Mark Coale, proprietor of Odessa Steps Magazine has posted an older interview he did with me over on his Earth Three blog. The occasion is this week's release of my new comic book with Joëlle Jones, the hardboiled noir-homage You Have Killed Me, as well as San Diego Comic Con International, which Joëlle and I will be attending. You can see our signing schedule here. The above In the Mood for Love inspired drawing was done for Mark's publication, and the line art is being used as a con-exclusive bookplate, as well.
You can read the piece in its entirety on Mark's blog. He and I share a magnificent Criterion obsession, and he asks me a few question about that, as well.
Q: As of this writing [Summer 2008], what's the best Criterion you've watched lately?
A: I had a weekend where I watched Yukio Mishima's Patriotism and then Mishima, Paul Schrader's biopic of the Japanese author, back to back. In terms of packaging and content, both were excellent, and though I'd had some limited contact with Mishima in years past, these films made me realize I probably should delve deeper into his library. As a person and as a writer, he had a lot of similar concerns to what shows up in my work, including a romantic yearning to stand against the tide and to, essentially, stand for something rather than caving in to modernity. He was also preoccupied with suicide, as are many of my characters. If you watch Patriotism, which he wrote, directed, and starred in, and you see him playing a Japanese solider disemboweling himself, it's quite powerful, particularly when you chase it with the Schrader picture and all the extras that come with it and hear about how he ended his own life the same way. It's easy to see why his widow demanded the movie be buried while she was alive. The scene in Patriotism where he slices his belly open is gruesome, and not just by 1960s standards, but any standards.
Q: Here's the obligatory Desert Island question. What five Criterions would you take with you? Feel free to cheat and name box sets as one entry.
A: In the Mood For Love, dir. Wong Kar-Wai
The Cranes are Flying, dir. Mikhail Kalatozov
Days of Heaven, dir. Terrence Malick
Contempt, dir. Jean-Luc Godard
Sullivan's Travels, dir. Preston Sturges
The first three are pretty rock solid. Godard would also always take
the fourth slot, though there are a couple of others I might debate
over. I'd also be able to change the last slot a million times before
walking out the door, but I figure I needed a comedy in there.
I can't believe I've only reviewed one of those five. I'll have to do something about that!
Read a large preview of You Have Killed Me.
I know my Desert Island Five would change all the time.
Grand Illusion would likely always be in there and one of the Hitchcocks, probably the 39 Steps.
Tenenbaums for a modern movie.
Throne of Blood or High and Low for the token Kurosawa.
Lastly, who knows? Maybe something out of left field like Tokyo Olympiad or the Beastie Boys Anthology.
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