|Todd Haynes developed an interest in film at an early age. He studied semiotics at Brown University and directed his first short film Assassins: A Film Concerning Rimbaud in 1985 (Haynes refers to the poet Arthur Rimbaud also in I'm Not There).|
1987, being a student Haynes made the short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, which chronicles the life of American pop singer Karen Carpenter, using Barbie dolls as actors and presenting Carpenter's struggle with anorexia and bulimia.
Haynes' 1991 feature film debut, Poison was drawing on the writings of Jean Genet, as a triptych of queer-themed narratives, each adopting a different cinematic genre: vox-pop documentary ("Hero"), 50s sci-fi horror ("Horror") and gay prisoner love story ("Homo"). Poison marked Haynes' first collaboration with producer Christine Vachon, who has since produced all of Haynes' feature films.
Haynes' next short film Dottie Gets Spanked (1993) revealed Haynes' playful obsession with spanking as sexual activity.
Haynes' second feature film, [Safe] (1995), was a portrait of a San Fernando Valley housewife, who develops violent allergies to her middle-class suburban existence.
Velvet Goldmine (1998) was an intentionally chaotic tribute to the 1970s glam rock era, drawing heavily on the rock histories and mythologies of glam rockers. Starting with Oscar Wilde as the spiritual godfather of glam rock, the film revels in the gender and identity experimentation and fashionable bisexuality of the era, and acknowledges the transformative power of glam rock as an escape and a form of self-expression for gay teenagers.
I'm Not There (2007) returned to the mythology of pop music, portraying the life and legend of Bob Dylan through seven fictional characters played by six actors: Richard Gere, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw and Christian Bale. Haynes obtained Dylan's approval to proceed with the film, and the rights to use his music in the soundtrack, after presenting a one-page summary of the film's concept to Jeff Rosen, Dylan's long-time manager.
Each character (none of whom is called Dylan) represents a different aspect of Dylan's life or musical career. Franklin, a teenaged African-American actor, plays a character called Woody, referencing Woody Guthrie's influence on Dylan's early career, and making a playful visual joke on Dylan's early habit of passing himself off as a drifter from the Dustbowl Southern states and denying his own middle-class Mid-Western origins. Bale plays two roles: an earnest young folk musician involved in the civil rights movement in the early 1960s and dueting with folk singer Alice Fabian (Julianne Moore, impersonating Joan Baez), and later as a middle-aged born again Christian in the early 1980s. Gere plays a reclusive character called Billy, retreating from the world in an American pastoral, referencing Dylan's interest in American folk mythology and his performance in Sam Peckinpah's 1973 film Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid; the sequence also alludes to Dylan's period of exile living in Woodstock in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Whishaw plays a character called Arthur, filmed undergoing an interrogation-style interview about the responsibility of the artist to society; the character is named for and heavily based on the French poet Arthur Rimbaud, whose work Dylan admired, and whose precocious career as a teenaged genius and rebel Dylan to some extent emulated. Ledger plays Robbie, a Method Actor involved in a relationship with a painter, Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), with whom he has children and subsequently divorces. Claire's character is based on Dylan's former girlfriend Suze Rotolo and his wife, and the Robbie sequence considers accusations made against Dylan of his misogyny in his life and work. Blanchett plays Jude, a pop singer based closely on Dylan in his mid-1960s "Electric" era and his involvement with Pop Art and Warhol's Factory; Jude chases an on-again off-again relationship with socialite/model Coco Rivington (Michelle Williams), a character based on Edie Sedgwick, with whom Dylan is reputed to have had an affair. The Jude sequence also features David Cross as Beat poet Allen Ginsberg.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Kino Kaiku film club in Malmitalo - welcome!
Posted by NOMADIC ACADEMY OF EXPERIMENTAL ARTS at 8:31 AM