Tilda Swinton gained her acting experience in the experimental films of the late director Derek Jarman, among others Caravaggio And The garden and the debut short film from lifelong friend Joanna Hogg Mood and Sally Potter’s Orlando.
Almost fifty years later, she continued her collaboration with Hogg and in the field of experimental film, finding a new Jarman-like soul mate in the Thai artist and filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Speaking at the Marrakech Film Festival on Monday, the actress revealed that some of the big commercial studio films she’s worked on throughout her career struck her personally as more experimental than her avant-garde work.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have some adventures in the world of filmmaking that I never thought I would be able to have,” she said.
“When Derek died [in 1994]I was a bit high and sober…slowly…the invitations started coming and there were a few I was really looking forward to being with people I really wanted to be with.”
She suggested that her first studio film would be a superhero horror film Constantine by Francis Lawrence and this by David Fincher The strange case of Benjamin Knoop were experimental in their various ways.
“He threw himself completely out the window with all this technology that I’m always very interested in,” Swinton said of Fincher in the final film.
The actress hinted that there was an experimental atmosphere in the beginning The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian of Shrek Director Andrew Adamson.
She said: “Andrew Adamson said to me, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing.’ I’ve never made a live-action film before. So far I’ve only worked as an animator. Will you come on this crazy adventure with me? That’s what it really felt like.”
The actress revealed how she viewed her studio gigs as her “away games” where she would pack “a little bag” and go exploring.
“As a film nerd, it was always interesting for me to immerse myself in the studio system, even for a moment. You know, go into those big old hallowed halls and see why they might still be hallowed or not… But to come home and talk to Joanna or Joe (Weerasethakul’s nickname among fans and friends) on ‘ a much friendlier way of working – image-defined ways, that’s peace.”
Swinton said that ultimately there is “magic” in both the independent film and studio worlds and that the latter can still support radical work.
“It’s all about the people… It’s not the houses, the houses don’t contain the spirit. It’s the people. There are always opportunities to do really radical studio work. There are obstacles to overcome. But as long as there are people and a community and they are not isolated and oppressed, there will always be something to look forward to.”
Swinton is one of ten film figures participating in this year’s “In Conversation” program in Marrakech, together with Australian actor Simon Baker, French director Bertrand Bonello, American actor Willem Dafoe, Indian filmmaker and producer Anurag Kashyap. Japanese director Naomi Kawase; The Danish-American actor and director Viggo Mortensen, the Russian director and screenwriter Andrey Zvyagintsev as well as the Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen and the Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaïdi.
The festival runs from 30 November to 4 December.
Elizabeth Cabrera is an author and journalist who writes for The Fashion Vibes. With a talent for staying up-to-date on the latest news and trends, Elizabeth is dedicated to delivering informative and engaging articles that keep readers informed on the latest developments.