Table of contents:
- Michael and Summer. The scythe is the work of the director!:) It is now clear why he is late
- Purvis and Hoover performed by Christian Bale and Billy Crudup
- But still: for you personally, is he a hero or just a robber?
- Mann gives directions to his non-hero
- Cameras and Depp
- Mann's writings
- This scene is also real: there is a similar photo of Dillinger at the police station
- Dillinger and Billy - Depp and Cotillard
Video: Michael Mann Doesn't Believe In Heroes
2023 Author: Vanessa Dutton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 16:02
Michael Mann makes a film about very harsh people. "Skirmish", "Accessory", "The Last of the Mohicans", "Miami Police: Department of Morals" - these are all his brainchildren. Therefore, you involuntarily expect that the director himself is also not a soft person. It is not known what can be thrown out. Suddenly he does not want to answer boring questions or even how capricious.
In Moscow, Michael Mann dispelled these prejudices. He proved himself to be an attentive and inquisitive interlocutor. They say he was eager for the press screening of the film Johnny D. chat with the audience. I wanted to visit the premiere red carpet in advance to see what will happen there and how. And I was late for the press conference because … I was braiding my wife's hair Summer, who came with him to the capital. Well, isn't the man a sweetheart?
Michael and Summer. The scythe is the work of the director!:) It is now clear why he is late
About his John Dillinger Mann is ready to talk for hours - and he does it carefully, meticulously, answering the same questions for the hundredth time. Public enemy number one in the 1930s, Dillinger robbed banks in various states, forcing the government to announce a nationwide campaign to combat crime. Dillinger was perceived as Robin the Hoodwho punished banks that robbed honest people of all their savings during the Great Depression. By the degree of people's love and attention, he was more popular than Barack Obama Today. Mann became interested in the Dillinger figure back in the 70s, began writing the script - but realized his idea only now, when the book came out Public Enemies by Brian Barrow, on which the film was shot. The director himself is calm about this situation, saying that any character and idea must mature. But it's still interesting - what was in the original script? “Initially, a lot of attention was paid to the FBI and its head Edgar Hoover … But as a result, we almost erased it. Instead, we prescribed the "federal" in more detail. Melvin Purvishunting Dillinger - played by Christian Bale … Purvis was the prototype of Dick Tracy … Hoover then practically erased it, destroyed it. He envied Purvis, survived from the Bureau. We were shown Purvis's files, and there was only one piece of paper: an application for a job - nothing else was left of it!"
Purvis and Hoover performed by Christian Bale and Billy Crudup
Johnny Depp, who played Dillinger, says that he perceives him as a hero of that time. Mann also constantly emphasizes this point. You might think that he himself is in awe of Dillinger. But it turns out that the director is not worried about the hero's deeds, but the very style of his life.
“I never admired Dillinger - I was fascinated by him,” Mann explains to us with the Europa Plus radio station. - I could reveal only a small part of his biography. I was interested in the life he lived, extreme in this short period. Was he aware of what he was doing? I put myself in his place, I got into his skin. He moved from Iowa to Wisconsin - in the 30s it was tantamount to a trip to Siberia. I wonder if he was thinking about how it would end? What will the end be? In the finale, he sits in the cinema, looks at the screen, and there - Clark Gable in "Manhattan melodrama" … The trick is that Gable's character Blackie a bit based on Dillinger - that's how popular he was then. That is, Clark Gable is portraying Dillinger, and Dillinger is looking at Gable portraying Dillinger! Can you imagine? Clark Gable plays you on the screen and tells you, “And don't dream about running away from this - you can't run away. Don't go to jail, die the way you lived. " And so Dillinger sits and looks at this - what was he thinking about at that moment? This just fascinated me.
But still: for you personally, is he a hero or just a robber?
- Not a hero, no. He is a person. Likewise, for me, a movie star is not a star, but an actor. An actor has to turn into John Dillinger, and I don't care if he's a star or not. I also don't care if the hero is a character or not - I generally think that if you make someone a hero, you limit them. I had a real charm and interest in Dillinger's life, all the twists and turns, difficulties, contradictions - this is exciting. And if you mold a hero out of someone, then you are doing him a disservice. This is all artificial, this is a bad storytelling. I don't believe in heroes at all. Sorry.
Mann gives directions to his non-hero
That is why, probably, Johnny D. Manna is a cold account of the last years of Dillinger's life, dispassionately following him from state to state, without shifting the emphasis on anyone's heroism. Mann generally insists that he did not put any message into the picture. He had only two goals. “The first is to show drama based on strong characters. John Dillinger was a unique person, an interesting character. The second task for me was to show the interesting life of an interesting person, to immerse the viewer in 1933, to immerse him in this atmosphere, and to do it so convincingly that the viewer could completely immerse himself in what is happening and continuously follow the plot throughout the film."
For this purpose - the effect of full presence - Mann used digital cameras of the Hi Definition format. During the preparatory period, Mann, along with the operator Dante Spinotti discussed various options and carried out test shooting, as a result of which it turned out that the film image refers to gangster films of the 30s, and the digital image creates the illusion that everything is happening "here and now", which was what the director wanted. “I tried out Hi-Def for the first time on the movie 'Participant'. When I was thinking about how to get Johnny D. incredible realism, I immediately decided that I would use this particular technology. In my opinion, everything worked out. And you will be surprised, but it cost me incredibly cheap. The Sony F23 camera I used only costs $ 6,000. When you watch a movie on a big screen, you can see absolutely all objects, all objects that fall into the lens. Hi-Def lets you say, "I was really there, in this place, in 1933, I touched these cars." There are three levels of color in the film. Each of them is responsible for different characters, for separate characters and emotional feelings. The sky, nature, setting change color depending on what is happening, which hero is standing in front of the camera. I changed filters depending on this. And I am very pleased with what happened. And I will repeat once again - it is very cheap”.
Cameras and Depp
Mann is also known for his careful selection of music for the films he shoots. I'm interested in how he worked musically on Johnny D., what he concentrated on.
- I worked with Elliot Goldenthal, plus I used my daughters - I have four fantastic daughters, and they let me listen to all kinds of music. In the 30s, many films began to be shot, for which blues musicians wrote music. A lot of gospel music was written - these musicians made American music, soul music. When Walter Dietrich dies at the beginning of the film, and Depp lets go of his hand in the car and closes the door - an excellent 1948 composition at this time. When Dillinger arrives at the police station and walks through the police department to capture Dillinger, it sounds Blind Willie Johnson, musician of the late 30s. We added a modern sound to it. And of course, Billie Halliday … No one can express a mood better than Billie Holliday. So I used it four times in the movie.
As for the notorious scene that Mann mentioned - Dillinger's coming to the police station to catch himself - it turns out that this is a real fact. « Only, it was three days earlier than shown in the film. He walked across the room where the detectives were sitting, listening to the sports broadcast. In general, we filmed many episodes in real places in history, using genuine props. So, in "Little Bohemia" Johnny Depp lying on the bed on which Dillinger was lying, he grabbed the same doorknob as Dillinger. Much has been calibrated down to the centimeter, for example, the scene of Dillinger's death was filmed in the same place, down to the square millimeter where his blood had dripped. Looking up, Johnny Depp saw the same picture as Dillinger before his death, and this is so important for an actor! We rehearsed a lot, filming the scenes of the raids on banks, the actors studied the "thieves' case", the general strategy and tasks of each gang member. In addition, all the actors learned how to shoot firearms, extreme driving; constantly kept in excellent physical shape, because "Tommy-gun" (Thompson submachine gun - belik) weighs about 5 kilograms, and it was necessary to shoot with one hand, with the other clinging to the car door. Marillon Cotillard spent a lot of time on the Menominey Reservation, where the family still lives Billy Frechette, communicated with them and took dialect lessons; met with the wives and girlfriends of real gangsters."
This scene is also real: there is a similar photo of Dillinger at the police station
Dillinger and Billy - Depp and Cotillard
The director speaks of Marion very warmly: "She is an amazing actress, her work in the film is impeccable." Cotillard came to the audition without makeup, was not afraid to be ugly - which was what Manna won over. Her heroine Billy Frechette is John Dillinger's bright love, for which he is ready for anything. The scene in which Billy is arrested in front of Dillinger, and he cries - again, not fictional: eyewitnesses saw that he really cried like a child. However, it was Dillinger's desire to protect Billy that led to her arrest. Had he pushed her thereby into prison - after all, his friends asked him to let Billy go?
“Well, you could say that,” Mann grins. “But she was also an outsider. She was looking for a man to have a good time with, plus she was outlawed herself. Her ancestors were American Indians - at the time it was poorly received, racism flourished. There was no respect for her either from the authorities or from the police - so she may have felt better with people like Dillinger than with others. So I'm sure Billy really wanted to be with Dillinger herself. As we know, he really cared about her. But they had such a relationship on the edge. They were both not practitioners, no one thought about how it would end - although she did start talking about it. Billy then served her sentence, was released and wrote her memoirs to make money. She has written 5 articles about her relationship with Dillinger. But she lived all her life in Wisconsin, did not go anywhere.
As for Dillinger himself, Mann initially wanted to invite DiCaprio, but something didn't work out. The director does not like to talk about it - and dryly leaves the answers, calling DiCaprio a wonderful actor. But he supposedly always wanted to work with Johnny Depp. And I was looking for an actor who would give himself up to his role without a trace.
- Was the external resemblance between Depp and Dillinger important to you?
- Yes, there are some similarities between them. Johnny certainly doesn't look like the thug that Dillinger was, but they have a common darkening, a common dark side that everyone has. When Johnny and I talked about this, it turned out that he, too, had been thinking about Dillinger for a long time, they generally grew up in the same conditions. I, too, grew up almost in the same place as Dillinger, grew up in Chicago - so every time we went through his biography, I seemed to plunge into childhood. About Johnny and Dillinger's looks - well, they share the same height, they both have dark hair, but they don't look alike in the conventional sense.
The film "Johnny D." goes to the Russian box office since July 23.
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