"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Topics: Time magazine, Zero Dark Thirty, zd30, Kathryn Bigelow, mark boal, 2013 Awards, 2013 Awards Season, 2013 academy awards, 2013 oscars, bin laden, entertainment news, Film, Movies, Entertainment News
Kathryn Bigelow can’t stop breaking her silence.
The director of “Zero Dark Thirty” has had a not-entirely-jocular interview on “The Colbert Report,” written an Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Times, and now appears on the cover of Time. (The venerable magazine notes that this is only the 12th appearance by a director on the cover, as Bigelow joins the likes of Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, and David Lean.)
It represents a gradual shift away from the presentation of “Zero Dark Thirty” as a sort of documentary or “reported film” and toward portraying it as just a movie. The Time interview goes into detail about Bigelow’s artistic and aesthetic impulses, and allows her to walk back some of the claims about her film’s extraordinary, extra-cinematic nature, a task she also undertook with Charlie Rose today when she called her film “a movie, not a documentary.”
“Mark Boal opened up a window for me onto how you can make a film that’s part of the current conversation,” Bigelow told Time. “It was an opportunity to make a deep dive into content that was contemporaneous,” she said, comparing the film to explicit works of fiction like “Apocalypse Now,” “In the Heat of the Night,” and “A Clockwork Orange,” that comment on their time without laying claim to exact fact.
Bigelow has exposed herself to criticism about the nature of her intel by calling her film “reported.” Even in her contentious interview with Stephen Colbert, she continued arguing for the film’s veracity, calling it “an honest telling of the story as we know it.” Perhaps a focus on the story, rather than the history and what Ms. Bigelow knew and when she knew it, will allow for a more honest discussion of the movie’s themes. It may also shore up the film’s chances with academy voters far more accustomed to filmic depictions of history than film as history.
Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_More Daniel D'Addario.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)