It’s no secret by now that The Playlist are big fans of James Gray — in fact more than one of us got the book “Conversations With James Gray” this holiday season. While we patiently await his upcoming “Lowlife,” which seems likely to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, here’s an opportunity to go back to one of his very first films.
1999’s “The Yards” was Gray’s sophomore film, and his first with Joaquin Phoenix, who would become a frequent collaborator and feature in every one of the director’s films afterward. Working its way online is the twelve minute featurette “Visualizing The Yards” from the DVD release of the film and it features Gray and the late, great cinematographer Harris Savides talking about the how they approached the look of the film from very early on, with the director sharing his watercolor storyboards.
It’s a fascinating talk, and if anything we hope it urges folks to give “The Yards” another spin at home, and listen to the DVD commentary as well because it’s more great, candid talk from Gray (among the topics discussed is his dissatisfaction with the ending). Watch below. [The Seventh Art]