At one point Anton Corbijn threatened to quit feature-film directing. As he said in our interview last year, he didn’t feel comfortable on film sets at first. “I felt like a stranger on the film set,” he said. “It’s just a big team compared to me and a single camera when I take pictures. I had to get used to the surroundings and the process of making something. In my head I can see what I like, but just to get there [was difficult].” Thankfully for us he’s grown more confident and seems to have shelved that plan. His follow-up to “A Most Wanted Man” is in the can and premieres at the Berlin Film Festival.
Titled “Life,” the movie is about a brief, but transformative period in the life of Dennis Stock, a photographer for Life Magazine assigned to shoot pictures of James Dean. The movie stars Robert Pattinson as Stock and Dane DeHaan as Dean. Here’s the official synopsis from Berlin:
In 1955, ambitious Hollywood photographer Dennis Stock and the then still unknown James Dean meet at one of Nicholas Ray’s parties. Stock recognises in the young actor, who has just completed filming East of Eden, an extraordinary talent and hopes to further his own career via a series of portraits for “Life” magazine. Newcomer Dean is stressed by studio boss Jack Warner’s demands for him to get on the PR bandwagon for Elia Kazan’s film and goes into hiding in the country. Stock accompanies the camera-shy star to his native ranch in Indiana where he has his roots. Once back in New York, Stock captures the world famous image which keeps the legend alive to this day.
Anton Corbijn is less interested in the life of the idol of a new generation than in the creation of a myth and the role “Life” photographer Dennis Stock’s portraits had in the iconisation of Dean. The meeting of these two young men led to the creation of a series of world famous images of a cult star before he died at the age of just 24. “James Dean haunted Times Square” went on to become one of the most reproduced photographs of the 20th century.
Co-starring Joel Edgerton and Ben Kingsley, “Life” features a score by Arcade Fire satellite-member Owen Pallett and runs 111-minutes. No release date or distributor yet, but that’ll likely soon change. Watch the first clip below (update) and the entire press conference from the Berlin Film Festival. 2/12/15 update. A hi-rez version of the clip via the Life fan blog.