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in Filmmaking
on Sep 27, 2006

Over at Indiewire Eugene Hernandez has an appreciation of and excerpts from Christine Vachon’s new book, A Killer Life. There are many film books out there these days, but Vachon is one of the few people writing them who actually has the real-world experience and successes to back up her advice and opinions.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

My strategy is to stay a moving target. I’ve got a reputation for “edgy,” “dark” material — the kind of movie where you’re maybe rooting for the bad guy. I’m also frequently accused of operating with a political agenda. A gay agenda. An aggressive-New Yorker agenda. When I go to L.A. for meetings, sometimes I feel like I have to put on my “uniform” — black pants, black T-shirt, combat boots — so that nobody gets confused and thinks I’ve come over to the bright side. Yes, I go for the kind of stories that challenge viewers, and I like to approach a story from an unexpected place. But my films aren’t all about gay people, they aren’t necessarily dark, and I’m not trying to peddle an ideology. I think that in order to realize the artistic possibilities of film, you’ve got to be in tune with the social and political realities of the times: the ravages of AIDS, or the complexity of gender, or social anomie, American-style. This is why I’m attracted to scripts inspired by true stories. When you stop retreading the conventional fairy tales — when you quit with the fairy tales entirely — you make better art. You also make people a little nervous.

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