Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nicole Kidman is a "A Beautiful, Resonant Instrument"

Hedwig himself is making another movie. John Cameron Mitchell's cinematic take on stage hit Rabbit Hole begins filming on June 1st in New York. Here, via Screen Daily, he's talking about why he's directing someone else's material for the first time and the humor that attracted him to this very sad story about a mother (Nicole Kidman) who has lost her young child.



He's really forthcoming about the different approaches required to work with untrained actors (Shortbus) versus stars (Rabbit Hole). He had never worked with stars before and I love this bit on Nicole Kidman and his cast...
There's a different kind of pleasure with working with virtuosic actors --working with the Stradivarius... There's a thrill with working with a beautiful, resonant instrument that can respond to gentle guidance.

And there's nothing Hollywood about this experience which has been fantastic... I'm surprised at how smoothly it's going. This is very pure. We're not getting interference from people who don't have good taste.
Hee. You mean to say that interfering suits don't always have good taste? I'm shocked. Shocked I say.

I've never heard my Kidman referred to as a Stradivarius before but I love the comparison. In part because it makes me think of classical music which immediately causes a reverential hypnotic blissful state as I remember Kidman's opera house close up in Birth. sigh

I also found it intriguing that he feels such a connection to the teenage character in the film who draws comic books.
The art in this is going to be important in the way that Hedwig and Shortbus used animation and art -- in a subtler way, we'll be using that.
I can't wait to see this movie but since they're still only in pre-production, I will have to.
*

14 comments:

Wayne B. said...

Watched "Shortbus" for the first time ever this past week and now I have complete faith that "Rabbit Hole" is going to be just as absorbing and exciting. Is Dianne Wiest confirmed? That would be a supreme bonus!

cal roth said...

I love Nicole Kidman but I will never understand why she dropped that WKW project. It'd be gift from heaven: my favourite actress + my favourite director.

Anonymous said...

Now I COMPLETELY understand why she dropped out of the Woody Allen project. Can't wait for this! It's going to be special!

franck said...

I told ya that Kidman would slowly take over thefilmexperience, Nat. You seem to love her more and more each day. And something tells me that "Nine" and "Rabbit Hole" are only going to expand the love.

adelutza said...

I love Nicole Kidman totally. I just hope she won't make me sit through another Australia ( and I sat through it and that says a lot given that I never finished I Could Never Be Your Woman )

Kamikaze Camel said...

As we say again and again, Nicole Kidman may get flak today, but by working with the directors she does she will seen as the goddess that she really is by future audiences and as one of the finest actresses cinema has ever had.

Rabbit Hole is sounding absolutely excellent.

Frank said...

Wow! This film is sounding so great. Mitchell is obviously such a creatively minded person and he has such strong and exciting ideas about the film. I can't wait!

I also love his comparison of Kidman to a Stradivarius, it is so beautiful. Kidman is such a subtle and graceful actress and she has the courage to let herself be guided down all kinds of fascinating paths by her directors. She is so open to the possibilities of acting and of cinema.

As you said Nat the comparison also reminds me of Birth. But not just the Opera scene but her whole performance. The music throughout that film is so important in telling the story of her character. In a way the music seems to emanate from Anna, it is as one with her.

Campion used haunting music to similar effect in The Portrait of a Lady. Kidman's highly emotional performance combined with the stirring music was poetic. In that film Kidman beautifully complemented Campion's visual design.

I also second the desire to see Kidman in a Wong Kar Wai film. That would be heaven. I also cannot understand why she dropped out of it. I still hold hope that it will happen someday.

cal roth said...

Just one more thing: the Stradivarius comparision was used before by Anthony Minghella, talking about Cate Blanchett in The Talented Mr. Ripley.

NATHANIEL R said...

cal -- well, Cate was fantastic in that movie.

wayne b -- i did think it was weird that he said "it's looking good for Dianne Wiest" which led me to believe that maybe she's not actually signed on the dotted line yet. Which seems weird since filming starts so quickly and they're obviously already rehearsing.

dusty said...

The Stradivarius/instrument connection was also made in All About Eve, except that it was said then by Lloyd (the writer) about Margot during her biggest rant. Then it wasn't such a compliment. The follow-up: "It's about time the piano realized it has never written a concerto."

Glenn said...

Well, when was this filmed? That may mean that Weist wasn't when it was filmed but is now. She's still listed as "rumored" on IMDb though.

I do wonder how many screenplays he's actually read though since he usually writes his own and he hasn't been making films for very long as it is.

Beau said...

All I can say is I'm there for the grocery store scene alone. Mouth will drop. <3

NATHANIEL R said...

beau -- i haven't seen the play so i'm at a loss as to what the grocery store scene is. But maybe i shoudl stay in the dark!

glenn -- i think it was filmed quite recently? maybe they could rehearse without her until her schedule cleared up (is it In Treatment scheduling that's in the way?)

Beau said...

If they're saying it's as good as it will be, perhaps it's for the best Nat. But it will be phenomenal.