The Film Festival’s Sam Mendes interview was pretty good value. I think he got into a bit of a fankle, mentally, when he started talking about how he was more concerned with “truth” in his new movie, and had been more interested in “stylisation” beforehand — I don’t see the two as incompatible, and indeed I feel that expressing a truth is actually the PURPOSE of stylisation. Why do it otherwise? “Unreal but true,” was Orson Welles’s battle-cry. This disconnect between the mythical realms of form and content may be the source of my creeping dissatisfaction with stuff like AMERICAN BEAUTY.
But Mendes was delightful when discussing the late Conrad Hall. “He was seventy-five when we did ROAD TO PERDITION,” he recalled, “and he would forget he was wearing his headphones, his cans, like an old guy with an iPod, he would shout. So when I look at that scene, I remember filming it, and at the end of the shot Tom Hanks had run right up to us and was standing behind Conrad, who was looking at the monitor, and Conrad yelled, ‘Jesus, Tom Hanks runs like a fucking duck!’”
Conrad Hall will be missed.