Magazine article Filmmaker

Five Questions with Girls Creator Lena Dunham

Magazine article Filmmaker

Five Questions with Girls Creator Lena Dunham

Article excerpt

Is Lena Dunham about to change television? Recent years have seen big-screen critical darlings like Michael Mann, Martin Scorsese and Diablo Cody make the pilgrimage over to the small screen. But last year's announcement that the 25-year-old Tiny Furniture director would be masterminding a new series for HBO seemed a more direct link between the indie film and TV industries than had been attempted previously.

Audiences are in for a treat, as Dunham's wit has only grown more acute over time. A continuation of the 20-something angst that Tiny Furniture mined so hilariously, Girls re-teams Dunham with her Furniture co-star Jemima Kirke, as well as new additions Allison Williams and Zosia Mamet, for a comedy about four friends trying to survive an extended adolescence in New York.

The serialized format perfectly complements Dunham's frank, charming style, allowing her an extended platform to continue to home in on the absurdities and tribulations of transitioning toward adulthood. It's rare to find a director so young with a perspective so well defined, and if the first three episodes are any indication, Girls should continue to establish Dunham (as she puts it in the series' first episode) as, "the voice of a generation . . . or at least, a voice of a generation."

Are you thinking about the medium of television differently from how you think about film? Are there specific TV shows you're drawing inspiration from? I've been lucky in that HBO is an incredibly free place to work, and I have collaborators who are open to and enthusiastic about doing TV a different way. So I've kept a lot of "features-y" ideas and working methods, but have been learning the fine art of sustaining a season(s)-long narrative. The TV shows I adore and reference are as wide ranging as Mary Tyler Moore and Strangers With Candy.

Not only do many of your Tiny Furniture cohorts return in Girls, but the show is very similar in tone and theme as well. Are there ways in which you've made an effort to carry the spirit of that movie into this project? Are there ways in which the show is a conscious departure? The show and the film both explore that specific in-between space (not a girl, not yet a woman) because, after finishing Tiny Furniture, I wasn't done living it or writing about it. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.