Monday, March 15, 2010

Screenwriter Extraordinaire.

Jose here reporting from the 25th Guadalajara International Film Festival.


A few days ago our workshop had the opportunity to have a long talk with novelist/screenwriter Barry Gifford (Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, Perdita Durango). Being in Mexico as we are, most of the conversation was spent on Gifford's love of border towns and the shady characters who inhabit them. "Borders always represent another country" he said before he addressed his fascination with criminal minds in exotic locales.

For all of you Film Experience readers who love The Wizard of Oz as much as Nat and I do, I thought it would be interesting to share how its influence on Wild At Heart came to be.

"It was all David [Lynch]" Gifford said "I was in France doing publicity for the book [version] and when I saw it for the first time the day before it screened at Cannes I saw the homage". Apparently producer Samuel Goldwyn hated the original, more realistic, ending (which is in Gifford's book) and asked Lynch to rewrite it. That rewriting created one of the most fascinating merges of classic and contemporary film.

When asked how he came up with the title Wild at Heart he revealed that it came to him by chance. Years later he found out that it was one of Tennessee Williams' favorite things to say ("say a prayer for the wild at heart") and felt the playwright was exerting some sort of blessing on his work from beyond the grave.


"this whole world is wild at heart and weird on top"

4 comments:

Burning Reels said...

Obvious question maybe but I don't suppose you asked him whether he thought Lynch would make another film?

NATHANIEL R said...

ooh Jose i want to know that, too.

why no more LYnch projects... and did anyone ask him about their working relationship?

also. when it comes to wild at heart, i must admit i've never quite known what to make of it though i'm usually very pro Lynch films. aside from Laura Dern and her mom, that one's charms mostly escape me.

Glenn said...

Looove that movie. It's so insane!

Also, Perdita Durango is another in the same vein that I enjoy for its pure absurdity.

Jose said...

He said he loved working with Lynch ("you get more for your buck" with David he said) and actually called "Mulholland Dr." a female take on "Lost Highway" and joked he should've gotten credit for it too.
He said there were no Lynch plans in the near future as he's working with Willem Dafoe and his wife on a new project,another screenplay and doing a book as well.