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BEN COCCIO - Confronting Columbine in Zero Day

  "Zero Day could never have been made in Hollywood. Elephant [Gus Van Sant‘s Columbine-inspired film], I don't think, could even have been made in Hollywood. The larger studios would never touch it. Not before. Not after. Maybe in a long time from now. I remember watching Columbine on television and thinking to myself, ‘God, someday somebody's going to make some awful Columbine epic and it's going to stress the heroism of the day, however they find it.' Not that there wasn't heroism, I'm not trying to make light of the people that did heroic things in real life, but that, to me, is unfortunately not the significant story. It is a significant story, and someone could tell that, definitely. But I think the thing that America is culturally reeling from is, how could this happen? Why would this happen? And what, if anything, can we take away from this?"


DAVID SLADE - Brit director shares Hard Candy

 "We made Hard Candy for under a million dollars, we shot it in 18 days, and the reason we did that was because if we hadn't, we would have been forced to change the script and make it a little more lightweight. That was never something we wanted to do. Or would do. In fact this is a rare instance where the filmmakers set out to make a film and pretty much made the film they wanted to make. I said to Brian [Nelson, the screenwriter], ‘Do they realise what we're doing?' and he'd kind of look at me and go, ‘I don't think they do, no.'

"It has become almost normalised to portray women of whatever age as a sexual object - almost accepted within the structure of society - and to prime a child for that end is a dangerous thing. But it is the norm here, and many other places, and if you are irresponsible as a male and seek to exploit a young woman, society has set up the odds in your favour."


KEN LOACH/PAUL LAVERTY - Ruffling feathers with Palme d'Or winner The Wind that Shakes the Barley

ken_loach.jpg(KL) "We could have made a whole film of brutal acts and gone on for twenty-four hours. I mean just imagine it: they slit a man's throat, they tie him to a cart, they drag him for a mile and kill him. They beat a man's skull in. A woman comes to the door with a child in her arms, they shoot the mother. I mean how much brutality do you have to show for someone to actually take it and say, ‘Yes, we did that', without trying to get a sort of dagger in underneath?

"Everything that has emerged has been a protest, sometimes a violent protest, sometimes an aberrant protest, but nevertheless a protest, from the brutality of the British and the brutality of the British Empire embodied in bastards like Churchill, who not only sent the troops into Ireland, he sent the troops against Welsh miners in his own country when they wanted a decent wage. So we should have no tolerance at all for these questions that try to indicate that somehow the resistance to British brutality is not acceptable."


PAUL GREENGRASS - Decoding terror in United 93

 "We see these things happen on the television, and of course we’re shocked and momentarily we stop, pay our respects, but then we want to carry on with our lives, untouched, because it’s the World Cup coming, because I’m going to the pub, because I’ve got my holiday booked, and all that. And what we expect of these families is having had their anointed moment as victims, they disappear. But if you’re a family, compelled against your will and never expecting it to happen, parked up against the overwhelming psychological imperative to seek meaning, you refuse to accept victimhood. You demand to speak. You demand that we all address this issue. Why has this happened? What are we going to do about it?

these images of a bloody struggle for the controls of a plane that’s plunging to the earth is an image that speaks to where we’re going if we’re not very careful

“But we don’t really want to do that because to do it involves profound change, so you find often that we have this question, ‘Is it too early to do a film about 9/11?’ We don’t mean for them. They say, ‘Why wasn’t the film made the day after?’ We mean it’s too early for us to stop having our summer holidays and get to grips with this thing. Because we know what the context of this thing is. Every one of us, from wherever we are on the political spectrum, and whatever we think about what’s going on, know, ultimately, deep down, that our world is divided by this Western pocket of extraordinary modernity and wealth, and the rest of the world is a seething cauldron of resentment and anger...

"And obviously, clearly, clearly, we’re not improving the situation, the situation’s getting worse. So maybe we should go back to the place where it began. Wherever you are on the political spectrum, I think it’s common ground that something happened that day that caused our perceptions to change. So let’s sit down and tell the story of this one event and see what that tells us.”


Look Who's Hawking - Meet Welsh Mountain Short Makers Alias McMahon & Jones

Hawk is an upcoming short film that was written, directed and produced entirely by twenty-somethings. Shot on location in Snowdonia, Wales, for a budget of £50,000, the 35-minute film follows the life of young Rowan, who retreats into a fantasy realm of Celtic folklore touching on ancient gods and paganism.


DOMINIC SAVAGE - Romance and racism in Love + Hate

“I think a lot of racism is not a deeply held belief. If there’s a lot of other people who feel that way, it’s easy to feel that way too. So the Adam character in the film, in a way his racism is not deep-seated, because he wouldn’t be able to change so readily or quickly; it’s because of all the people around him and it’s because of those communities. Everyone falls in because it’s all part of the gang. I wanted to show that that change was possible. That maybe a lot of people really deeply, deeply feel that, and all it needs is for some emotion to take them over for that change to occur.”


ILLUSTRATOR DAVID LLOYD - Creating anarchy in the UK

davidlloyd"When we originally wrote V for Vendetta it was 1980-81, and Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979. She had only just started and the full weight of her influence only came about later with the miner’s strike in ’84, stuff like that, and it was around that time that we started to emphasise the political message and it became much more important to add those things as time went by. For me, the most important message is about individualism: the individual’s right to be individual and not be forced by fear into conformism. That’s the central message of it now, really."


MAY MILES THOMAS - digital pioneer

life's too short not to make movies
may miles thomas & owen thomas - one life stand

When One Life Stand premiered in 2000 it gave a glimpse of the possibilities that digital offered. As the UK's first DV feature film, made for not much more than a Tartan Short budget, self financing allowed helmer May Miles Thomas a remarkable degree of control. As writer, camera, editor and director, Thomas showed that digital heralded not only cheaper filmmaking, but, coupled with desktop editing, the potential for far great authorship over the entire process. And now, six years later, the film has finally been released - and is set to make its money back.


JOHN TURTURRO - Unleashing Kate Winslet

The first person I asked to play Tula was Kate [Winslet], and the reason was I saw her in Holy Smoke and I thought she was very uninhibited, and I wanted someone who could really play a wild character like that but also turn it on its head. When we met she was really, really skinny, because she had done Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and I was really disappointed. I was like, ‘Oh man, she’s really skinny.' But then she got pregnant after she had signed on. Everyone panicked, and I was like, ‘This is exactly what I wanted.' 

So thank you, Sam Mendes.