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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

From the Mouths of Filmmakers: Nicolas Chartier

Nicolas Chartier
By Nicolas Chartier and Joshua Handler

Recently I've been disturbed by the amount of people who don't seek out independent films, non-English-language films, and classics.  So, I asked some of the most exciting and original voices in modern cinema to submit responses to a few questions about why/if they think indies/non-English-language films/classics are important to view, and how those films have been influential on their careers.

The responses below are from Nicolas Chartier, Oscar-winning producer of The Hurt Locker, Dallas Buyers Club, and Killer Joe, among many other films.  Chartier is the founder of Voltage Pictures, 

Do you feel that it is important for aspiring filmmakers and filmgoers to view independent and world cinema and why (if you don't feel it is important, please tell me why)? 
Yes, it’s extremely important. You discover different ways to approach the art, different ways to communicate an emotion, different film grammar, vocabulary. The emotions in a French film or in a Japanese film are the same, but they’re not necessarily filmed the same.
Do you believe that it is important for aspiring filmmakers and filmgoers to view films of the past and why (if you don't feel that it is important, please tell why)?  
Absolutely. Film evolves. Just this weekend they were referencing A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES as a '70s gritty thriller. If you’ve never seen the films, how do you compare? More important, I would say, is to watch old movies - the wit of a Billy Wilder, the scope of a David Lean. If you watch Tarkovsky and you watch Frank Capra, you see two different approaches [to] cinema. Even more important, I think, is to watch silent films. Sergei Eistenstein, Charlie Chaplin are two of the greatest filmmakers ever and you can learn so much from their films.
How did viewing indies, films from around the world, and classics help/influence you when producing THE HURT LOCKER, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, KILLER JOE, and the other films you've produced? 
It definitely helped on KILLER JOE when Billy Friedkin was editing the car chase and we were referencing the car chase[s] in THE FRENCH CONNECTION or BULLITT. On THE HURT LOCKER, I don’t know. On DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, the editing is very different in the first 5 minutes, that comes from Jean-Marc, but I’m sure he would tell you he has been influenced by other filmmakers in the past. 
What's one American indie (doc or narrative), one non-English-language film (doc or narrative), and one classic (define that one any way you wish) that you would recommend that film-lovers and/or young/aspiring filmmakers see? 
BRAZIL by Terry Gilliam is my favorite movie; non-English speaking: ARMY OF SHADOWS by Jean-Pierre Melville; classic: anything by Charlie Chaplin.
From the Mouths of Filmmakers continues on Friday. 

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