Adrien Brody Star of Summer Of Sam Spike Lee's new film, Summer Of Sam, is a sprawling account of rising tensions in a Bronx neighbourhood during the long, hot New York summer of 1977. There are two backdrops: the murder spree of serial killer David Berkowitz, the 'Son Of Sam', and the musical world of disco and punk rock. There's a great scene in which the Sex Pistols-loving, spikey-haired Ritchie (Adrien Brody) goes mental, crashing around his apartment, thrashing his guitar senseless. Elsewhere in the film, Ritchie’s neighbourhood pals take the piss out of him for his punk posing and mock-cockney accent.
'Spike made me take guitar lessons every day, which was very helpful. I watched a lot of old pornography, got a cockney accent coach,’ recalls Brody of his preparation for the role. Going mental with spikey hair sounds like fun, but Brody sees a lot more in Ritchie than a directionless rebel without a cause. 'Well, it's with a cause. Ritchie's very much not wanting to be controlled by his surroundings and trying to find who he is. He’s very free and
was good for me.’
Director of Following
One of the most remarkable aspects of Following, the feature debut of writer/ director/cinematographer Christopher Nolan, is that this stylish and enigmatic crime thriller was completed for less than £7000. ’In America there is a tradition of no-budget filmmaking which doesn’t seem the case over here in Britain,’ explains Nolan. ’Generally,
doesn't give a shit. I gave a shit too much at that point in my career — the character I played before that in The Thin Red Line was afraid and introverted. So the part
Although Ritchie is a pivotal role — he ultimately becomes a scapegoat during the hunt for Berkowitz — Brody is working with an ensemble cast. 'When you work with a large cast it takes the pressure off you to carry the film,’ he explains. 'Everybody’s on the screen for two hours; you share that, and you play off each other. But then there’s also that thrill of playing a lead
Stalker: Lucy Russell and Jeremy Theobald in Following
Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's Adrien Brody: Summer Of Sam
character; you can explore things deeper and get a really full sense of the character.’ Brody is yet to be seen playing an ’evil, cold, cold,
manipulative character' in a thriller, Oxygen. He is also to
low-budget filmmakers tend to get everything together for a short period of time and then shoot the film in a couple of weeks. My approach was completely different. All my actors and myself were working full time in other jobs. So we rehearsed over a SIX month period and then we shot on borrowed equipment for one day a week, which was usually Saturday. We could only afford to do one or two takes of each
appear in Barry Levinson’s Liberty Heights and Ken Loach's
Bread And Roses. Brody's career choices are fairly eclectic. 'I’ve played a lot of different roles,’ says Brody. ‘I
would like to avoid repeating myself, because it gets
boring. It’s a challenge to go really far away from
yourself and back.’ (Miles Fielder)
I Summer Of 5am opens Fri 74 Jan. See review
shot. It took us about twenty days to film in black and white, spread out over a year.’
The tale of a writer who's lured into a criminal underworld after an encounter With a compulsive burglar, Fol/owrng was inspired more by literature than by movres. ’l’m really interested in the crime novels of writers like Jim Thompson,’ confesses Nolan. ’I loved the idea of a story in which character is defined through action. And perhaps my favourite novel is Graham Swrft’s Water/and, in which he has five or six parallel time-lines With alternating narrators.’
Nolan inSIsts that Fol/owing's achronological and non-linear narrative is much more than a gimmick. ’I understand narrative to be a controlled release of information,’ he continues, ’and you can control that on any ba3is, not necessarily chronological. When we tell stories in real life, we naturally re-order the information to make it more dramatic.’
Already at work on a $10 million thriller for Fox Searchlight, the director certainly doesn’t want Fol/owing to be labelled as a calling-card proiect. ’That doesn't do the film Justice. It took us four years to make and it requned a tremendous amount of patience and pas3ion to get it finished' (Tom Dawson)
l Fol/owing opens on Fri 74 Jan. See review.
Raoul Ruiz Director of Time Regained
Filming the work of Marcel Proust is the cinematic egurxalent of ascending Mount E\8lt’sl Directors of the calibre of l,c)s0\. and \dStOllll have attempted and failed Which makes the achrexement of Raoul Ruiz, who has adapted the final \OILllllt‘ of Proust's Remembrance Of firings Past in Time Regained, all the more commendable A significant success at the French box-office, this is a costume drama which elegantly fuses past and present, fact and fiction, the imagined and the remembered, true to the voice and spirit of the writer's work
A Chilean expatriate whose work has always veered towards the offbeat, Rur/ first began reading Proust as thirteen-year-o|d when he was a schoolboy in South America 'The first book I read was the only one I could find, which was Time Regained, and which, of course, is the last in the senes,’ says Rui/ 'As a filmmaker I've spent about twenty years, on and off, trying to make a Proust film What I notrcecl was that everyone who wanted to make Proust before me was not French '
’The appeal of Proust for me,’ continues Ruiz, ’was that it wouch enable me to make a film wrthout a plot I've been fighting all my life against the idea of a central conflict narrative, where everything is subordinated to the plot and where the story becomes like a tennis match With somebody wrnning and somebody losing Proust concentrates on details and objects If people ask what happens in Time Regained, I can say that it isn’t about action, but about Proust’s vrsion '
Rurz managed to assemble a stellar cast for his production, including such cosmopolitan talents as Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Beart and John Malkovrch Did he always intend particular actors for specific roles? ’l'd already worked wrth Catherine and wrote Odette With her in rnrnd. Emmanuelle as Gilberte was a dream of mine, while lvlalkowch had the acting madness needed to play Baron de Charlus.’
With Time Regained, Ruiz may have reached the summit (Tom Dawson)
I Time Regained opens on Fri 7 Jan. See revrew Monumental masquerade: Time Regained
7—20 Jan 2000 THE “ST 23