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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2013. 61st Edition  > Festival Diary > «A lot of the energy of independent cinema has gone into cable networks»
Festival Diary » JURY
«A lot of the energy of independent cinema has gone into cable networks»
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Writer, director and producer Todd Haynes, one of the major figures in independent cinema, and chairman of the Official Jury this year is really impressed with what he’s seen of the Festival so far: “it has an intimacy about it but it feels like a really important festival with a range of films showing – far more than I’m going to get to see,” he regrets.

When assessing other people’s work he says that you need to maintain your innocence and an openness to be surprised just like any other member of the audience, though he admits that this is really hard, as, after all, they are professionals. He feels that a film needs to make use of visual media, but that even when directors are pushing away the emotional element, there needs to be some kind of engagement and the audience needs to be considered.

As for what music represents in his cinema, he says that in many ways film is a musical form that also works in a linear, non-cognitive way, but he also acknowledges that he has been attracted to specific artists and moment in rock history that have a visual component – with glam rock as an obvious example in Velvet Goldmine.

When asked about the future of independent cinema, he admits that it’s tough but that it needs to take into account that people are nowwatching films in different ways such as on Netflix. He thinks the energy of Independent cinema has moved to cable networks where you can still see “serious dramatic experiences that are challenging.” This is what led him to make Mildred Pierce for HBO. “Wherever we can find this kind of risk-taking, I see as a positive force.”

However he confesses that, as a romantic, he never wants to see people stop going to cinemas, and his next project Carol, starring Kate Blanchett and Rooney Mar, is going to be for he big screen. It’s based on a Patricia Highsmith lesbian novel published under a pseudonym in 1950, which was considered to be radical at the time as it didn’t have a tragic ending. He confesses that he’s really looking forward to it as it means he’s going to get to work with some of his favourite actors.

ALLAN OWEN

 

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