working for them, they should just tell me and we’ll stop doing it. Contractually, FX has a right to demand that the scripts be filtered through them before I shoot them, just like any other show. But from the beginning, they haven’t read anything, and they like the show. If I start turning in shit, then they’re going to start asking to see scripts, and that’s perfectly fair.”
~ Louis C. K.

BOMB: Do you give a lot of direction?

ASSAYAS: I give zero indications. Nothing. To me, it’s all physical. It is all about getting the right actors. They understand the part. They’re not idiots. They’re going to sit down, and they’re going to work. They don’t need my explanations. The problem is that actors listen to directors. They respect them. So, when you say something, it becomes gospel. In a certain way, this limits their imagination. I’d rather say nothing. Then, when we shoot, I fix whatever I don’t like. I channel it as softly as I can in a direction where, maybe, there’s something to gain. But, usually, if you are working with the right people, their instinct will be correct. They will bring something of their own to the character, and to the situation. Ultimately, there will be some kind of human truth to what they are doing.
~ Olivier Assayas on directing

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