It’s awards season, which if you follow The Hollywood Reporter, then you know that means the release of their great Award Roundtable series. With a new discussion premiering each Sunday on Sundance Now and being released online the following Monday, THR kicks things off with a insightful Directors discussion, featuring Angelina Jolie (“First They Killed My Father”), Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”), Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), Joe Wright (“Darkest Hour”), Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”), and Denis Villeneuve (“Blade Runner 2049”).
A few highlights from the discussion include the group mentioning their “desert island” movie, with Jenkins highlighting Pressburger and Powell’s “I Know Where I’m Going” because “the design of it fascinates me because it’s so romantic, but you never notice that it’s becoming that romantic” (seriously, check out that movie if you’ve never seen it). Jolie and Villeneuve discuss the problems that come along with shooting out of country, with Jolie mentioning “the history [of Cambodia] is not known internationally and it made me upset when I was in that country” but questioning “did I feel I had the right to be the one doing that?”
Further, Jenkins discusses her gap between “Monster” and Wonder Woman” by mentioning she first talked to Warner Bros. in 2005 and “these tentpole movies, I feel it’s more like dating than it is [like], ‘hey just my pitch.’ It’s a serious commitment.” While Wright talks about how the failure of “Pan” prepared him to tackle the “Darkest Hour.”
Gerwig discusses some of the practical advice she received as a first time director by mentioning “before I directed, I had conversations with directors. Someone told me, ‘if you don’t like a shot, turn off the lights, because it gives you a second to figure out what you don’t like.”
The whole conversation is fascinating, as always. It’s also a reminder how disappointing it is that Jenkins and Villeneuve have fallen out of the awards conversation. Check out the conversation below and stay tuned for the rest of the roundtables as they are released each week.