Vanilla Sky – Tempi Moderni

Interview: Cameron Crowe

What did you like about Amenabar’s film, Open Your Eyes?

I liked a little bit of everything, the story, the characters, i am still struck by them, and I was thinking that I would have liked to bring up some questions later on. My film is more open, each viewer can find their own interpretation. For me, the film is a metaphor about the initiation into living, to putting oneself in the game and encountering the joys and pains of life, but many viewers have seen various things and this is its beauty.

There are dystopian influences in this film. Have you drawn your account from fantasy literature by authors like Phillip K. Dick, who advanced the same theme in many of his books?

I have never read anything by Dick to be familiar with that theme, but I know and value Bradbury and other fantasy writers. In reality, I let myself be guided by many different suggestions, like music for example, and then with Tom we worked a lot on the character of David.

On the subject of music, in this film as in Almost Famous, there is a large influence of pop culture, how did you guide yourself in the selection of pieces?

In Vanilla Sky as well, Danny Bramson was the supervisor of music. We searched to give the touch of the Beatles to the entire film. We already had a title from a song and we wanted a Paul McCartney song. Paul saw the film and asked me to choose one of the songs from the new album for the soundtrack. There were many great songs but in a few days, to my surprise, Paul called me saying that he had recorded a song especially for us, and could use it if I liked it. It was a great honor.

From Almost Famous, we learned that the opinion of your mother is very important for you. What did she think of the film?

She saw an earlier cut of the film, longer than the final version, and she liked it a lot, but said we had to cut down the middle part. I responded “How to cut the middle part?” but afterwards I followed her recommendations and cut here and there, except Tom, I didn’t touch him, and even my mother thought he’d been perfect.

There is a strong tendency in young authors in Hollywood to tell stories in a more complicated fashion, towards using a different narrative and to refuse simplicity in searching for more articulate ideas, what do you think about this?

It is definitely a way of working that belongs to me. Tarantino with Pulp Fiction changed the way of telling stories, it twisted the rules of telling stories offering a million new possibilities. I ask myself many questions when I work and after September 11th, we are all more inclined to look for responses to the questions we asked ourselves about reality. So, I definitely think we will see if there will be this tendency in narrative forms that mine greater depths.

Courtesy of Tempi Moderni – Danila Filippone – February, 2002