Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Trip to Mt. Olympus

A few posts ago, I alluded to a project that kept me busy through much of last week. Here's the scoop: I spent an hour and a half of last Thursday morning interviewing Lynne Ramsay, whom I consider the most interesting young filmmaker working in the English language, and whose Morvern Callar is still my favorite film of this decade, give or take Russian Ark. (The Scene Stealer is also on record as a big fan.)

Ramsay was an absolute delight to talk to, remarkably humble and accessible for someone who, at least for me, inspires such total awe. I had a great time asking her about her experiences in film school, her working method with her brilliant cinematographer, her three impeccable short films (all of them available on the Criterion DVD of her first feature, Ratcatcher), and her pair of upcoming projects, both of which sound like bold new choices for a director who seemingly can't put a foot wrong.

All of this was sublime enough for me without the cosmically ordained moment when I asked her about the last occasion when a movie really blew her out of the water, and she described watching Ingmar Bergman's Persona, deep in the Australian bush, in a tent she was sharing with Jane Campion. Most of you will understand immediately why I experienced this confession as pure delirium, verging on phone sex, but if you're confused, click here and take note of #1 and #5.

The interview will appear in the May '06 issue of Stop Smiling Magazine, for whom my next assignment will be a review of the forthcoming 7-disc set of Tennessee Williams adaptations. What I ever did to or for Stop Smiling to prompt all this kindness, I will never know.

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