Todd Field Thinks ‘TÁR’ May Be His Last Film: ‘It’s Highly Likely’

"It's not for the faint of heart," Field said of filmmaking. "If it were nice and easy, I would film all the time."
TAR, Cate Blanchett, 2022.  © Focus Features / courtesy Everett Collection
©Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

Todd Field may be taking a bow alongside Lydia Tár.

The “TÁR” writer-director revealed that it is “highly likely” that the critically acclaimed film will be his last feature. “TÁR” was nominated for six Academy Awards, including lead star Cate Blanchett for Best Actress and Field for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director, as well as Best Picture. Field previously helmed two other films, “In the Bedroom” (2001) and “Little Children” (2006).

“There’s a real challenge in making a film of any size. It’s not for the faint of heart,” Field told Cinema Scope. “I wish I was cut out for different stuff because I probably wouldn’t make more films. It takes a great deal out of me to make a film; I don’t know that I’ll ever make another one.”

When asked if he will make another feature film, Todd added, “I don’t think so,” continuing that “TÁR” could be his last effort. “Yes, I think so…I didn’t think about it until just now. It’s highly likely,” he stated.

Yet it’s “possible” his mind could change later: “I hope it’s possible,” Field said.

The director detailed why he is hesitant to embark on another film.

“It’s not a creative thing for me, it’s really more of a physical thing,” Field said. “I spent a year on a daily basis working with [author] Jonathan Franzen, and in six months we wrote 1,200 pages together. That was as thrilling as anything I’ve had as far as the excitement of freedom of expression, and I’m looking forward to getting in a room with Jon again. The writing part of it, going to the desk every day, that won’t change.”

Field continued, “The reason I went to the American Film Institute, the reason I started directing — people roll their eyes at this when I tell them, but it’s how I feel — I was taking a vow of chastity in terms of going into an order, the Order of Cinema, and kneeling at an altar that you’ve constructed yourself and praying to this deity which is this cinema material, and putting yourself into an insane head space and making people around you totally insane, until a spirit appears. It’s a very strange thing to do, and it doesn’t come at any small cost to you and the people around you.”

He added, “That’s what I mean: it’s not about not having anything to say. If it were nice and easy, I would film all the time. I make commercials all the time, but that doesn’t take much out of me. I like the play, the techniques, experimenting with new equipment that comes out before it ever reaches the feature world, because I’m a technical geek at heart too. But those aren’t my things; those technical tools belong to multinational corporations. But if something is really yours, and really matters — and it had better matter, for the length of time it takes to make a film — you have to give it everything. And as you get older, you realize how valuable time is, there’s only so much time in that hourglass. I’m not in my twenties or thirties anymore — I’ll be 60 in year and a half. You start thinking about these things.”

Field recently exited the now-shelved Hulu series “Devil in the White City” following lead actor Keanu Reeves’ departure in October 2022. Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese were set to produce the adaptation of Erik Larson’s novel, with Field directing.

Field continued the world of Lydia Tár with short film “The Fundraiser” which debuted at Berlinale. However, Field announced during the festival that “The Fundraiser” will never been screened again.

“The character had been haunting me for 10 years or more,” Field told Cinema Scope of Lydia Tár. “At different periods, I sat with this character and wondered if I could do anything with it. All of the writing I’ve done since 2005 has involved adapting existing work, sometimes alone, sometimes with others, which could be fortunately with authors of that material. But this character was always mocking me on my shoulder or standing on my desk.”

Field exclusively told IndieWire that the state of Hollywood and theatrical distribution are the reasons behind a “dying arthouse community.”

“It’s a broken infrastructure to actually go and see cinema,” Field said. “I’m not just talking about end-of-year cinema. I’m talking about world cinema. I’m talking about being able to see things with a collective community and walking out and feeling different…If you want people to go to the cinema, to have an immersive experience and sit together with other people, you had better give them the opportunity to do that properly.”

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