“Film magazines are obsessed with budgets, grosses and gossip. The business of movies has become ‘business.’ Film people talk about the ‘Business’, the ‘Industry.’ A script is a ‘property.’ My contracts with the studios give them the right to ‘exploit’ my films in perpetuity. And we filmmakers, when we talk to journalists and critics, are mostly promoting our ‘product.’ We lie a lot. Mendacity and marketing are like love and marriage. Projections has come about so that filmmakers may reflect on their concerns with as much honesty as they can muster and speak directly to fellow practitioners.” —John Boorman
The first issue includes a journal compiled by John Boorman which records his responses to the events and trends of 1991, and their implications for the future of cinema. Like his diary, it is a fascinating mix of anecdote, personal reflections, thoughts on the nature of cinema, and comments on the practical business of making films.
It is well known that Stanley Kubrick will not fly, does not travel, is a famous recluse. But he uses the telephone a lot and he calls me from time to time, usually looking for information. Information is the pretext. He likes to chat. I asked him what he was doing. ‘Writing,’ he said cryptically. He asked me what I was doing. ‘Writing,’ I replied. Why should I reveal more to him than he would to me, for in neither of our recent talks would he vouchsafe the subject of his next film? I think he is right. I wish I could say nothing as effectively as he does. He asked me if I still wrote my scripts in the traditional format. Well, yes, I said, I did. I always feel stupid in conversation with Stanley. He challenges every convention, questions all received wisdom, and here am I doing things the way others do them without a critical thought in my head. He argued that scripts were impossible to read, because your eye always went to the dialogue and skipped the directions. This was because of the layout. It put undue emphasis on what was said. To stop the reader doing this he reverses the order, spreading out the dialogue and narrowing the descriptions. The conventional way is like this (a script fragment from Broken Dream). Stanley’s way would have it like this. Reading it over, I think Stanley may be right. —Bright Dreams, Hard Knocks: A Journal for 1991 by John Boorman
Projections also contains contributions from cinematographer Nestor Almendros, who describes the craft of photographing the human face, and from Jonathan Demme, who traces the evolution of his career from his early days with Roger Corman to his chilling Silence of the Lambs. River Phoenix and Gus Van Sant discuss their work together on My Own Private Idaho; there is a script from one of the most original talents in American today, Hal Hartley, and a penetrating account by director Michael Mann of his startling new version of Last of the Mohicans.
- We asked a number of directors from all over the world the following question: If you were given an unlimited budget, and were under no obligation to distribute it, what film would you make?
- Film Fiction: More Factual than Facts by Samuel Fuller
- The Early Life of a Screenwriter by Emeric Pressburger
You can order the book from Faber and Faber.