Thinking a lot about the fray that I’ve finally entered by directing a movie… where do I want to be? Somewhere between Wenders and Campion? Too arty? No…. these are just two of my notional mentors and, believe me, I go back a long way with them. What’s so interesting is both to revisit (Wenders) and to see what they’re up to now (Campion): this morning I watched Wenders’ 1975 WRONG MOVEMENT (FALSCHE BEWEGUNG) – a play on Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister, scripted by that master of Teutonic postwar angst, Peter Handke. Also caught up on episode four of Jane Campion’s TV serial, TOP OF THE LAKE. Both have a stillness and uncanny quality which I find gripping and absorbing. And truthful. And both start with an interiority in the central characters and work outwards into a disturbed and disturbing narrative. I think TV is doing this brilliantly at the moment: not afraid of letting us learn about a character through a slow unfolding of looks, as well as dialogue.
Landscape also plays a huge part in the emotional language of Wenders and Campion and I found this and all the other things that I’ve been talking about watching the first episode of SOUTHCLIFFE on Channel 4, directed by Sean Durkin and scripted by my friend Tony Grisoni.
So what DON’T I like? Well, WORLD’S END was pretty lacking in ambition and I’m ultimately a bit meh with FRANCES HA. Eric Rohmer did it all so much better.
Keep watching… and reflecting: it’s all useful.