How was life with rotary phones different
T R A U M: I have a dream
contentRead on one side
When you write a script, you dream up the whole film. When writing goes well it's bloody exciting, but it's also the most abstract part of filmmaking, and it's often very frustrating. The strongest motivation for me comes from an intense dream: I resolve to achieve something completely impossible with my film.
It might sound silly, but when I got along with my buddy Owen Wilson the Tenenbaums wrote - and on my previous film Rushmore if it was already like that - I wanted to try with all my might to surpass myself as much as possible. I resolved: Every single detail should be as great as it can be imagined. There should be as many of these fantastic details as possible in every scene. And so Owen and I had tons of ideas for them right from the start Tenenbaums : We already knew it should feature old-fashioned rotary phones, battered taxis and headbands. We also knew quite early on which sunglasses Anjelica Huston should wear, namely my mother's from the 1970s. We had a pretty clear idea of the setting: a New York that doesn't really exist. It's a New York as I dreamed of growing up in Texas reading novels by J. D. Salinger. I now live in Manhattan myself, but the city the Tenenbaum family lives in has a lot more to do with the broken New York that I like in 1970s films Taxi driver seen and pretty little with the reality on my doorstep. We sent a bunch of extreme characters into this world, a whole family of geniuses and child stars, all very independent, with complicated relationships with one another. What we still lacked was an action.
For a story to work, on the one hand the causes and effects must be clearly recognizable to which the viewer can hold on. But that is exactly how things are terribly simplified in many films. When writing, you want to create causal chains on the one hand - and at the same time leave as much open as possible for the audience. Getting that done is difficult, terribly difficult. And so we actually worked on this script for years. And that's why I have no more ardent wish than to finally write a script in a single writing frenzy in a short time. What could help me with writing, for example, would be to have new people around me who have new ideas or who trigger them in me. So another dream would be to meet the right people in the near future.
I am fascinated by people who are driven by completely unrealistic ambitions. They persistently pursue their dreams and hopes, even though they are miles beyond what they can realistically achieve. They are stubborn people who are not afraid of being found uncool by anyone in their zeal. Even up to an alarmingly advanced age, I firmly believed that I could win Wimbledon - even though I had never played tennis. I believed I had an innate, as yet completely untested talent that would bring me there. I had even the smallest details of the crucial tie-break clearly in mind throughout my childhood: I knew that my mental strength would ultimately help me to succeed in the decisive rally.
Just like this ambition, I am also interested in failure: What happens to people who have made their dreams come true? What do they do with their life after they have reached and passed their summit? A lot of my characters reach a completely excessive kind of fame very early on. And then they pay a price for it.
My new film is also a story about the risks of success, about all the complications that go with it. These are all things that fascinate me in real life. After you've written a script or two on the subject, you might think a little differently about the mechanisms of fame and failure. At best, you get a better overview. This is by no means immune to the dangers.
What begins after a dream has been fulfilled is not so much disappointment. The dream, in reality, just turns out to be something completely different. For example: for me it could have been the fulfillment of a dream to bring a film into the cinemas or to show it in the competition at the Berlinale. That's a very good thing, too, but every single step on the way there, every single step during a film festival, unfortunately doesn't have the magic, these surprise effects that a dream has. The dream comes true, but while it does come true, every single step doesn't feel like a dream at all.
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