Ryan Gosling is back in Cannes, this time as a director. The actor has been at the Festival twice before, to represent the films Blue Valentine by Derek Cianfrance en 2008, and the atypical Drive by the Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, which won the Best Director Award in 2011. This year, Ryan Gosling is competing for the prize in Un Certain Regard with a fantasy film about a family that is projected into a macabre reality. As a first-time director, he talks about what inspired him and the atmosphere on the set of Lost River.
Ryan Gosling © RR
Since I had never made a film before I wanted to start with something simple. Try telling a simple story, like a fairy tale. I had the opportunity to work in Detroit for a few days on another movie. It's a wildly special place with an incredible history and a mysterious future. There are many miles of abandoned neighborhoods and within them are families and kids growing up on streets where houses are being burned and torn down around them. It's surreal and has a dark fairy tale quality to it already and not just in the destruction but in so many ways. So I decided to make a film there that followed a similar arc from dream to nightmare about a family living in a reality that bordered on fantasy.
Detroit is home to the largest Masonic temple in the world. It has a thousand rooms including three theaters, one of which seats five thousand people, three ballrooms, banquet halls and a drill hall. Ninety percent of these spaces go virtually unused throughout the year. It's an architectural triumph that now evokes a similar mood to THE SHINING. But it's run and maintained by the warmest and friendliest people you're ever gonna meet. They were invaluable to everyone on the production because our entire operation was based out of the temple. All of our offices were there, production design spaces, wardrobe, hair and makeup, the actors had rooms there, half of the films interiors were shot in the masonic and some of our production offices found their way into the film itself. The truly remarkable part of it all is that, even though I used it for every possible thing I could think of, I still only ever used a fraction of what the building has to offer.
80's and early 90's cinema has influenced me the most. From Cronenberg's Videodrome to Halloween. Fantasy, Drama, Comedy and Horror films were all synthesizing together. I was giving my composer Johnny Jewel a lot references while we were scoring my film and at a certain point he said to me "What the fuck happened to you between 1988 and 1994?!"
Tuesday 20th May / Debussy Theatre / 2 p.m. -10 p.m.
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