Saturday, September 02, 2006

Telluride '06: Shainberg on biopics

Steven Shainberg, the director of Fur, hosted a Q&A at the Nugget Theater at 11 a.m. My notes from the session:

His uncle was best friends with Diane Arbus, so he grew up with her photographs around his home ("Some kids would read Dr. Seuss; I would look at Diane Arbus photos"). He didn't want to do a standard biopic, with a birth-to-death arch. Nor did he want to retread things the audience already knew. He offered Pollock as an example of an anticlimactic biopic. When you get to the drip-painting scene, Shainberg said, the audience is already thinking, "Oh, here comes the drip-painting scene." "Biopics suffer enormously from the audience being ahead of the film," he said. He wanted Kidman because she could pull of a "metaphoric Arbus" rather than a literal one. And he deliberately avoided filming in the style of Arbus because it would be "aesthetically anachronistic." Fur takes place before Arbus takes a single shot with her camera, so she has not yet discovered her style.


Anonymous said...

Do you know where I can find the Q&A?

J.J. said...

You mean a transcript? No idea.