'“I enjoy anything that is beyond language,” she says. “A script is just a skeleton.” When asked how she prepared for her scenes as Grace, she confessed to listening to Norwegian black metal—an admission I have to ask her to repeat. “I had to get myself into a world that felt like it was closing in. I would listen right up until we were just about to shoot and then throw myself into the situation.'
I have not seen Short Term 12, but I have so much respect for this approach to scripts and filmmaking.
”We try to take people, characters, we try to see how they are ready, I would say, to do lots of things to earn their place in the sun, to get the snack bar, their personal happiness. It’s legitimate, it’s normal, when one lives as she lives, to want a better life. So, to what point will the desire to have a better life allow her [Lorna] to ignore the other human being; how can such people change?”
Still from Lorna’s Silence (2008, dir. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
“But the whole process of film-making is like juggling because it feels like it will all fall apart at any moment. That’s important too – I absolutely need that moment creatively where I think it’s all going to go horribly wrong.”
"Digital is improving, but film is so forgiving on faces, and it has more texture and depth in the overall image. When people tell me it’s expensive, I tell them I can shoot with fewer lights. To be honest, if you know what you’re doing, you can always use fewer lights. At a certain point, the whites are going to burn out, even on film. But when they burn out on digital it’s just not as pleasant. It’s hard to describe why film looks better. I always come back to the feeling it gives me. There is something about it. Digital tends to look flatter to me. I think it’s because there’s less information in the image. There is something about film that feels warmer and more real to me. It’s very hard to put into words. You just have to look at it, and it speaks for itself. Some people prefer digital because they can shoot as much as they want. That seems greedy to me. I would rather be restricted in how much I can shoot, and have it look stunning. I’m not at the point where I can insist on film yet, but all but three of my features have been shot on film. As much as I embrace every format for its innovation, film is very, very important to me."
Still from Kill Your Darlings (2013, dir. John Krokidas, Cinematographer: Reed Morano)
"Cinematography works on a subconscious level. At its best, it reinforces the emotions or the mood of a scene the same way that the music in the score does. It’s intangible - the audience is only subconsciously aware of it. I believe that shooting on film is part of the equation. There’s an emotional quotient that you can’t quantify, but the audience can feel it. There have been experiments where audiences looked at the same scene recorded in both film and digital formats. They thought the performance was better on film, even though it was the same exact scene."
Still from Mad Men Season 4, Episode 7
*** In the fifth season of Mad Men, Manley switched from 35mm to the ARRI Alexa camera. You can see why here.