katikat: (Actors_JGL2)
[personal profile] katikat


Despite the movie's grim subject, the audio commentary is actually really hilarious. It's recorded by Greg Araki (the director), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Neil) and Brady Corbet (Brian) and they pretty much giggle the whole way through. Not that they make fun of the subject, not at all, they just talk about the hardships of filming the movie and the funny bits, like that they taped the voice-overs literally in a closet full of clothes or about the time a camera caught fire and stuff like that. It's one of the best audio commentaries I've ever listened to because they point out so many interesting things that I missed the first time around. Like...



The relationship between Neil and his mother (Elizabeth Shue). Neil's mother is very... loose to be crude but there's never a doubt that she really loves her son dearly. But she doesn't see him as her kid but more like a little brother or a best friend. I mean, she talks to him about the hot guy she plans to pick up and hopefully have sex with and it's just another day for both of them, nothing special. I wonder what her reaction would be if she ever found out the truth, that he had been molested, that he is a prostitute, that he was raped - and she never noticed any of it. JGL and Elizabeth Shue hanged out together often outside the set and they talked a lot about their characters' relationship because they didn't have many scenes together and they wanted to get it just right.



Michelle Trachtenberg and this scene in particular was another thing they mentioned, how magical it was - and that Michelle just couldn't ride into the shot on her bicycle because she kept falling down, the poor thing. Their relationship, Wendy and Neil's, is... magical, at least IMHO. She's so in love with him despite knowing that he's gay and that he's emotionally dead inside - as she says, Neil has a black hole where others have their heart. It's tragic yet beautiful, the way they stick together.

They also talked about Billy Drago who played the AIDS riddled john who picks up Neil in a bar. That scene, in the white, white hotel room is so beautiful because of how gentle the guy is with Neil. They couldn't praise Billy Drago enough for how much he brought to the movie, how big an impact he made in just two scenes.

Another thing Greg Araki talked about was working with the children, how they shielded them from what was going on, that the kids never knew what the movie was actually about because they didn't want to hurt them emotionally.

They also talked about the rape scene. JGL said he didn't remember almost anything from it. He approached all the sex scenes as any other scenes, they weren't there to "grab your crotch" as Brady Corbet said, every one of them was there for a reason. JGL said that it wasn't that hard to play the victim - but he couldn't even imagine what it had to have been like for the actor who played the rapist, to go so deep inside himself and find that place that would lead him to do something like that to another person, especially since the actor was nothing like his character, he was an incredibly sweet, kind man.



And then there was the last scene... Brady Corbet was 14 when they filmed the movie! Wow, just wow! JGL was 21 at that time and they both looked the same age. Greg Araki asked them not to meet, not to talk to each other till they actually had a scene together. So, when their characters meet, it's actually them, the actors, truly meeting each other and talking to each other for the first time. And the way they both talked about the last scene on the couch... Wow, it must've been magical. Brady Corbet said that he had never felt as close to an actor as he did to Joe right then and there and that it lead to a deep understanding between them and to a deep friendship, this knowing that they shared something special. From what they said, they were filming it for, like, 16 hours in a row and that after the first 6 or so, they basically fell into a sort of trans. JGL said that to get into the character of Neil, he always went outside and smoked - he's not a heavy smoker but in this movie he smoked a lot - and that once Brady went after him and they just stood there together, unable to say a word.

You know, after listening to the commentary, the movie seems much easier to watch. It's like they allow you to see it through their eyes, see the magic in it, in the music that Greg Araki chose, in the way JGL and Brady Corbet play their parts... Suddenly, it doesn't feel as harsh - don't get me wrong, it's still a very cruel movie but it also feels very... dreamy.
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don't be dull, be fannish

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