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< In the bubble of the bubble of the bubble, over the past few weeks, there has been quite a bit of discussion about an interview in the Variety series of Directors on Directors. At the height of the race for the Oscars, this pairs off directors to discuss cinema, art, life, death and miracles. The names chosen this year and one duo in particular have caused a surprise or even indignation (in the bubble of the bubble of the bubble). The pair made up of Martin McDonagh, director of In Bruges, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and now of the splendid The Banshees of Inisherin; and of Taylor Swift, director... director?
Well, technically speaking, yes. Not only of many of her videoclips (the most recent Anti-Hero and Bejeweled, from her last album Midnights), but also of a clip of another of her songs that she has just redone, All Too Well, which has as its subtitle The Short Film. At the beginning, according to the buzz, she was definitely going to be nominated for the next Academy Awards, which is why to all effects it is a short film, in the category of the Best Short Film. But she didn’t make it into the shortlist that precedes the final five nominations. (However, a nomination should almost certainly pop up for the song Carolina, written for the terrible Where the Crawdads Sing. But that’s another story.)
As I was saying, it is strange to see Miss Swift associated with one of the most interesting and award-winning names on the recent film scene. He is someone who should have said: “Yes, it’s fine that Taylor is a pet of the industry, but you had to have me talk with her?” Anyone can jump on to the bandwagon and Swift is one of the very few popstars who can sell millions of records as in the analogue era. So everyone – the Academy included - are keeping her in the palms of their hands. (Practically only she and Adele succeed in selling millions of records, but the latter has her videoclips directed by professionals like Xavier Dolan. But this is another story as well. Or perhaps not this time.)
In the conversation with McDonagh, Swift speaks as a peer to a peer: “I wrote it knowing I wanted it to be a short. I wanted to treat it differently than I’d ever treated a music video. I wanted to use a new DP that I’d never used before, Rina Yang. I wanted to shoot it on 35 millimetre. And I wrote it with Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien in mind. I heard you wrote Banshees with your full cast pretty much cast.” The cast of All Too Well (two actors who are already fairly famous, Dylan for the series The Maze Runner and Sadie for Stranger Things, who say few or no words) like that of The Banshees of Inisherin, which gives us some of the best performances of the year: are we sure? But perhaps that’s the secret: presenting yourself as a director, full stop.
The past is a... very short land. In the sense that, as everybody knows, many directors (David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Anton Corbijn, Jonathan Glazer, Mike Mills) made their debut in videoclips, before becoming... ehm, directors. But I do not believe that if at the time Directors on Directors had existed, they would ever have been invited to chat with, let’s say, Steven Spielberg or Jane Campion.
Taylor Swift has already announced that now she will be directing a feature film. “I always wanted to tell stories. I have always written stories, poetry, songs. And I think this just grew out of that storytelling,” she says. Adding that directing was a natural destination: “I was writing my videos for years, and I had a video that was a very specific concept I had written [2019’s The Man], and I wanted a female director to direct it. And the few that I reached out to were fortunately booked. We like it when women work. So I was like: I could do it, maybe.”
That the industry has already accepted as a director "and that’s all” the author of only one “official” short film (and musical, as well) is perhaps a good sign. Or maybe, if the author was not called Taylor Swift, it would never have happened. In any case, things are moving, Especially in the bubble, or perhaps (for the time being) only there. >
by Mattia Carzaniga
< Nella bolla della bolla della bolla, nelle ultime settimane s’è dibattuto assai a proposito di un’intervista della serie di Variety Directors on Directors. Quella che, in piena Oscar Race, mette coppie di registi a dialogare tra loro di cinema, arte, vita, morte, miracoli. Tra i nomi scelti quest’anno, un duo in particolare ha provocato effetto se non indignazione (nella bolla della bolla della bolla). Quello composto da Martin McDonagh, regista di In Bruges, e Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, e ora dello splendido The Banshees of Inisherin; e da Taylor Swift, regista... regista?
Be’, tecnicamente sì. Non solo di molti dei suoi videoclip (i più recenti Anti-Hero e Bejeweled, dall’ultimo disco Midnights), ma anche di quello di un’altra sua canzone da poco rifatta, All Too Well, che ha per sottotitolo proprio The Short Film. Il buzz iniziale la dava per sicura candidata ai prossimi Academy Award, per questo che è a tutti gli effetti un corto, nella categoria miglior cortometraggio, appunto. Ma non ce l'ha fatta ad entrare nella shortlist che precede le cinquine vere e proprie. (Dovrebbe però spuntare quasi sicuramente una nomination per la canzone Carolina, scritta per il pessimo Where the Crawdads Sing. Ma questa è un’altra storia.)
Fa effetto, dicevo, vedere Miss Swift associata a uno dei nomi più interessanti, e premiati, del panorama cinematografico recente. Uno che avrebbe dovuto dire: “Sì, va bene che Taylor è una cocca dell’industria, ma proprio con lei dovevate farmi parlare?”. Chiunque salta sul carro del vincitore, e Swift è una delle pochissime popstar in grado di vendere milioni di dischi come succedeva nell’epoca analogica. Dunque tutti – Academy compresa – se la tengono in palmo di mano. (Ci riescono, a vendere milioni di dischi, praticamente solo lei e Adele, che però si fa dirigere i videoclip da professionisti come Xavier Dolan. Ma anche questa è un’altra storia. O forse stavolta no.)
Nella conversazione con McDonagh, Swift parla da pari a pari: «I wrote it knowing I wanted it to be a short. I wanted to treat it differently than I’d ever treated a music video. I wanted to use a new DP that I’d never used before, Rina Yang. I wanted to shoot it on 35 millimeter. And I wrote it with Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien in mind. I heard you wrote Banshees with your full cast pretty much cast». Il casting di All Too Well (due attori già famosini, lui per la serie The Maze Runner e lei per Strangers Things, che parlano poco o niente) come quello di The Banshees of Inisherin, che regala alcune delle performance migliori dell’annata: sicuri? Ma forse questo è il segreto: presentarsi come una regista, punto.
Il passato è una terra... cortissima. Nel senso che, com’è noto, tanti registi (David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Anton Corbijn, Jonathan Glazer, Mike Mills) hanno esordito nel videoclip, prima di diventare... ehm, registi. Ma non credo che, se all’epoca fosse esistito Directors on Directors, sarebbero mai stati invitati a chiacchierare con, che so, Steven Spielberg o Jane Campion.
Taylor Swift ha già annunciato che ora dirigerà un lungometraggio. «I always wanted to tell stories. I have always written stories, poetry, songs. And I think this just grew out of that storytelling», dice. Aggiungendo che la regia era una destinazione naturale: «I was writing my videos for years, and I had a video that was a very specific concept I had written [2019’s The Man], and I wanted a female director to direct it. And the few that I reached out to were fortunately booked. We like it when women work. So I was like: I could do it, maybe».
Che l’industria abbia già accolto come regista “e basta” l’autrice di un solo short film “ufficiale” (e per di più musicale) forse è un buon segno. O forse, se l’autrice non si fosse chiamata Taylor Swift, non sarebbe mai successo. In ogni caso, le cose si muovono. Soprattutto nella bolla, o forse (per ora) soltanto lì. >
di Mattia Carzaniga