i ht here, rig tnow
Following the success of Swingers, DOUG LIMAN has opted to direct Go, another modestly-budgeted indie movie. ‘tVores: Nigel Floyd
"l'he studio lilms just w ercn‘l ambitious enough.‘ explains l)oug l.iman ol' the choices he laced alter his debut. Swingers became a hit. 'l think necessity breeds inyention. and I knew that it was going to take all my wiles to pull ol‘l‘ something as ambitious as (in. especially on a small budget. Actually. I'm doing a studio l'ilm nest. an adaptation of Robert l.udlum‘s noyel 'l'ln' lfurrrm' Ir/r'tllily'. but it look a long time to find something that I felt would push me.’ Structured l’u/p l-"it'rr'on-style. around three interwoy'en stories. (In is a dark. edgy comedy-thriller about marginalised l..»\ twentysomethings taking drugs. taking risks and getting burned. l.iman is happy tor (in to be compared with l’u/p fiction. but only so he can point out the radical dit't‘erences between Quentin 'l‘arantino's film and his own. '(io is a ﬁlm that celebrates lit'e. l’u/p [Vii-lion is ll liillti llltll CL‘lL‘hl'illL‘S Llc‘ullt tllttl gtit'c‘. l like llic‘sc‘ characters. The whole thing about these young people is that they take risks but. like cats. they always land on their feet - they‘re suryiyorsf ()n the page. .lohn August's script t‘or (in seemed much darker. especially to ner'yotis studio e\ecuti\es. But what attracch l.iman was his cony iction that he could ﬁnd the humour in the e\treme situations. without losing
109 THE LIST .‘6 2‘ N‘I‘
'Go is a film that celebrates life. Pulp Fiction is a film that celebrates death' Doug Liman
Swinger: Doug Liman, director of Go
that edge of danger. The trigger word was .
'Nihilistic. That exact word was used by an extremely close friend of mine in l.:\. and it was that that conyinced me to make the tilm.’ says Liman. 'I use her as a sort of sounding board. and she‘d panned the script for .S'u'ingvrs because she said. "Who the hell is gonna like Trent. he‘s so horrible". So I needed to make that ﬁlm to show her why she was going to like him. Then. with (in. she said: “I don’t understand why you want to make it. it‘s so dark and nihilistic". But I was thinking. “What are you talking about. this was the most uplil‘ting script I‘d read in years". So I realised that I had a unique take on this material that wasn’t readily apparent on the page. and that's why I needed 10 go make il..
()ne ol (in's great strengths is the way it constantly w'rongl‘oots the audience. inyiting us to make assumptions about the characters and situations then throwing tis ol‘l-lmlance by slyly subyerting them. When soap stars '/.ack and Adam reluctantly end up at a bizarre (‘hristmas liye dinner with the creepy Burke and his oddly l‘lirtatious wile. the oby'iotts assumption is that they‘re swingers. The reality" is far more prosaic. yet tar more surprising: "l‘hat was one of the things I tell in loye with in John August's script.' enthuses l.iman. ‘lt was so lull of these surprises that weren't at all gi‘attiitous. They all make sc‘ltsc‘.
'\\'hen you ﬁnd out the real reason that Burke and his wile are acting so weirdly towards Zack and Adam. you don‘t feel like you were robbed or misled. You're like. "()h. I see. now it all makes sense". The script plays on the obyious assumption that you would make. but then you feel dumb l'or making it. l'ye read a lot of screenplays that try to haye twists in them and John .»\ttgust's was the only where those twists l‘elt organic to the characters and the plot.‘
Go opens Fri 3 Sep. See review.
Lights, camera, action . . .
THE TARTAN SHORTS competition deadline has been announced. Applications for next year's batch of prestigious short films must be submitted by Fri 3 Sep. Full details complete with guidelines and application forms are available from Judy Anderson at Scottish Screen on 0141 3021752.
EDINBURGH HAS JOINED Glasgow with the launch of a film charter to attract more film production into the capital. The announcement, coinciding with the first week of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, was made by the economic development committe convener, Lezley Cameron O'Brien and former Film Festival director and Scene By Scene producer, Mark Cousins. The charter makes available to filmmakers all of the City Council's public services, aims to keep red tape to minimum, respects local residents's rights and hopes to increase revenue generated by visiting productions.
MOVIE MAKARS 1999, a week-long residential course for UK-based writers and producers, will take place at Eden Court Theatre, lnverness 8—12 Nov. Entry is competitive and a full first draft screenplay plus references from two directors or producers is required to be submitted. The deadline is Mon 13 Sep and further information and application forms are available from Sarah Jane Kerr at Movie Makars, Scottish Screen on 0141 302 1764, fax 0141 3021715 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
STANLEY KUBRICK IS to be honoured with the Directors Guild of Great Britain's Lifetime Achievement Award. Kubrick is only the fourth film director to be bestowed with the award. The other directors are Fred Zinnemann, Roy Boulting and Alan Parker. Kubrick's wife, Christiane will accept the award on his behalf at a ceremony held in London's Park Lane Hotel on 9 Sep, the day before his final film, Eyes Wide Shut opens in the UK. See Stanley Kubrick feature next issue.
The path of glory: Stanley Kubrick