Thursday, November 18, 2010

Director of the Week – Roget Avary

He may be a bit better known as a screenwriter. He won an Oscar for his contribution to Pulp Fiction (The Gold Watch was his story). He also co-wrote the 3d cg Beowulf and Silent Hill. His contributions to Reservoir Dogs and True Romance are often disputed. I guess he wrote the radio spots in Reservoir Dog and did re-writes on True Romance for Tony Scott, which if memory serves include most of Alabama’s Vo’s and the theatrical ending. He claims to have contributed quite a bit more to the original screenplay for True Romance and Natural Born Killers.

Avary worked with Tarantino at video archives in the late 80’s. After True Romance sold and Reservoir Dogs happened, Taranitno and Samuel Hadida exec produced Killing Zoe for Avery. Supposedly he wrote it in a week around a bank location that had been scouted for Reservoir Dogs.

Killing Zoe is a great indie flick. Produced for around 500k. Set in mostly one location. Features killer performances by Eric Stoltz, Julie Delpy, Jean-Hugues Anglade and Gary Kemp (believe it or not). The Tomandandy score is pretty cool too. The whole thing takes place in a blur. Almost real time. It’s highly rewatchable.

I was working at Blockbuster Video when it came out on VHS. It was the 1st poster that I took from there.

His next flick was Mr. Stitch. Starring Rutger Hauer and Wil Wheaton. I think it was written for the Sci-Fi Channel. It wasn’t very good, at least from what I can remember. Maybe I should give it another go.

Then came Rules of Attraction. I absolutely love this move. It’s kinetic, fast paced, viscously funny. With better than they’ve ever been before or since performances from Dawson, Jessica Biel and Kate Boseworth.

I’ve been anxiously waiting another directorial outing from him. Yes, I’m aware of Glitterati, but it’s not exactly available.

Footage was originally shot in October 2001 for a brief 5-minute sequence within The Rules of Attraction. Shot as a three-person cast and crew (Kip Pardue, Roger Avary, and Greg Shapiro), using two miniDV cameras, the shoot quickly blew up to 70 tapes worth of footage. Avary subsequently decided (during the trip) to buy the rights to "Glamorama" and attach Pardue to the project to reprise his role as Victor Ward. The 70 tapes of footage therefore are being re-edited into a feature-length piece, entitled "Glitterati", which will act as a sort of bridge between "Rules of Attraction" and "Glamorama".

Interesting… hopefully we’ll get a chance to see it someday.

I also hope he gets his chance to make Glamorama.


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