Behind the scenes photographs with director Steve McQueen and actors Lupita Nyong’o, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender on 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Allan: That’s quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn’t it?
Museum Girl: Yes, it is.
Allan: What does it say to you?
Museum Girl: It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation, forming a useless bleak straitjacket in a black absurd cosmos.
Allan: What are you doing Saturday night?
Museum Girl: Committing suicide.
Allan: What about Friday night?
Welcome to my life.
First-time filmmaker David Robert Mitchell has struck gold with The Myth of the American Sleepover, a dreamy yet realistic tale of suburban youth told in the same it-happened-one-night vein as other teen classics like Superbad andDazed and Confused. Mitchell, a film school grad from Florida State, made his movie on a shoestring budget, doing post-production while working a 9 to 5er as a commercial editor in LA. After making it to SXSW, Myth eventually found its way to Cannes. Here’s Mitchell on how he found his cast of non-professional actors, ditching his day job, and breaking into the film industry.
David Robert Mitchell on The Myth of the American Sleepover
Martin Scorsese at the age of six or seven in Corona, Queens.
I can’t do all that Bergman and Fellini do. I don’t have their audiences and I don’t work in that kind of context. I have to contend with an audience that is used to dross. I have worked with an Indian audience for thirty years and, in that time, the general look of cinema hasn’t changed. Certainly not in Bengal. You’ll find directors there are so backward, so stupid, and so trashy that you’ll find it difficult to believe that their works exist alongside my films. I am forced by circumstances to keep my stories on an innocuous level. What I can do, however, is to pack my films with meaning and psychological inflections and shades, and make a whole which will communicate a lot of things to many people.