While it can be easy to be distracted by the endless campaigning of the awards season, it does afford cinephiles a notable benefit: plenty of time with their favorite filmmakers. With the directors of the year’s big movies out in full force, that means plenty of interviews and conversations. THR, however, does one better by getting them together to talk to each other. And this year’s directors roundtable is a particular treat.
Danny Boyle, Tom Hooper, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, David O. Russell, Ridley Scott and Quentin Tarantino are gathered together, and as you might expect from these talents, the conversation is both wide-ranging and utterly fascinating. One of the big topics around the table is the quality level of filmmaking these days.
"There are philosophical problems with films today. I mean, frankly, I have to tell you the truth, a lot of films that 10 years ago I would have actually [gone] out to the theaters and watched, I can wait for them to get to the cable channels. I’m watching them six or seven months later, and I’m perfectly enjoying them, but I didn’t really miss that much," Tarantino said.
Scott has an even more grim assessment. "The bar is lower because there are way too many films being made. Maybe there’s too many [directors] in the field and therefore the general quality [is worse]," he said.
As for Iñárritu, he sees a shift in where stories are being told. "Independent filmmaking has [been] transported to TV. There’s great stories, great things. And in a way, the screens are now full of films that look like TV, just on the big screen. There is no revelation, there is no mystery. I need the mystery of it," he said. "What has happened in the economy in the world is happening to film: the 99 percent and the 1 percent division. Now there are super-expensive films or just very tiny-budget films. The middle-class films are disappearing."
But perhaps what’s most interesting is that these filmmakers are all continuing to shape and perfect their craft. "We did a lot of rehearsal before we started shooting [‘Steve Jobs‘], and then you turn up in the morning and do a little bit of blocking and stuff like that. And [Michael Fassbender] said to me, ‘Will you shoot the rehearsal?’ And we did. And I will always do that now, forever more. It was incredible because it lifts everybody," Boyle said.
Check out the full 1-hour talk below.