Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Andrea Arnold and Wuthering Heights at Venice

Andrea Arnold's one of my favorite filmmakers. One of the most exciting women writer/directors in the world, I think, for all kinds of reasons. Remember Wasp (2003) which won the Academy Award for Live Action Short 2005 and was described by the Guardian as 'social realist film poetry'? Red Road (2006), which won the Prix du Jury at Cannes, and many other awards? Fish Tank (2009) which won multiple awards including the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film last year?

Andrea Arnold at Cannes
Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights has just premiered at the Venice Film Festival. According to the Guardian, Wuthering Heights is
...stripped of its period frills and sweeping score. It comes caked in grime and damp with saliva. The script is salted with profanities, while the plot finds room for brief moments of a nudity and an animalistic al-fresco sex scene. Heathcliff, the Byronic forefather of English romantic fiction, is black.
And the first reviews, in a nice roundup here on Shadow and Act, show that the film's receiving critical acclaim. I'll be first in line when it reaches New Zealand.

Because I've been following the festival's press conferences on YouTube, most recently the one for Tusi Tamasese's O Le Tulafale/The Orator, this morning I watched the Wuthering Heights press conference. I know that a press conference with two people (Tusi Tamasese and producer Catherine Fitzgerald) and about a first feature is always going to be different than one for a third feature, where actors are also present. But I was sooo disappointed and frustrated, by the comparative lengths of the clips (23 minutes 34 seconds for O Le Tulafale; 3 minutes 38 seconds for Wuthering Heights), in the way Andrea's responses are presented (her voice accompanied always by the simultaneous translation and some distracting camera movements), in the way the entire clip's shot, though I guess the sexism, especially in shots of the photo opportunity, is not unusual. Is this an example of women writers and directors being taken less seriously than men? Would love to know what others think. But, at the end of the clip, some shots from the film itself. That part's a treat.




Andrea Arnold's so sharp and funny, I could listen to her for hours. I hope that someone like Charlie Rose (I wish there was a feminist version, much as I love watching Charlie's interviews) will interview Andrea at length, soon.

Here's the O Le Tulafale/The Orator press conference, to compare, and because it's great to see.




I can't wait to see this film either, the first Samoan language feature, funded by the New Zealand Film Commission. Its early development took place at the International Institute of Modern Letters, on the same script-writing MA course that I took, a few years earlier. So that's a thrill, too.

11 September

Happy endings!

Producer Catherine Fitzgerald receives the Orrizzonti Jury's Special mention Award for O Le Tulafale/ The Orator (director Tusi Tamasese must have left for home): look between 5.17 and 7.15—




AND AND AND *more* of Andrea Arnold in Venice, being open and brilliant about her process!



Tx a million, labiennale.tv!

3 comments:

  1. I feel very grateful to receive alerts as to what is going on in the wider film world. I viewed both videos with great interest and feel humbled to be introduced to the world of O Le Tulafale/The Orator. The interview brought me back to earth in a way that will make certain I see this film...! Both Tusi Tamasese and producer Catherine Fitzgerald reminded us of worlds removed from those of usual celluloid heroes/heroines. The two interviews were worlds apart and I agree with your point of view. A shallow precis of the filming of Wuthering Heights, it's fabulous Director and hauling into the spotlight of somewhat reluctant 'stars'. Nonetheless I look forward to both films..thanks for your post!!!

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  2. Thanks, Jan, for this lovely comment, much appreciated. Hope you got to see the two clips added yesterday, too!

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  3. Great Upcoming Movie,Wuthering Heights Movie is released on 5 October, 2012 related to Drama and Romance genre.Don't miss to watch Wuthering Heights Movie.

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