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I do enjoy working with writers.
– Neil Jordan
It is extremely difficult to get movies that cost more than $40 million to be made these days.
I’ve had three novels published, and I was working a little bit in theater in Ireland. I wrote one film script just to see what it would turn out like.
The Company of Wolves is about how society teaches young women to look at themselves, and what to be afraid of. It’s about a girl learning that the world of sensuality and the unknown is not to be feared, that it’s worth getting your teeth into.
Never make a promise – you may have to keep it.
It’s the same thing in a way, although writing a book is a very solitary thing.
It’s nice to work with Hollywood because there is never any question of resources put at your disposal to make a film as long as it is the right thing to do.
For me now, it’s about what you would write and what you wouldn’t write, and that’s how I select what I am going to do. It can be quite nice being brought a concept by a studio for me to work on.
The Company of Wolves doesn’t belong in any category, so it’s difficult to prepare an audience for it. It’s not a horror film, it’s not a fantasy film, it’s not a children’s film – so what is it?
It’s hard to know whether certain characters come to life or not, they either come to have their own life or they don’t. I’ve written many things in which the characters just remain inert.
The End of the Affair is almost like a play.
I’m less comfortable making American movies because I don’t know them so well.
It’s the opposite journey from what I’ve usually done with films. I find it very easy to go from, say, a lit, pleasurable environment, like what you see outside there, to a very dark place. But the opposite journey, which is what this movie takes, is much more complicated.
I’ve also worked hard portraying an Ireland which is fast disappearing. Ireland was a very depressed and difficult place in the 1980s, and I’ve tried to include that in the script. I worked really hard to find the heart of the book.
There’s no point in making a film out of a great book. The book’s already great. What’s the point?
But everyone gets burnt, don’t they? Certain things are outside of your control. I suppose the only thing you can learn as a director is to not put yourself into situations where it can get outside of your control. And that’s what happened.
In Dreams… well, I was slightly overcompensating with that. I was a bit like a director for hire, so maybe I was putting too much imagery that was familiar to me into it.
Films have gotten leaner and leaner, cutting out all variations from the story line.
The most difficult thing is the organization of people and the expression of your intentions. It’s very easy to have a picture in your head and to imagine that you’ve told everybody about what you need.
I can’t do a film if I don’t start with the writing.
And I think I often choose to do something because it’s quite different from what I’ve done before.
For me, the filmmaking has to be about the dramaturgy.
No, I just thought of a story and wrote down what I saw. It was about two kids in Ireland who went around killing people. It was called Travelers, and it was made as an independent film.
I took two years away from making films to write a novel.
Initially with The Butcher Boy, there was this kid growing up in this strange, weird environment that I remember from when I was a kid. And Patrick’s vision was so complete there.
My conception of it was that in a normal film you have a story with different movements that program, develop, go a little bit off the trunk, come back, and end.