Yorgos Lanthimos on How to Shoot Surrealist Film
Masterful advice for budding surrealists, from one of the genre's greatest living directors.
If you've seen any of Yorgos Lanthimos' films, then you know the Greek director isn't afraid to put anything on the screen. Like many famous surrealists, Lanthimos isn't interested in exploring stories where things go right, he wants his audience to see what's wrong in the world.
To him, nothing is off limits and any dark side of the human psyche is worth exploring. In surrealist film, any image can be too much or too little. It's a delicate balance, but one that Lanthimos has truly mastered with his latest film The Favourite.
A period piece set in early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne Olivia Colman, occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, however, her charm endears her to Sarah and a competition to be the queens favorite emerges.
In this interview, Lanthimos is joined by screenwriter Tony McNamara to discuss how commercial work early in his career ended up steering him in the complete opposite direction, not conforming to filmic norms, and breaking every possible rule you can.
The Favourite is in theaters now.