By Damon Smith
Prolific British director Michael Winterbottom (b.1961) will be tough to pin down or even more durable to categorize. Over 16 years, he has created function movies as disparate and stylistically diversified as Welcome to Sarajevo, 24 Hour occasion humans, during this international, Butterfly Kiss, and The Killer within Me. yet during this assortment, the 1st English-language quantity to assemble foreign profiles and substantive interviews with the Blackburn local, Winterbottom finds how operating with small crews, on hand gentle, hand held electronic cameras, radio mics, and minuscule budgets permits him fewer constraints than such a lot filmmakers, and the facility to catch the specificity of the destinations the place he shoots.In Michael Winterbottom: Interviews he emerges as an industrious filmmaker devoted to a stripped-down technique whose predicament with outsiders and docu-realist authenticity have remained consistent all through his career.Collecting items from information periodicals in addition to scholarly journals, together with formerly unpublished interviews and the first-ever translation of a long, illuminating trade with the French editors of Positif, this quantity spans the complete breadth of Winterbottom's significantly eclectic feature-film career.Damon Smith, Brooklyn, ny, is a movie programmer and editor for Babelgum. His paintings has seemed in opposite Shot, Boston Globe, day out ny, Cinema Scope, and several guides.
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Additional info for Michael Winterbottom: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers)
Then Lindsay Anderson did a documentary on British cinema for which I was documentarian. After this, I made several small films for television and two documentaries on Ingmar Bergman. Q: Were they personal projects? A: With my producer I proposed them to Channel Four. I was lucky because of circumstances. In fact, it was especially during the preparation, when I immersed myself in his films over six months, that I really 9 10 m i c h a e l w i n t e r b o t t o m : i n t e r v i e w s became passionate, not only for Bergman’s oeuvre, in its immensity and diversity, but especially for his way of working, of controlling everything.
At the time I was living in the countryside, and Hardy, himself a provincial, projected himself a lot in Jude. This idealist, anti-conformist aspect, and this feeling of marginality gave the novel its power and its passion. Even though in life he succeeded at everything Jude dreamed of and failed at, [Hardy] always considered himself excluded from the intellectual elite of the time. Ironically, this book caused a scandal and was his last. Q: Did you choose Hossein Amini yourself? A: Yes. He was a very young author and we’d seen one of his films without knowing him personally.
FIR: Could you explain aesthetically why you chose to shoot the opening of Jude in black and white? Winterbottom: What Eduardo, the cinematographer, and I wanted to do was to create a circular feel to the look of the film. Start in black and white, and by the end of the film we’re back to a kind of monochrome. Then, within that, we used filters to create slight shifts in color balance, and the costume design was intense and dark . . So the opening sequence was part of an overall scheme. I guess because it was cut off by ten years from the rest of the film, it also seemed like one way of clarifying that.
Michael Winterbottom: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers) by Damon Smith