While the technical accomplishments and formal influences on a director's work can be fascinating, sometimes the clearest understanding to their approach on cinema comes not from a checklist of inspirations, but a journey though their relationship with the medium. For example, knowing that Terrence Malick is a fan of Ben Stiller's "Zoolander" creates a much more complex portrait of the reclusive filmmaker that his own body of work may reflect. And so, in our ongoing semi-regular feature (kicked off by Terry Gilliam), we sat down with Daniel Carbone of the upcoming "Hide Your Smiling Faces" to talk about the movie touchstones in his life.
Carbone's film follows two young brothers, bound by tragedy and dealing with adolescence over the course of one hot summer, and so you won't be surprised to hear him talk about movies like "Stand By Me" or even "The Lost Boys" below. But like any other lover, Carbone's tastes run far and wide from big-budget spectacle to one particular, warm-and-fuzzy family movie we'll leave you to discover yourself. It's a wonderful look into what formed Carbone as a moviemaker.
"Hide Your Smiling Faces," which we said "skillfully articulates the inexpressible; the weird, beautiful struggle that is life," is on VOD today and opens in limited release this Friday, March 28th.
1. The first movie you ever saw.
I had to ask my mom about this one and she is fairly sure it was Joel Schumacher’s "The Lost Boys." This certainly falls in line with the kinds of films I remember really loving as a young kid. I watched tons of coming-of-age and horror films growing up and this is a sort of perfect mix of the two. I’m not sure anyone knows the truly correct answer for this question, but if "The Lost Boys" wasn’t actually the first, it was definitely one of them, and definitely one of the most memorable.
2. The best moviegoing film experience you ever had.
I once convinced my parents to take me to see Michael Bay’s "The Rock" at our tiny local movie theater. They had no idea what it was and about 15 minutes in they knew I had pulled one over on them. It was the first R-rated movie I saw in a theater and I remember feeling like I had gotten over an important cinematic hurdle. I also had a blast watching it, and still do.
3. The first movie you became obsessed with.
At age 10, I watched my parent’s rented copy of David Fincher’s "Se7en." I watched it with a dictionary on my lap so I could look up what each of the deadly sins meant. When it ended I rewound the tape and started it right over. It was so dark and fascinating to me and I realized that I wanted to one day make someone as immersed in a film as I felt at that moment. I finally saw a 35mm print at a festival in the fall and I have to say it really holds up.
4. The movie that always makes you cry.
Over the last few years I’ve noticed that many more movies have been bringing me to tears, but it used to be a pretty rare occurrence. The movie that never fails to really hit me hard is David Lynch’s "The Elephant Man." It’s such an incredible, bittersweet film from top to bottom, and that final scene turns me into a weeping mess every single time.
5. The movie that always freaks you out/makes you scared.
"It," especially the complete 3-hour miniseries version. Like all of the made-for-TV Stephen King miniseries of the time, it didn’t age well, but there are a handful of moments in that film that will haunt me for the rest of my days. Tim Curry is absolutely horrifying and I will never be able to look at balloons, fortune cookies, or sewer drains the same way again.