Rachel Feldman directing Amy Brenneman in HERE NOW

Venice Films Mostly Male & AFI 100 Movies List 2017, Not One by a Woman?

by Sarah Bullion, Screenmancer Correspondent

An interview with Rachel Feldman – Veteran of the Hollywood Gender Wars – Two Women Who Direct Film & TV (updated) in a Candid Conversation about the State of the Business.

Director Sarah Bullion, In a Conversation with Director Rachel Feldman

Director Sarah Bullion in a Conversation with Director Rachel Feldman

SARAH BULLION: You are a veteran filmmaker and vocal activist for women in Hollywood, how did you discover that voice? 

RACHEL FELDMAN: Perhaps because I had grown up in a political household, I came to my view of injustice fairly organically. Unconscious gender bias is so ubiquitous – it was always shocking to me how little people talked about it.

I received my master’s degree in film directing and my graduate thesis film won over 25 major film festivals. I also began to write at that time and immediately sold my first scripts. In those “15 minutes of fame” I was signed by William Morris and attended a lot of meetings. I was making a living working for well established (male) directors on big studio movies, preparing their director notebooks and pre-viz plans, while getting grants and making my own indie films – but it became clear that none of the women in my class were getting directing jobs, just the guys – some of whom hadn’t even finished their thesis films. For 10 years, I was never hired to direct, until Steven Bochco saw one of my shorts and invited me to helm an episode of “Doogie Howser M.D.” He had a keen awareness that women directors were suffering and wanted to do something about it.

Director Rachel Feldman, a Veteran of Gender Wars in Hollywood

Director Rachel Feldman, a Veteran in Hollywood Photo credit: Suki Medencevic

I sought out other directors like me at the Directors Guild of America but there were only a handful of women directing at the time and few of them attended meetings. Despite the incredible level of gender inequity all around us most women were very fearful of ruining their careers by speaking up. Even though it had only been 10-15 years since “The Original Six” motivated the DGA to go to court on behalf of women directors, causing a marked increase of employment for women, I felt quite alone.

We wanted our guild to fight for us, but their support came in the shape of “shadowing” programs that rarely led to jobs, having events that celebrated the handful of female celebrity directors, or to have “networking” events filled with executives who had zero mandate to hire us. It wasn’t until 2010 that I met other women at the DGA who felt brave enough to question the established patriarchy. We were tired of the same boilerplate responses to our lack of employment, it felt as if our own guild truly didn’t care about making things better for us.

In 2012 I was asked to run as co-chair of the DGA Women’s Steering Committee. My speech was an outspoken call for change and I won. I produced the 2013 Women of Action Summit, the first event in the guild’s 80-year history that focused exclusively on tackling gender inequity. The 250 female directors who attended were exhilarated, however the DGA actively thwarted our success. The year-long organizational process was tortuous with a punishing level of scrutiny and domination from the guild. And if that hadn’t stopped us, on the day of the event, a Guild administrator literally stole the single copy of email addresses our guests had given us requesting further contact with our coalition. This sabotage prevented us from using that event as the very catalyst for which we had created it in the first place. Then, in the final blow, adding insult to injury, soon after the event, the guild implemented a vote to change our by-laws, preventing our coalition’s most vocal members from running for office based on their lack of recent employment – caused by the very gender discrimination we face.

Though the DGA was effective in suppressing an uprising, I believe our efforts have been a tipping point in finally cracking open a new conversation with solutions now as a goal.

What makes one an activist? 

Activism is bred from rage. Being a “have not” in an environment of riches is maddening. People continue to insist that the film business is a meritocracy, that the best and the brightest succeeded, but most are blind to the fact that without opportunity one cannot possibly rise. This is true regarding class, race, or gender. It’s this frustration and exclusion that sparks the flame of needing to fight back.

What is working and what isn’t?

We have to stop accepting the status quo. We say, “The future is female” but in Hollywood that all too often means having female executives or filming a female protagonist who just acts like a man. Until we have female creators using their voices and vision to offer fresh perspectives, it’s all pabulum.

In the past few weeks, The Venice Film Festival screened only a single film directed by a woman, The AFI Best 100 Movies lists not one movie directed by a woman.  Out of 60 episodes why was only a single episode of “Game of Thrones” directed by a woman? And why, decade after decade, is it acceptable that the DGA’s own screening schedule is a sea of men’s faces? Unconscious bias is omnipresent and we must simply just keep calling it out over and over and over again in every facet of our industry until folks wake up.

Training programs are bullshit when there are already so many accomplished women directors, shadowing is downright disrespectful and ineffective. No other industry would put up with being present to simply observe others at work – with no pay and no actual plan to prepare for an actual job. Most women directors have either graduated film school or have made independent films, commercials, music videos, or worked in the industry as editors, AD’s etc. – so why are we treated as novices, viewed with suspicion, treated with disrespect? Why is this tolerated? Let’s find a route to feeding the hiring pipeline that’s equitable and sensible.

I have 25 years of high-level experience and yet I’m still called a “first time director” by feature producers and asked to shadow in television. Directing is hard and it requires a very specific set of skills, talents, and temperament but it is not molecular chemistry. Give women opportunities and they will deliver, big time. Do like Ryan Murphy and Ava DuVernay. JUST DO IT!

What would you like to see new or young activists doing and saying today? 

Female filmmakers have gotten brave, even brazen. Younger women are fearless now in their calling out inequity and that helps. Women are helping, supporting, and lifting up other women and there’s an overall sense of sisterhood today that is very powerful. Women no longer want to be the only women in the room, we want our entire community to thrive and that generous sense is glorious.

Are you ever concerned that your outspokenness will injure your career? 

I don’t believe that anyone’s activism will affect their career adversely. It’s not like there is a poisonous individual who’s the issue, it’s institutional culpability that is harming women’s careers in general.

What is the difference for a woman director on a feature film versus on TV?

The only difference is the way we have been treated, not the work itself.  In television, the director steps into a fully formed, pre-established community.  That group can be welcoming to new directors or downright hostile – and women can have a hard time with this. But in features, when the director is the one who leads the hiring of department heads she has a leadership role from the onset, which engenders automatic respect.

What differences have you seen on sets with more women represented? 

Gender is not the answer. Awareness is. Men can be great feminists and working with enlightened men who respect and love working in a team is amazing. I will say that good news is on the horizon.  Just this week I had a conversation with the studio executive who is producing a pilot of mine and when I suggested that we hire women directors he opened his laptop and already had compiled an extensive list!  I was thrilled! Also many celebrated female actors are now talking about how much they enjoy working with women directors and want to support us.  It’s happening.

There’s lots of talk about nurturing new talent but why is the industry not seeking out all the experienced women directors who’ve been struggling all these years, in television and in features?  How can they be found?

There can be no more excuses about not being able to find female directors. Producers simply have to realize that they cannot rely on literary agencies or the guild, who promote those whose careers are already thriving. There are many organizations such as The Alliance of Women DirectorsFilm Fatales, and at The Director List, where filmmaker Destri Martino has amassed searchable database of over 1000 women directors. There are over 1300 female directors in the DGA alone!

When Ava DuVernay wanted to hire women directors of color she put out the word and found great talent.  When Ryan Murphy wanted change he and Tanase Popa created the Half Initiative, creating his own gateway.  Where there is a will…

And hey, calling JJ Abrams – where are you in this?! We need powerful voices to fight for us.

What’s your personal experience with agents and managers – representation? 

I’ve directed over 60 episodes of television, but each job was as hard to get as the next and I’ve never had solid representation. It’s tricky for me.  I came up at a time when no one was talking about these issues and we few women had little support. So now I’m neither a newbie – full of promise, nor a celebrity name -who will easily slide onto a roster.  I’m a client that requires a narrative and that’s a hurdle many reps find challenging.

Talent doesn’t go away.  I think it’s actually a good thing if a director is also a writer, an editor, had children, cared for dying parents, or sailed around the world. These experiences make us stronger storytellers, not weaker ones. But the industry perceives these life waves as “gaps” and that becomes just another excuse for resistance.

How do we get more people (from agents to producers) involved in the groundswell?

It’s happening, I think people really do care, but we need to continue to call out the established practices that have not been effective, and take bold steps until change happens.

Did your activism influence your passion to bring Lilly Ledbetter’s story to the screen in FAIR FIGHT?

Absolutely! Lilly was cheated out of half her salary by a company she had dedicated her career to, just because she was a woman. Her challenges and her fight spoke to me deeply on a personal level. FAIR FIGHT is a thriller about a real life super hero. Lilly had virulent antagonists who wanted to silence her demand for equity and she wouldn’t give up, no matter the stakes.

Lilly may be the voice and face of “fair pay” but it’s gender justice, in every aspect of life, that’s the heart of our message. Women in Hollywood are cheated out of careers because of their gender, girls and women around the globe are undervalued, demeaned, and abused just because they were born one gender and all of this is outrageous and must end.

Lily Ledbetter, Activist, with Director Rachel Feldman

Lilly Ledbetter, Activist, with Director Rachel Feldman

Do you think FAIR FIGHT can change things? 

Movies are effective propaganda and our media is one of the U.S.’s most impactful exports. The stories, images, and concepts we illuminate have a global effect and girls and women, men and boys, will understand Lilly’s bravery in the face of terrible odds. This is the human story that one single person can and must speak out against tyranny and subjugation, and that the unique character who can withstand tremendous obstacles and obstruction is a super hero in the flesh. That story needs to be told over and over, especially with women at the helm.

I’m eager to conduct a cinematic symphony and this is it – to take all the skill and craft I’ve developed over a lifetime and use it to create a big, beautiful, dare I say important, story that takes an audience on a huge emotional journey. But for the world, for the zeitgeist, I hope the message will be very powerful.

What would your ideal career look like? 

What a fun question! I’ve become a very facile storyteller. It would be amazing to be able to use the skills I’ve developed and finally put them all to use. I would love to have my own production company and a pod deal, getting paid to do what I do now every day on spec. I’d like to be directing my projects and other’s, writing all kinds of movies and TV series, and working with other writers creating a broad range of projects.

I’d love to set up writer’s rooms and bring my projects to life with those like the brilliantly talented students, mentees, and colleagues I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years.

I started out in advertising so I’d also love to work with brands to create what I call “advertainment.” I long to work with a product line and web series where the characters and plot are integrated with the merchandize in a truly organic fashion. Not product placement!  But a show that sells a lifestyle from top to bottom. I really want to do this!

What are you currently working on? 

My producers Jenette Kahn and Adam Richman at Double Nickel Entertainment are currently out to actors with FAIR FIGHT.  In addition, I recently won the 2017 WGA Writer’s Access Project, run by Glen Mazzara, with my pilot KINKS, then sold that pilot to AJ Mendez at Pillar Segan who have a deal at eOne TV.  We’re preparing to take the project to buyers with talent.

I just completed a new short film, HERE NOW, starring the amazing Amy Brenneman, shot by Nancy Schreiber, the brilliant cinematographer who won the coveted 2017 ASC President’s award and we’ve recently been accepted to a couple of Oscar qualifying festivals. I was jonesing to make a movie!  We shot it in my house over 2 days and many lifelong friends came in with freebies and favors including Panavision, Technicolor, Cine Lease, Legion VFX, and even the incredible Bruce’s Catering. The rest of the budget I raised with a Seed & Spark  fundraising campaign of $10,000.

Like most filmmakers I’m in constant development. I write every single day. It’s making movies in my head and on paper; it keeps my imagination limber and my slate strong.

Sarah Bullion is a LA-based director and writer, interested in the intersection of cinema and activism. She is the Treasurer of the Board of Alliance of Women Directors and is currently completing her MFA in Screenwriting at Stephens College. She can be reached at sarah@allianceofwomendirectors.org

You can tweet to Rachel Feldman at @WomenCallAction or find her here.

Screenmancer thanks both directors, Sarah Bullion and Rachel Feldman, for this Conversation, part of a new series.For more information, contact: news@screenmancer.tv or post comment.

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Josh Brolin Was Always on the Hot Side & Now Hotshot Side in ONLY THE BRAVE

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent This opener from ONLY THE BRAVE’s official notes says it best: “All men are created equal… then, a few become firefighters.” Josh Brolin stars with Miles Teller to bring the Granite Mountain fire epic to life. Expect this movie to drop Oct. 20, when the summer heat is gone. […]

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Leslie Zemeckis: The Lady & The Tiger and Her Emojis

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent It’s fitting that Leslie Zemeckis is in Italy when we decide to do an interview, because the word burlesque is derived from Italian roots in “burla,” meaning mockery, to poke fun yet shine a spotlight on sexuality. Actor, writer, documentarian Zemeckis has just come out with a line of […]

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DARKEST HOUR Has Gary Oldman as Churchill Looking Like an Awards Contender

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Nothing like a rousing World War II “never surrender” movie to lift the spirits from current political events; thus comes DARKEST HOUR, set for release from Focus Features on Nov. 22, the day US President John F. Kennedy was shot, not a coincidence one guesses. “You can’t reason with […]

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VALERIAN May Just Be The New Visual Drug on July 21, Thanks Luc Besson

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

Who imagines surreal lush worlds like French director Luc Besson? This is a man who could plead The Fifth Element in any court of World Cinema, lol. And now, VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS, the much-anticipated Dane DeHaan starrer with runway oddity Cara Delevinge drops July 21 worldwide from EuropaCorp and STXfilms.

M-2 The crew prepares for a scene with star Cara Delevingne (center) of Luc Besson's "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". Photo credit: Luc Besson Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment Motion Picture Artwork © 2017 STX Financing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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The crew prepares for a scene with star Cara Delevingne (center) of Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”.
Photo credit: Luc Besson
Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment
Motion Picture Artwork © 2017 STX Financing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

If you recall how Besson made visual magic out of Scarlett Johansson in LUCY, VALERIAN (based on the graphic-novel series) looks to be on a par with the strange and sensuous mind-candy from Besson’s creative vending machine.ValLogo17

Does this sound like a gush? Intelligent visual forays into the Digital World on screen are far and few between, so Besson has earned accolades in advance. Not to mention music prodigy Rihanna is in it, plus Clive Owen as the head office voice of sanity.

Rihanna stars in Luc Besson's " Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". Photo credit: Daniel Smith Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment Motion Picture Artwork © 2017 STX Financing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Rihanna stars in Luc Besson’s ” Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”.
Photo credit: Daniel Smith
Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment
Motion Picture Artwork © 2017 STX Financing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

After all, it’s the 28th Century in VALERIAN and DeHaan and Delevigne are “special operatives” policing the Human Population, a built-in beyond awesome premise, since “species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge.” Even the boilerplate press notes have a thrill to them, as in:

“There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian (DeHaan) and Laureline (Delevingne) must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.”

Nuance-maker Dane DeHaan has come a long way from the bootleg woods with Tom Hardy in LAWLESS. Same for @Caradelevingne who is tailor-made for space, having left PAPER TOWNS.

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EuropaCorp and STXfilms will release VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS in theaters nationwide on July 21.Val1sht17

Rating: PG-13

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Andy Serkis on the set of Twentieth Century Fox's "War for the Planet of the Apes."

Serkis, Serkis, Or How WETA Makes a Monkey Out of Andy For Caesar & Jane Goodall

By Screenmancer Staff

It’s already interesting that the Jane Goodall Institute has partnered with WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES from 20th Century Fox, and that 150 chimpanzees in the Central Republic if Congo will benefit. “I think that the Planet of the Apes series makes people think about the apes and perhaps our relationship to them,” says Dr. Jane Goodall. “And anything that makes us think about our own humanity in relation to the rest of the animal kingdom is important.  So I think the series has helped.” But, what they’ve done to Andy Serkis’ face with WETA Digital is equally fascinating.

Andy Serkis on the set of Twentieth Century Fox's "War for the Planet of the Apes."

Andy Serkis on the set of 20th Century Fox’s “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

Spanning the last trio of primate-themed projects, WETA has perfected morphing their POA actors like Serkis, formerly Golem in LORD OF THE RINGS, into a full-blown simians. Before you start humming a Louis Prima tune about ‘learning to be human too,’ you have to check out the evolutionary process of these CG characters in “Face of Caesar” just released by 20th Century Fox as a visual sidebar to the movie, which opens smack in the middle of Summer Blockbuster Season.

Here’s a quick plot summary from 20th:

“In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel.  After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.  As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.”

The tagline is “Not all heroes are human,” and it’s going to be harder to differentiate which ones are from the WETA universe as this technology continues its march out of the Uncanny Valley. WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES takes over theaters everywhere July 14. The cast pits Woody Harrelson against the primates mostly, vs Andy Serkis, Steve Zahn, even Judy Greer is in this.

See details below for all the relevant hashtags and social media hoo-ha.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES 411

Action/Drama

Release: July 14, 2017
Director: Matt Reeves
Written by: Mark Bomback & Matt Reeves
Producers: Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver
Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer & Terry Notary

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES on Interwebs

WEBSITE: http://WarForThePlanet.com
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ApesMovies
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/ApesMovies
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/ApesMovies/

#WarForThePlanet

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Men Running in Movies & Who Tops A-List of Screen Sprinters?

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent You could say it’s a sweaty little secret, but in ninety-nine percent of all enduring Hollywood blockbuster smash hits, inevitably some man will break into a sprint to save his life. Consider Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow as a running man, from himself and various Admirals, Captains, Dead Men, and […]

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Finding DOLORES: Dolores Huerta Finally Gets The Big Screen, An American Activist

Curated by Screenmancer Staff

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www.doloreshuerta.org

LOS ANGELES, CA – PBS Distribution announced today that theatrical dates have been set for DOLORES, which they acquired with Independent Lens out of the Sundance Film Festival in January. The film will open theatrically on the Friday of Labor Day weekend (September 1, 2017) in New York City exclusively at IFC Center.

It will open in Los Angeles on Friday, September 8th at the Nuart Theatre, and then expand to other markets nationwide.

The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this year and continues to be a favorite on the festival circuit, garnering Audience Awards at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, Houston Latino Film Festival and the Denver Women + Film Festival, as well as receiving the Golden Space Needle Best Documentary Award from the Seattle International Film Festival.  It has also been an official selection at AFI Docs, Hot Docs, and over twenty other film festivals.

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Photo by NHBachs

WHO IS DOLORES HUERTA?

Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized.

Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century—and she continues the fight to this day, at 87.

With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother and ardent champion of human rights, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to social change.

The film is directed by Peter Bratt (LA MISSION) and Executive Produced by humanitarian and Grammy Award-winning musician Carlos Santana.DoloresH17

About PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system and production partners. PBS Distribution offers its customers a diverse range of programming, including Ken Burns’s films, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programs. As a multi-channel distributor, PBS Distribution offers consumers high-quality content in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download and digital streaming. PBS Distribution reaches expanded audiences through PBS International, a leading source for factual content for broadcast, cable and satellite services outside of North America, and a theatrical initiative, which specializes in theatrical, festival and non-theatrical distribution.

DISCOVERY DOLORES HUERTA

You can find out more about her at this link, and the documentary at this PBS-affiliated website. Dolores Huerta makes us all remember that ‘civic engagement’ is an empowering phrase and our civic duty.

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DARK TOWER Casts Wild Shadow with Baddie McConaughey & Pistol-Packing Idris Elba

by Screenmancer Staff It doesn’t entirely ruin the mystique around Stephen King’s eight-novel series “The Dark Tower” to know that the name of the main character, played by Idris Elba in the upcoming Columbia Pictures release of the same name, is from a Robert Browning poem. In fact it kind of arts it up. Browning’s […]

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Get Ready To Be Entranced: Sofia Coppola’s THE BEGUILED Grips

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

There was a time when Sofia Coppola could be at an awards show and overlooked as a famous daughter; not anymore, not for years now since LOST IN TRANSLATION. But in her new film, THE BEGUILED, which is a retool of a 1971 Clint Eastwood starrer, she really comes of age as a visionary writer/director. Even in what is considered a remake of a movie based on a novel by Thomas Cullinan, it has a distinctive feel that’s all hers. The film opens Friday, June 23 in New York and Los Angeles, with wider release on June 30.KidanBGniceWith an all-star cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning, you get a sense of why this movie won Best Director at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival.

Picture a Southern all-girls boarding school during the battle-weary Civil War era, and a wounded enemy soldier appears. John McBurney (Colin Farrell) adds testosterone to a very delicate and well-mannered yet highly complex microcosm of women led by a formidable Headmistress named Miss Martha (Nicole Kidman).

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“This is my dream cast,” Sofia Coppola admits. “When I was writing it, I was picturing Nicole as Miss Martha. She always surprises me. Watching her, I’ve never seen anyone like that, she does so many different things at once.” She adds that the whole cast is on a par with Kidman.

You want to use a word like confection for the ethereal feel, but that description doesn’t do justice to the depth of rich multi-layered images that float on the screen like Spanish moss.

“This is very much a Sofia film,” Colin Farrell explains. “It’s very much aesthetically beautiful. She wrote every word of this. Her way feels maybe more right than some [as far as directing], there’s an immense lack of tension on the set, very playful. She’s incredibly easygoing and generous to her core it seems.”ColinDunstBG

Farrell is underscoring the fact that a remake can often feel like a re-do of someone else’s vision.

But if you look at the 1971 version, two minutes into the film, Eastwood is literally hitting on a twelve year old, with “not too young for kisses.” And even though the fabulous Geraldine Page stars as his Miss Martha, there’s a creepy feel to their interplay, down the line. So that’s essentially the breaking point for the 2017 Beguiled. It takes a left turn at the way the heightened sexual tension is framed.

“I didn’t know the movie and I watched it, and it really stayed in my mind. I watched it. It was so weird, and I thought ‘how would I do my version?’” I thought it would be interesting to do the same story but from the female characters’ point of view.”

Elle Fanning, who plays Alicia, describes her character as kind of an empowered seductress, but still innocent in a real way. “Anything Sofia does I think is incredible, it was also like, ‘yeah.’ Because it was all these girls and women — and Colin of course— they hold the power.”ColinElleBG

“The original film had been made from a guy’s point of view, so I went back to the book. Because I just liked the premise,” Coppola adds. “It’s such a crazy, extreme premise about power between men and women in such an extreme situation. The idea of looking at wartime from the point of view of the women left behind.”

“You try to make it personal. Try to relate to the characters because it’s such a different time. And yet I loved that it had elements that were familiar to me, this feminine beautiful world. A beautiful feminine world with violence and very gothic.”

“My tendency is to be on the subtle side. Colin was teasing me: ‘Oh, this is an action movie to you, there’s guns… there’s blood.’ It’s been fun to have this mix of beautiful dresses and a little gore. We had smoke machines everyday, and candlelight… a really ethereal look that is specific to this story.”

“Colin is a good sport about being our sex object in the movie, but he has to be dangerous and threatening, and romantic in the movie.” Farrell plays a mercenary soldier paid $300 off the boat from Ireland to fight as a Yankee, so he’s neither North nor South, but emblematic of the unspoken ever-present struggle for control between the sexes.

When the crushing attractions flare up between Farrell’s character and the many flavors of female in this strange closed world hunkered down  under siege of musket fire in a distance, Beguiled really poses some interesting questions about how women express their sexuality. Yet there’s a brutality to their mannered world that Farrell’s soldier-on-the-mend only begins to realize when it’s too late.

Not that every movie needs a memorable line, but when his John McBurney yells out “You Vengeful Bitches,” in a thick Irish accent, it’s an instant classic. Probably because Nicole Kidman’s Miss Martha is so poised and possibly inherently evil at the same time, in a nice way.NicBGbad17

Kirsten Dunst, who plays wronged love interest Edwina, sums up Sofia Coppola’s deft directing hand best, as “she doesn’t second guess herself. I’ve known her for so long, I’m working with my friend, you can’t really beat that.”

Since he is outnumbered in this eerie thriller, Colin Farrell gets the last word. “I’m surrounded by extraordinary talent. Watching these extraordinary women do extraordinary work. There’s an amazing sense of camaraderie. It’s been a joy.”

Don’t miss what the women have in store for their wounded houseguest, it’s a very rewarding fight to the finish.

Focus Features awards-buzzworthy film THE BEGUILED rolls out in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, June 23, with wider release on June 30.

Directed by Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation,” “Somewhere”)
Written by Sofia Coppola, based on the novel by Thomas Cullinan and the screenplay by Albert Maltz and Grimes Grice
Starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice, Addison Riecke, Emma Howard.

Watch This Making-of With Director & Cast

 

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93 Minutes I Rated R

Official Site I Facebook I Twitter I Instagram

#TheBeguiled #VengefulBitches

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