To be a filmmaker, one needs to be possessed with a bit of an obsessive nature. Projects can take dozens of years to get off the ground and generally, only those truly committed to bringing a vision to screen are the ones that stick around. It’s a little fitting, then, that American auteur James Gray’s latest film, the simmering and epic Amazonian jungle drama “The Lost City Of Z,” centers on a similar protagonist willing to risk it all in the name of his singular pursuit.
“The Lost City Of Z” stars Charlie Hunnam as Percy Fawcett, an ambitious military man that cannot outgrow the caste system he was born into. Frustrated, he finds purpose in an expedition that hints at a “lost city” in the jungles of Bolivia. His devotion to this discovery soon turns into a dangerous obsession that may cost the ultimate price. Co-starring Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller and Tom Holland, “The Lost City Of Z” is slow-burning but mesmerizingly absorbing (read our New York Film Festival review here).
I caught up with Gray this week and decided to retroactively turn my interview into a little project I’ve had in my head for a long time: my own longform interview podcast. Titled Deep Focus, the idea is longform conversations in the vein of The Treatment, Brian Koppelman’s The Moment, and similar top-notch podcasts. I’m never going to be those guys and I’m more of an interviewer by trade, less of a free-form curious conversationalist like, say, Marc Maron, but I’ll do my best to keep it entertaining and interesting.
Gray and I spoke about “The Lost City Of Z,” a little run-in with Isabelle Huppert, nearly working with Brad Pitt a dozen times (it’s finally happening; lots of story details here), and, of course, Gray’s thoughts on the ever-changing landscape for film, the theatrical experience, and how the streaming revolution is going to impact cinema at large.
For more movie insight, angry political tweets and more, follow me on Twitter at @YrOnlyHope. All episodes of Deep Focus are part of The Playlist Podcast Network and can be found on iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher. You can stream or download the podcast via the Soundcloud embed below or up top. You can also subscribe on iTunes to get them on the regular. Leave us a review and rating there if you’re so inclined and please spread the word. Thanks for listening — and, of course, tolerating my silly intro. 🙂