One of the most anticipated features to possibly debut on the film festival circuit later this year is “How To Talk To Girls At Parties,” starring Elle Fanning. Described as an almost enigmatic alien-punk coming-of-age romance in 70’s-era London, the long-awaited fourth feature from director John Cameron Mitchell is an adaptation of a [very] short story by author Neil Gaiman. The movie is also a second joint effort with actress Nicole Kidman, after Mitchell directed her to an Oscar nomination in 2010’s “Rabbit Hole.”
Now, from a new set report from Screen Daily, we are offered more insight into the film’s production and what grossly unconventional and methodically cool fun is in store.
“It’s madness,” Mitchell said of the production. “I feel like I’m dragging Nicole [Kidman] into the depths of hell after her West End triumph [her award-winning role in ‘Photograph 51’]. “It’s straight into punk filth, and she’s kicking ass.”
Mitchell also sees a bright future for his leading gal. “Elle is almost perfect on the first take. She knows exactly what the scene needs. If this is her at 17, imagine her at 45. I believe she’s going to be one of the great actresses of all time.”
“It was a punk alien love story in 10 pages,” he explained of Gaiman’s brief source material. “There was mystery to it, there was fun, there are some scary moments — it was all there.” It sounds like Mitchell took special precautions to do justice to the spirit of the story, but adding a completely authentic vision to the adaption of the source material, even making Gaiman an executive producer and continuously watching eye.
Another exciting element of the production is they’re working with costume legend Sandy Powell, and we are eager to see what original creations she assembled. “It’s rare to have a director who can let it rip and lets you push boundaries,” says Powell, who put the aliens in brightly colored latex and rubber outfits while trying hard to make sure they did not look “too S&M” or “too children’s TV.”
A pivotal aspect of the movie is music, and Mitchell spared no effort attracting some very big names to create original compositions and songs for the film. Musicians Nico Muhly (“Me And Earl And The Dying Girl”), Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu, Matmos and AC Newman of The New Pornographers contributed songs for the film. Martin Tomlinson and Bryan Weller also wrote songs for the in-film band The Dyschords.
Keep an eye out for the film popping up on the fall festival circuit later this year before A24 releases it stateside sometime in 2017. Check out a first look at the film below.