It’s been a while, hasn’t it? A look around at who’s saying what out on the interview circuit:
You just directed your first film, Deficit. Can we get a plot preview?
We’re still editing, so I can only say blurry things. It’s a story about loss of privileges and the end of impunity. It revolves around a family.
When this film gets distributed in the U.S., do you think any of these "America bashing" issues will come into play? Has there been any talk of recutting the film for U.S. release?
There’s been no talk of recutting. Actually I’m very curious to see whether the average American audience will accept this. But if you compare The Host to a Michael Moore film, its social commentary is very soft. In any case, Hollywood always has some kind of political subtext. Even in the summer blockbuster movies that are supposedly nonpolitical, there is social significance to the fact that the villains come from the Middle East or North Korea, though many Americans don’t think of it that way. Audiences can find social criticism in The Host or just flip it around and think that this time it just happens to be the Americans who are the bad guys.
I wanted to make a tragedy that included sex and emotion to see how it would affect the audience, and to deal with the production problems that that entails. But this film, like the preceding film, was hard to finance and to shoot, because I was speaking openly about sex and pleasure. This kind of subject makes everyone afraid: the financiers, the actors, the distributors. Contrary to what one might think, there was latent censorship in France, both for the financing as well as for the theatrical distribution.
"I’ve been working my whole life to get an R rating… It’s all to do with the MPAA, those cock suckin’ mother fuckers. Let me tell you about the fuckin’ MPAA. They are a censorship board run by the studios to protect their films. So they shit all over the smaller independent films like mine. This means we’re allowed to watch Sharon Stone fuckin’ the shit out of Michael Douglas before she stabs him, but I can’t show what I wanna show. It’s the most corrupt system in the world."
Heâ€™s shooting a Kumar sequel right now, and as for his recent stint as a terrorist on 24, he admits, â€œI have a huge political problem with the role. It was essentially accepting a form of racial profiling. I think itâ€™s repulsive. But it was the first time I had a chance to blow stuff up and take a family hostage. As an actor, why shouldnâ€™t I have that opportunity? Because Iâ€™m brown and I should be scared about the connection between media images and peopleâ€™s thought processes?â€
Scurlock started filming with the intention of making a lighthearted film about Americans’ lust for riches and the route they take to get there. So early in filming, he interviewed Robin Leach, host of the mid-1980s series "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."
At a swank Las Vegas restaurant, Leach spits out the defining reason for American lucre-lust: "People always want the larger-than-life. Nobody would watch ‘Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown.’ "
"Um . . . I wasn’t really excited by the role," she says of the chance to play the dour wife to Gyllenhaal‘s cartoonist-cum-amateur investigator. "It’s a little one-note."
+ Q&A with Gael Garcia Bernal (Time)
+ The Han River Horror Show: An Interview with Bong Joon-ho (Cineaste)
+ Jean-Claude Brisseau, Director of "Exterminating Angels" (indieWIRE)
+ Kid rocker (Guardian)
+ The White-Castle Ceiling (New York)
+ In debt up to our eyeballs (San Francisco Chronicle)
+ Sevigny, Taking Fate Into Her Own Hands (Washington Post)