The French Dispatch Editor Andrew Weisblum On Crafting Wes Anderson's Films [Interview]

Andrew Weisblum has been editing Wes Anderson's films for over a decade. The two first collaborated on "The Darjeeling Limited,"  and since then they've worked together on "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Isle of Dogs," and now "The French Dispatch."  Anderson's latest is structured into three chapters and based around three stories appearing in the final issue of The French Dispatch, the fictional foreign bureau of a Kansas newspaper. In addition to this framing device, there are an array of characters and moving pieces that Weisblum helped to assemble without any bumps in the road. For both the director and editor, there... The post The French Dispatch Editor Andrew Weisblum on Crafting Wes Anderson's Films [Interview] appeared first on /Film.

The French Dispatch Editor Andrew Weisblum On Crafting Wes Anderson's Films [Interview]

Andrew Weisblum has been editing Wes Anderson's films for over a decade. The two first collaborated on "The Darjeeling Limited,"  and since then they've worked together on "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Isle of Dogs," and now "The French Dispatch." 

Anderson's latest is structured into three chapters and based around three stories appearing in the final issue of The French Dispatch, the fictional foreign bureau of a Kansas newspaper. In addition to this framing device, there are an array of characters and moving pieces that Weisblum helped to assemble without any bumps in the road.

For both the director and editor, there are no rules to their process. Whatever plays best it is. As well-regarded as Anderson is for his specificity, there's a bit of freewheeling to his process -- as Weisblum recently explained to us in an interview.

'We Were Just Figuring It Out As We Went Along.'

You and Wes Anderson don't have a rulebook, so what sort of experimenting did you want to do with "The French Dispatch"?

One of the things I think that's pretty bold and obvious about the movie is that the stark choices between what's black and white and what's color and what's happening visually, graphically, the different aspect ratios and formats that he chose. A lot of people have asked me if there was a theoretical behind that or an approach that was articulated in terms of rules of where things were black and white in color. There really wasn't. It was mostly looking for vibe and dynamics and what we thought would work best in different formats and what would give us the most dynamic contrast from moment to moment and punctuate certain things, and playing around with smaller frames against larger frames and mimicking certain ideas of the layout of a magazine, but in film form. There wasn't a rule book for it. We were just figuring it out as we went along. 

So just having fun?

Basically, yeah. Exactly. There was room to play and experiment and do certain random things that if we just liked it, sometimes there wasn't even a reason for it. You just did.

How about the translation subtitles? 

All the translation subtitles, all that stuff was mostly just by being bored with trying to figure out how to lay it out on the bottom and make people read it. It's just playing with that more for fun as a graphic element instead of exposition element and almost not even caring what it is that you're meant to read, but more the jazz of it all and make it visually exciting instead of informational. That was one thing we played around with early on and found new ways to lay it out. But there's one speech that Lea has in the jail set, in the electrocution room that we totally riffed that one day just for fun. I just tried it up top and then moved it around, and then Wes started playing around with the order of the lines and that was just us playing with it.

What is unique about finding the pace and rhythm of his movies?

I think that this is an interesting one because it's got these different stories that are their own films. They're still very much Wes' signature, but they have their own feelings to them and their own rhythms to them. It's finding the ways to make them find their own music and punctuation where the pauses are, where the pauses are completely removed and playing around with tiny, minuscule adjustments to timing in a joke or inside a frame or in between shots. That's how we attack it. Sometimes it's just like a little two-frame adjustment in it. Suddenly, the scene works the course.

Obviously, a major part of your job is crafting the performances. Some editors say there's always a moment or two that defines how they see a performance and cut it together. Was that ever your experience?

It's interesting because that's different, again, depending on the story and of course, the actor. Let's say, the Rosenthaler story, we had an animatic and the actors had seen it, a lot of the stuff was influenced by that. But then of course, Jeffrey Wright's stuff has all the music to it. So, it's just finding the clearest and strongest performances not just in the visual take, but every line and collaging them together. But then, there are also ones that are more freeform, like the stuff with Timothée [Chalamet]and Fran[ces Dormand]. I don't want to say it's improvised, but it was less dictated by storyboards or animatic and more freeform in how it was shot. We had to find those a little bit more as an exploration process.

'It's Not Quite John Woo.'

What work went into editing the animated sequence?

Well, that stems from an animatic process, which much of the rest of the film goes through even live-action stuff. But we worked with an animator who we had worked with on the 2D material on "Isle of Dogs," which was most of the stuff on the television in "Isle of Dogs," which this guy Gwenn [Germain] had done. Since he was French and since it made a lot of sense, he was the one who came to the front and our producer, Octavia [Peissel], worked with him to do that sequence. 

I was involved a little bit in the discussion of the influences, but obviously, a big influence in that was French comics. We also worked for a while to figure out what the palette and aesthetic for that stuff was. Because in a lot of instances, it was one of the only times you get to see those characters suddenly in color in this new format and how they should read what level of saturation it was, which things had color, which things didn't. That stemmed from all the other choices we were making around it, which is just a lot of fun.

It's funny, Wes Anderson is probably one of the better action directors.

I think he would love that. I remember once we worked on an action sequence on one of the earlier films. We both felt it was lacking a certain technical proficiency even if it looked good. I remember he remarked, "Well, it's not quite John Woo," which I've always taken to heart, but it's not trying to be John Woo either [Laughs].

One thing that's interesting about Wes is his understanding of blocking in a scene and understanding of using the camera as an element of blocking and not just his coverage. I think sometimes that shows most succinctly in scenes that are not dialogue and action, because he uses the camera as almost a blocking element or a geographical element, so that you understand where you're meant to focus. That's one of his strengths.

Does he do much coverage or even pick-up shots?

No. We'll do things where we have an elaborately blocked master like I just described, but then we'll realize maybe we need a closeup here or something, and we figure out a pick-up that might integrate with that. But it's not usually a traditionally-covered thing with a static master or set of masters and then closeups and overs. That's not often the language that we're dealing with. There are occasional exceptions, but for the most part, it's much more plotted out than that.

What about striking the tone in the editing room?

I think Wes comes in often with, in his head, what he expects to see and hear, and he strives to get that. But often, he's working with these talented actors who will bring some spark of life or spontaneity to something that we often find ourselves building the scene around rather than following the roadmap. It's a simple little reaction that Timothée gave or Benicio [del Toro] gave. It's hard to pinpoint an exact example, but quite often, those become the linchpins in the scene even though there's a clear roadmap of what he prefers as a reading or what he's going for.

'It Was Hard To Make Mr. Fox Smile.'

Do you two ever end up with many deleted scenes?

There's one scene or a section that we cut out of "Darjeeling" with Waris and Amara, but often, we do not have deleted scenes. The only film where I'd say that was not the case was on "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," where we did a lot of reworking of story and exposition during the process. There was a narrator character that was in and then was out. There were different ways of attacking the story of Boggis, Bunce, and Bean going after the animals underground and what that whole section of the film was not just narratively, but also what was fun to show. 

That went through a whole process that was radically different from the script in the end. But that's a part of us feeling our way through what animation is, I guess, and the opportunities it affords when you suddenly have a shot come into your storyboard and you realize the shot before it needs to be different than what you thought and how you keep modifying that. That just expands into these crazy, little tangents where you reconceive scenes sometimes almost completely.

How did your "Isle of Dogs" experience compare to that?

That was a lot more decisive. I think we had a much closer handle on what to expect from that process and what our limitations were with puppets and what our opportunities were with puppets and how to attack those. There were many less surprises. I don't think Wes and I, when we did "Mr. Fox," we didn't really understand how scales work in a stop-motion film where you have different sizes of puppets and how you have to figure out how to transition to them from one to the other inside a shot versus a cut, the best way to do that, certain expressions that you can or can't do with a puppet and knowing that you need them beforehand to build them. All those kinds of things that we didn't know until we were there.

What expressions can you and can you not do?

It was hard to make Mr. Fox smile. We didn't know that until we started doing it. Then they had to build a sculpt for the mouth and it became a joke how to pop the smile on a cut instead of actually doing it in some photorealistic way, which is usually not interesting.

For scale and knowing how to cut and to show that, how do you do that?

It depends on how big the puppets are in relation to each other. Wes ended up designing a lot of shots in "Mr. Fox" where a large scale puppet would pass behind an object or something and suddenly become a different scale puppet, because they move further away from the camera or maybe there's a scene to a different set or something like that. It's a way to have to hide cuts or whips or different camera moves to change things or cut somewhere in a shot and have a character move closer or away to the camera.

"The French Dispatch" is now in theaters. 

Read this next: All Of Wes Anderson's Movies Ranked Worst To Best

The post The French Dispatch Editor Andrew Weisblum on Crafting Wes Anderson's Films [Interview] appeared first on /Film.

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Antlers Director Scott Cooper Keeps On Making Different Kinds Monster Movies [Interview]

Filmmaker Scott Cooper's voice is loud and clear in "Antlers." It's a grim horror tale, based on "The Quiet Boy" by Nick Antosca and produced by Guillermo del Toro. Cooper's film is as much about addiction as it is about the presence of the wendigo. The director behind "Crazy Heart" and "Hostiles" brings his eye and taste for drama to the long-awaited "Antlers." As he said to us, "It works to some degree on levels, better than others." It is a horror movie, like Cooper's other films, specifically aimed at adults, too. He makes big-budget dramas meant for the big screen. As he told... The post Antlers Director Scott Cooper Keeps on Making Different Kinds Monster Movies [Interview] appeared first on /Film.

Antlers Director Scott Cooper Keeps On Making Different Kinds Monster Movies [Interview]

Filmmaker Scott Cooper's voice is loud and clear in "Antlers." It's a grim horror tale, based on "The Quiet Boy" by Nick Antosca and produced by Guillermo del Toro. Cooper's film is as much about addiction as it is about the presence of the wendigo. The director behind "Crazy Heart" and "Hostiles" brings his eye and taste for drama to the long-awaited "Antlers." As he said to us, "It works to some degree on levels, better than others."

It is a horror movie, like Cooper's other films, specifically aimed at adults, too. He makes big-budget dramas meant for the big screen. As he told us during a wide-ranging interview about "Antlers" and his previous films, he's fortunate whether people see them in theaters or, ideally, continue to revisit them. 

"I'm Also Making A Film In A Genre Which I've Never Made A Film..."

You rewatched "Alien" a few times before making "Antlers." What did you takeaway from revisiting it?

I think Ridley, who produced my second film, "Out of the Furnace," very masterfully created a science-fiction film, a classic horror film, but also a political film about how unimportant the working class is to whomever sent these folks out on to this mission. And then you have a heroine in Ripley, who is very strong, who's also compassionate and vulnerable. And that's really what I wanted with Keri Russell's character, Julia, those same qualities, which I think Keri performs beautifully. I also looked at William Friedkin's "The Exorcist," which deals with the supernatural and family grief, but is portrayed so realistically, that's what makes it so terrifying. I looked at Nicolas Roeg's "Don't Look Now," which also deals with family tragedy, as well as "The Shining." All of those deal with family and trauma and this supernatural and grounded experience, and which is precisely what "Antlers" is.

Like "Alien," how long did you want to wait to hold off on revealing the wendigo?

Yeah, that's always a struggle. There were a lot of challenges in this film using a practical wendigo, and then marrying it with a little bit of CGI, trying to marry my very grounded sensibilities with Guillermo Del Toros more whimsical and fantastical sensibilities. It's a miracle that any of it works because it's quite difficult to do. I'm also making a film in a genre which I've never made a film, so I'm not aware of all the pitfalls. I suspect in my self-serious way, trying to make a high-minded drama, but also a terrifying monster film. It works to some degree on levels, better than others.

The Whitey Bulger story could be classified as a monster movie.

Oh, no question. Whitey Bulger was a monster, Woody Harrelson in "Out of the Furnace" is a monster. Those are the things that scare me more than actual creatures. It's the humans that act in ways that are horrifying and terrifying, because I like to hold up this dark mirror to the fears and anxieties that we as Americans face every day. Jack, we're facing a lot of, man.

The opioid crisis weighs heavily on this movie.

Yeah. America is suffering an addiction crisis, and there are no two ways around that. Opioids, methamphetamines, alcoholism, and the pandemic only exacerbated that. There's a kind of a spiritual devastation that courses through many small towns that are left behind in America, who were once supported by a factory or a mine. And that closes and the whole fabric of that changes. Those are the stories that interest me, people who live on the margins because very often they aren't in major studio films.

"Christian Bale And Scott Cooper's Rom-Com."

"Crazy Heart," too, shows the horror and struggles of addiction. While a "horror movie" sounded different from you, did it also feel in your wheelhouse?

I'm glad you picked up on that because when Guillermo Del Toro approached me to write and direct this film, he said, "Scott, your last three films have been horror films and nobody knows it. Would you consider directing an actual horror film?" I said yes, because my early earliest film remembrances and experiences were in horror films. When I was with my older brother and I was too young to probably see these films and they still have an impact on me. I think Guillermo was right as are you in picking up some of the horrors in my earlier work. Christian Bale and I did discuss "Hostiles" as a horror film because of the inhumane treatment towards Native Americans, the horrors of Rosamund Pike, losing her entire family and the difficulties of living in the American west. This is all to say, Jack, that I need to try my hand at humor.

How about a romantic comedy?

Christian Bale and Scott Cooper's rom-com. We have discussed it.

On the subject of horror movies, you made a nod to a great one in "Out of the Furnace" with "Midnight Meat Train."

Well, because you say to yourself, what's a movie that would get Woody Harrelson character out to the drive-in? He sees that title, and he's like, "I'm there." I mean, he's not going to be seeing Nicolas Roeg's "Don't Look Now," right? He'll see "Midnight Meat Train."

"Antlers" is also the first movie you've shot digitally. How was that experience?

It was very different. I had quite a few lab issues developing the film on "Hostiles." When you're shooting up in very high elevations, in very difficult weather and you're dealing with torrential rains and lightning and rattlesnakes, and floods, and air, and you're trying to make a road movie and then the lab doesn't develop it as they're meant to, that can be very trying on your spirit. Then you have to re-shoot scenes.

After four movies in a row shooting film, Guillermo said to me, "Once you shoot digital, Scott, you'll never go back to film." I used a very large format camera, which at the time was in its early infancy, the Sony Venice, which is like a 65 millimeter large format, because I wanted to put this young boy Lucas in a very big frame. Small boy, big problems, which is best experienced on a big screen, as opposed to seeing it at home to get that effect. Also, because I had two children, it's just easier. I didn't have as much time to shoot. You days are shorter. Our cinematographer, Florian Hoffmeister, he shot it beautifully.

Will you not be going back to film after this experience?

Well, I'm about a month away from shooting my next movie with Christian Bale for our third together and I'm shooting digitally.

"I Just Think You Have To Be Careful When You're Making Films."

How else did you and Florian want to create atmosphere in "Antlers"?

Well, my young daughters are interested in film and I always see them playing around with their iPhones. If they're making films, they're always moving the camera. When I asked them, why are you moving the camera? They can't give me a good answer. And if you look at the masters or at least the ones that I really respect, Coppola, Kurosawa, Michael Haneke, these directors move the camera when it's motivated and they tell the story with movement. If you're moving your camera all the time, I tell my kids, when does it mean something? If you're telling the story with camera and move the camera, it will signify to the audience that this is why you're moving it. It will accentuate a certain emotion that you want to convey.

In directing this film, I wanted it to feel very composed, very classical, so that you didn't feel the hand of the photographer or Scott Cooper's hand, but what you were most paying attention to is the trauma that these characters are dealing with, the spiritual depth and devastation of the small town. I like to use landscape as another character. Landscape and how it affects the characters should tell you about as much as anything a screenplay or performance can. 

So for me, it's about composition, how I move the camera, I try to whittle my dialogue to the core. The less dialogue, the better. If I can just make silent films, I would. That certainly doesn't satisfy a lot of people who I think are accustomed to only watching television and it's close up, close up, dialogue, dialogue, close up, close up. I just think you have to be careful when you're making films.

When you first showed your assembly cut to Guillermo, he said, "This is a Scott Cooper movie." How does that first cut he saw compare to what we're seeing in theaters?

Well, it's different. At the end of the day, the studio feels like what we're making is a horror film, we're making a monster film. I think the difficulty was reconciling my sensibilities with that notion. If you look at my body of work, it's more of a slow burn, longer, much deeper character development. There are always scenes that you trim, and in retrospect, you wish you hadn't, but that's the nature of a collaborative art form. I guess if I wanted to work in a less collaborative art form, I would just be a sculptor. But it's always a learning lesson with each film. I think, Jack, that the great danger is in doing safe work and I want to be pushed into uncomfortable spaces every time. Otherwise, I would just continue to make the same film over and over. What fun is that for the audience or for me?

You also make movies that are getting increasingly more difficult to make.

I'm incredibly fortunate. I hate to say it, but I've had less difficultly in getting my films made than a lot of filmmakers that I admire. I write for particular actors, whether writing for Jeff Bridges, specifically tailoring "Black Mass" to Johnny, writing three films for Christian Bale, and writing specifically for Jesse Plemons for this film. That makes it easier when you have certain movie stars who are starring in your films, but my movies don't let the audience off the hook and I don't sand down the edges.

I'm thankful that I have support like Searchlight among the best filmmakers in our industry, Guillermo, I had Ridley and Tony Scott produce "Out of the Furnace," the great Robert Duvall, who's a wonderful director, and obviously one of our great screen actors, produce "Crazy Heart." It helps when you bring together a package of that kind of talent, those actors and producers with their legacy. I'm just thankful that people still want to come see my films and allow me to make them.

"If Everybody Likes Your Movie, It's Likely Not Very Good."

You're not a fan of message movies. For you, where's the line between a message movie and a movie with something to say?

It's a tough line because some people will say that something is very subtly offered and other people will feel that it's none too subtle. It's subjective. I try to make it as subtle as possible, which is why, if you watch a film of mine a couple of times, those themes might become more pronounced. For me, it's about character first and then honesty and truthfulness. I really believe, Jack, that if I can see myself in my work, others will see themselves. I only make films that I want to go out and see on a Friday night. I will also say that a very legendary American director who has been a supporter of mine once said, "Scott, if everybody likes your movie, it's likely not very good."

My intent isn't to make divisive films. My films are made with intent and some social commentary that speaks to the times in which I live. I'm just holding up this dark mirror to the fears and anxieties, like I said, that we're all living with and there are a lot of them. I'm sure that there are lighter pastures ahead for me, for sure, as I continue to grow as a filmmaker. But if you don't take big risks, Jack, I'm not sure why you're a filmmaker in the first place.

You tend to shoot multiple endings, as you did with "Out of the Furnace," that could suggest very different meanings. Did you have alternate endings for "Antlers"?

No. I always wanted this to end the way that it did, not as a spoiler alert, with Jesse Plemons character. We understand from the beginning of the film that he is, we don't quite say that he's addicted to drugs, but we understand that he relies upon them. And then, we see him midway in the film and we understand that he's had very close contact with his wendigo. So, you might see where this is headed. But what I really like to do is, I like to have quite a bit of ambiguity in my films because I like to pose questions for the audience to answer themselves, because I believe that if you de-mystify everything and you give the audience too much information, that is not the key to a successful story.

How about your work with the First Nations consultants on this film? What questions did you have for them?

Well, Native Americans and First Nations, the issues they face and have struggled with for 400 years now are of great concern to me. I touched on some of those in "Hostiles" where you have Christian Bale, who's a very hardened US army captain who was essentially, as they would say, groomed to kill as they would call them "Indians," Native Americans. But over the course of that journey, does he understand how empathetic and sympathetic they are and what we've done to them as a nation? Chris Eyre, who's a great native filmmaker, great filmmaker in general, directed "Smoke Signals." He and the Northern Cheyenne were my advisors on "Hostiles." I wanted that to carry over into this film because here you have a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant who's yet again, telling a native or indigenous story.

Chris Eyre was also helpful again, but then I turned to professor Grace Dillon, who teaches at Portland State University. She is the foremost authority on the wendigo. We talked about the wendigo can manifest itself in many ways. It's first and foremost, a spirit. It doesn't have to be a creature or a God or a monster. It can serve as a metaphor for addiction, abuse, spiritual decay, the pain and misery that lives in all of us that eventually will escape, the desecration of natural resources, the desecration of our bodies. She said it takes form in all of those. So, for people then who might see this film who aren't understanding of that, might write about what the wendigo refers to, does it refer to too many things? Well, then they haven't done their homework, like I have, and have people who have lived it and who've studied it, inform every decision that went into making the script.

"It Completely Changed My Life."

In Jeff Bridges' book, "The Dude and the Zen Master," he talks about how on every set, he joins hands with all the crew and speaks a few encouraging words. Did he do the same on "Crazy Heart?"

He did. Firstly, let me just say, I wrote "Crazy Heart" for Jeff Bridges. When he said yes and made the film, it completely changed my life. Jeff means more to me than almost anyone in this industry. I'm still very, very close with him. One of the tenants to Jeff's success as a human is he spreads love and joy, especially in very cynical times in which we live. He does do that. It permeates the entire set and it sets a tone of love and compassion and sympathy and vulnerability that I think courses through that movie. I'm a better man for having worked with Jeff Bridges.

Why did you write it with him in mind?

I had been traveling around with the great Merle Haggard and, and I wanted that character to feel like Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. I thought who better to embody all of that than Jeff Bridges, who also happens to be an excellent musician. And then, I brought T Bone Burnett on to create the music. And he and Jeff are close friends. I didn't realize that. It made for a very harmonious process, but Jeff, everything you're seeing, he's playing and he's singing. I think the film also reawakened his desire to be a musician, because he's traveled for years now since then. He's touring singing "Crazy Heart" songs and some other ones that he's written. It's a facet of his life that many people weren't aware of that I was just happy to capture on screen.

How did working with Sam Shepard on "Out of the Furnace" change you as a writer?

I mean, what young actor or writer in America doesn't admire Sam Shepherd? Talk about not letting the audience off the hook or sanding down the edges, but really looking at a very searing portrait of American family life or American life in general. When I wrote "Out of the Furnace" and I sent it off to Sam, because I had him specifically in mind, as I did Christian Bale, I got a call that Sam was going to call me. The first thing he said was, "You had me at the title, one of the best titles of a film that I've read in a long time."

We became very close and we talked about his writing process and how he, somewhat akin to me, puts the issues that he's grappling with into his writing and what it means to be a father, but also to be an artist, what it means to talk about the country in which you live and not be afraid to pull back the sheets, to show that we live in a very difficult country, one that is soaked in blood and tragedy, and that was founded upon genocide and slavery. You can't be afraid to shine a light on those tough subject matters. I learned that from Sam and then, of course, I dedicated "Hostiles" to him because he died when I was shooting that film. He loved that script and was very helpful. I would always share screenplays with him and we grew quite close, so he's great loss for me and many.

"People Will Find Your Film."

Writing for actors like Christian Bale, he's someone was such a large toolbox of skills. Specifically, how do you write for him then?

Christian has become my closest pal. We spend a lot of time together offsets whether I'm making another film or he is, our families traveled together. I confide in him. He's truly like a real brother to me. I see a version of Christian that many people don't see, and I write for that version. Someone who's incredibly compassionate and intelligent, but who feels deeply, who loves his family, who loves his adopted country flaws and all. Quite frankly, Christian is one of the people who, like Jeff Bridges, has this real ability to find the best in everybody. I think that's an incredibly admirable trait.

He works often with me or David O.Russell, Adam McKay, and a few other directors. We all get something very different from Christian, but I try to write from a very internal place tapping into all of the things that I know make him the incredible man that he is and somebody with a very rich, rich interior life. I have to say, Christian reads all my scripts whether he's in them or not and sees my early cuts. I thanked him for "Antlers." He makes me a better filmmaker.

A very funny guy, too.

Incredibly funny. People don't know that. He is incredibly funny.

Have you and Christian Bale seriously discussed making a comedy together?

Yeah, we have discussed it. And quite frankly, some of my friends who were very, very well-known comic actors are much more intense in real life and Christian's very playful but intense on screen when he needs to be. With Christian, my hope is that we get to make far more movies than just the three that we're making, because he has so much range and we both have such similar sensibilities and comedy is something that we love. So, who knows, Jack? It may happen.

After "Out of the Furnace," you told your biggest story with "Black Mass." There were so many characters, years, and stories to cover. How'd you try to distill it down to the essentials?

In retrospect, when I was making "Black Mass," a limited series just started to become in vogue. That's a story that's probably best told over limited series of six or eight hour timeframe, because the story is so rich and covers so much territory and ground. Trying to tell that story in two hours was incredibly difficult, but I was thrilled that I was able to tap into a version of Johnny Depp that I thought was terrifying, that I thought was also very human, but also it was a little bit like a cobra, someone who can be very, very still, and you have no idea when he's going to strike. You don't hear it. And then, he just strikes. 

Watching a lot of the footage of FBI footage that I was supplied of Whitey Bulger, I mean, Johnny captured him perfectly. So many people were still around who knew Whitey as we were shooting in Boston, and they couldn't believe how closely he really captured who Whitey really was, as well as Joel Edgerton and the moral complexity of his character. Shooting in Boston in many of the locations in which those murders events took place infused the production and an authenticity that I could have only dreamt up.

"Hostiles" was another ambitious film. It's only been a few years, but how do you look back at it? 

Well, it was really pleasurable because I think what you see is the film that Christian and I set out to make, whether you call a revisionist Western or a horror film, I'm just trying to look at a man who is conditioned to think one way, then over the course of a journey, you see him start to soften and understand the true horrors of what it means to be an American. That was incredibly difficult film to make, but I'll never forget that the first time that I screened that for an audience was in a Telluride at the film festival and the audience responded in ways I could have only dreamed of.

I was walking to the stage, for a question and answer session, the first person to greet me whom I'd never met, he was the documentarian, the great filmmaker, Ken Burns. With tears in his eyes, he hugged me and he said, "You did in two hours what I tried to do in 20 with my story of Vietnam. Scott, I think it's one of the best films in the last 25 years." We've become friends since then and other directors that I admire love it. People eventually find their ways to these films. I think that's the great thing about streaming services or certainly cinemas. Eventually, people will find your film, and over the course of many viewings, hopefully, the film becomes richer and deeper.

"Antlers" hits theaters on October 29, 2021. 

Read this next: 14 Awesome Horror Movies That Never Got Sequels

The post Antlers Director Scott Cooper Keeps on Making Different Kinds Monster Movies [Interview] appeared first on /Film.

Source : Slash Film More   

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