My apologies straightaway that this week's Q & A is so late. A particularly nasty bout of insomnia derailed me for over a day. I was without rail. Back on track now and the time has come to answer your questions, 10 of them at any rate.
BBats: What young director (3 or less films) are you most excited about seeing over the next decade?
Nathaniel: This is a great question but difficult because then you have to really stop and think about who made which pictures when and you have to set aside people you've been rooting for forever that will seemingly be 70 before they birth a third feature (I'm talking to you Jonathan Glazer and Kimberly Peirce). It'd be weird to say John Cameron Mitchell since he's been making great movies for a decade now but in fact he's only made three. Still it's hard to argue with that diverse, unique and cathartically vivid trio: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001), Shortbus (2006), and Rabbit Hole (2010). I would follow him anywhere though I might be shoving him from behind while doing so because he's too freaking slow.
My list would have to include 34 year-old Cary Fukunaga who has made two features but already has a great sense of the camera's place in storytelling as well as a place's place in storytelling (Sin Nombre) if you get me. On top of that he's got a steady hand with strong actors (Jane Eyre).
I'd also go with 22 year-old Xavier Dolan who sure can make pretty pictures (I Killed My Mother, Heartbeats) and can also act inside of them. His influences are super apparent but he's very young and it should be thrilling to watch that already glorious image-making while on the soundtrack a filmmaking voice find itself. I'm very curious as to how Andrea Arnold's career will develop. She already has an Oscar from that gritty compelling short film Wasp (2003) and Fish Tank was so special. Finally, there are two filmmakers who are about to unveil their sophomore feature after a startling debut: 37 year old Joachim Trier (will Oslo August 31st equal Reprise or prove too similar?) and 42 year-old Steve McQueen (will Shame top Hunger... but then how could it?) which means that my list is already up to five and your question was singular so I'll stop there. But the three names in bold are the ones I can't stop thinking about this year.
Roark: What's your favorite movie in your least favorite genre?
Nathaniel: I'm not crazy about westerns but I love Howard Hawks's Red River (1948). I was going to say "horror" but then when I stop to recall how many I do love (Psycho, Carrie, Rosemary's Baby being the holy trinity) it becomes clear that I far prefer horror to westerns.
Luke and Adrian: Best Post Oscar move for Natalie Portman?
Nathaniel: Laying low now that she's had her money-guzzling year. Wait it out until something challenging but different than Black Swan comes around. I'm guessing it would be a lot easier for her to find her next Closer than her next Black Swan so if I were her management team I'd be looking for a high profile prestige ensemble drama... or even a highly stylized but lighter something... She was terrific in Wes Anderson's Hotel Chevalier and the short treated her like a star. Directors who know how to frame her spectacular face and amp up her sexuality in deeper than surface ways tend to get the best rewards; too many Your Highnesses and Friends With Benefits and that Oscar win won't age well.
Evan: What three movies are you most looking forward to from the remainder of 2011?
Nathaniel: Shame for the McQueen/Fassbender reunion, The Skin I Live In for the Almodóvar/Banderas reunion, and I Don't Know How She Doe.... KIDDING! and A Dangerous Method for the Cronenberg/Mortensen reunion. Look at me all Director/ACTOR things instead of actresses. Where am I? WHO AM I?
Mr W: And are you going to revive you reader spotlights any time soon?
Nathaniel: Yes. The new fall season of The Film Experience kicks off on September 13th and we'll also go back to honoring you... the collective you, I mean. Not that Mr. W isn't worth honoring :)
Tom M: Which Male Actors (past and/or present) come closest to having careers/images/appeals like the actresses you love? (Not necessarily asking about your favorite actors but if there are any actors that trip your actressexual wire...if that makes any sense.)
my answer, plus Woody Allen and an ode to Marisa Tomei if you click-to-continue