- 'Ad astra'.Amaze and fall in love
Ad astra is a film of space that runs inwards. The farther, deeper. As rare as extraordinary. It is also an artistic and commercial anomaly: by huge, ambitious and beautiful. James Gray (New York, 1969) presented the film that premieres on September 20 at the last Venice Mostra and there claimed his right to difference. This has been the case since in 1994 he surprised with Little Odessa . Under his belt, jewels of a rare cinema, deeply classic, such as The Night is Ours , Two lovers or Z. The Lost City .Have you ever quoted Orson Welles, who said that making a movie is a miracle. Has this movie been your biggest challenge? Without a doubt, it has been the most complex of my films. For my previous movie [ Z. The Lost City ] I went to the Amazon and I thought that was going to be the hardest. Here we were going to work in a studio. When I arrived on the set, I saw the same scenery built horizontally and vertically. In the first shot of the day, the camera was looking up in a tunnel that is supposed to be horizontal and Brad Pitt was hooked on wires ... I thought: 'Where did I get?' I admire the people who make these types of movies regularly. I don't know how there are people who make an Avengers movie after another. It would be said that madness is becoming routine ... Whenever you have the opportunity to do it, you have to do it. Because the public does not see those difficulties. Just watch the movie. I'm 50 years old, if I don't try it now when will I do it? At 73? Do not you have the impression that something late arrives in an already overcrowded space? Although I had already written the film in 2011, the truth is that both Gravity and Interstellar were ahead of me. In a way, they served as a guinea pig to develop some techniques. Christopher Nolan is a good friend and seems to always be ahead. You make the movies when you have the chance and that sometimes helps you and sometimes hurts you. Time ago he said that 'Ad astra' was between 'Apocalypse now' and '2001: a space odyssey' ... I said it as a joke and I regret it a lot. The reason I said it was that I was interested in the idea of mythical hero. I don't mean the superhero. If you look at 2001 Kubrick tries to build a homeric myth. It is titled A Space Odyssey , the main character is called Bowman (archer), there are one-eyed cyclops (the computer) ... 2001 , which I see as one of the best films of all time, becomes a kind Myth of gods. You are not touched by the vicissitudes of Keir Dullea, but you are excited by the film itself. It has a kind of metapower. In Apocalypse now , it is a mythical journey and even the Playboy girls seem to arise from the Odyssey . I have tried to use Greek myths as a kind of cornerstone that culminates in redemption with the figure of the father. That is why I said what I said. Now that you mention it, father-son relationships are a constant in your cinema ... The idea of redemption with the father is very powerful. It connects, for example, with the MeToo , which is a matter of crucial importance, but it seems a superficial discussion. The issue of male behavior, of toxic masculinity, has not been present in American or world life. The reflection of the film is my way of implicitly criticizing male behavior; It is my way of looking beyond the surface of masculinity. "The pulsations never raise you above 80, you are a big man!" He says. But under that surface there is an emotionally very weak person, with many problems. How many times have we heard of someone who is a genius of mathematics, but never says of anyone who is a genius managing his emotions. And yet, any cell phone has a calculator capable of doing everything we learned from math in school. It is emotions that put us above artificial intelligence and in the coming decades they will be increasingly important. Is this the reason why you chose an outer space populated by isolated men? Yes, I was very aware of the absence of the traditional notion of the feminine in history and it was my way of exploring those ideas that you have to be strong, brave ... I see it with my children. Although they are very young, there is already a social pressure on them to behave like men. My daughter does feel she can show her emotions. This has devastating effects on our culture. Do you feel politically responsible for your work? I think the job of the creators is to analyze what goes wrong, not what goes well. Would you say that your cinema is an answer to Eastwood-like masculinity ? Yes, to a large extent. But Eastwood is an excellent and very interesting director. I remember when I saw Unforgiven and it seemed obvious that Eastwood adopted this male mythology, but at the same time criticized it. It is a much more sophisticated film than we think. Use the myth to dismantle it. Do you think it is possible to criticize violence by showing it? Yes, it is necessary. The world is a violent place. Showing it is a way to create debate about the subject. Wild Bull is a very violent movie, but my reaction after seeing it is not to beat up my brother and my wife. It is the ethical component of the film that makes it a transcendent experience. Shakespeare is violent. I don't think it's a problem. It would be if the world were not violent, but it is not like that. Speaking of the industry, what is the biggest danger: Netflix or mergers like Disney and Fox? Netflix is not the problem. In fact, Netflix is producing very beautiful works. The problem is ... This gives for a very long conversation. When movies like The Godfather or Love Story were made , they were released in a few rooms. When movies began to have to be released in 5,500 cinemas at a time, they became dependent not only on marketing , but on becoming something that is instantly recognized as a product. I don't know how that process can be reversed. Let's think about what happened in the opera. After the death of Puccini in 1925, the opera began to become increasingly interested in fewer productions that became more expensive and the consequence is that in the following years there were very few people writing operas. Is that what will happen with The cinema can be. What could also happen is that the films grow to a point that exceeds our way of seeing the medium originally. The experience may evolve into something we do not imagine today. By the way, you are working on an opera ... At Marriage in Figaro . Rehearsals begin October 14 and will be a total catastrophe. It's the first time I do it [laughs].
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