Magazine article Out

Directors' Cuts

Magazine article Out

Directors' Cuts

Article excerpt

For these film festival favorites, no wasting time on anyone else's material.


Chilean born Sebastian Silva is master puppeteer of his own cinematic universes. His 2009 film, The Maid (La Nana), won the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic World Cinema at Sundance, and 2010's Old Cats, in which an octogenarian hides her impending senility from her scheming lesbian daughter, is scheduled to be released stateside this spring. Silva, who now lives in New York City, also recently completed work on a series for HBO, which he describes as "a comedy that exploits misery and loneliness," and has finished writing two English-language films (his first) that he hopes to begin shooting this year. One, titled Second CMM, follows the misadven- '' tures of an 8-year-old boy who falls in love with his godfather.

Why did you need to tell the story of Old Cats? One of the reasons I like it so much is because it's a story no one desperately needs to hear. The conflicts we address in the film are meaningless, really- or at least very minimal. Instead of try ing to make its characters grow orbe better people the movie allows them to be mediocre of them. It embraces mediocrity and states that sometimes life doesn't allow you to grow to overcome emotional other people, which I find interesting. Lite isn't always about redemption.

Would yap consider writing for another director or directing another writer's work? I am totally open to directing another writer's work and possibly writing for someone else. I think when you write for a director, you have to let go of your screenplay completely, and I'm curious to see how I'd react to that detachment.

What is the hardest part of directing your own work? Being fully responsible for eveerything The times, the way it looks the way it sounds, the music you pick, the credits you choosc. I have no fear ofbeing judged luckily, and I think too highly of myself to care about critics but I guess that's the scariest part-being so exposed. It requires a lot of confidence as well as a lack of self-consciousness.

Do you think of yoursetf as If a "gay filmmaker"? Honestly, no. I am a gay person, but I'm just a filmmaker. If the fact that I'm gay is going to precede everything I do, it's kind of redundant. If I were tobe in a section in a DVD store, I would rather be in adventure or drama than the gay section. It's always dusty, and nobody buys [those movies]. But when I think of filmmakers, I neverthink of their sexual drive, honestly.

Does being an out filmmaker ever pose any problems? Look at how many gay people are in the independent film business - it's really impressive. It's full of them. For writi ng and directing, some people say a gay sensibility is sharper, but I don't think it makes any difference. Brokcback Mountain and My Beautiful Launderette are two of the most beautiful gay love stories, and they weren't writ ten by gay men.


His prodigious writing talents scored him an Oscar for Milk - and an audience of millions for what must rank as one of the most compelling acceptance speeches of all time. Two years later, Black has become one of the most visible faces in the fight for LGBT equality thanks to his grassroots activism and eloquence on the stump (his camera-ready good looks don't hurt, either), all the while keeping up his prolific output, including new scripts for Glint Eastwood and Gus Van Sant.

You are currently working on Glint Eastwood's biopic of J. Edgar Hoover, for which you wrote the script. Why does this story deserve to be told? …

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