There is always one film that inspired us to become filmmakers.
If you’ve been following film news closely, then you might have heard one or two positive reviews about Todd Field’s second feature film, TÁR. Although 16 years sits between Field’s first and last film, Little Children, the filmmaker reminded the world of his talent for writing and capture his main character’s subjective point of view in a way that feels strangely new yet familiar.
The film has earned overwhelmingly positive reviews, with Martin Scorsese recently saying that “The clouds lifted when I experienced Todd’s film.” It isn’t surprising that TÁR is being widely viewed as a strong Academy Award contender when one of the greatest filmmakers of all time is praising the work for being pure cinema.
You can’t help but wonder what inspired Field to step behind the camera and launch his directing career. What was the inspiration behind this current influential auteur filmmaker’s career? Well, we finally know the movie responsible for Field’s directorial style.
In a recent appearance on The Hollywood Reporter’s Director Roundtable, Field said that his love of cinema began with an unholy amount of viewings of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.
“It started for me in high school,” Field said. “I had a job at a second-run movie house, so we would run certain films for up to six months. I projected Raiders of Lost Ark literally, like, 350 times. So, I fell in love with movies then.
Field knew that he was in love with the performances in the film, and went to acting school before realizing that his true love was directing.
“I acted for about five years and quit to go to the American Film Institute and had no desire to act again,” Field said. To continue working as an actor while he worked on his first and second project. “But this film that I had acted in by Victor Nuñez [Ruby in Paradise] had come out while I was in school and won the grand jury prize at Sundance. And for essentially the next 10 years, my phone would ring with acting offers, and that’s how I paid off my student loans. That and my wife [costume designer Serena Rathbun] keeping the lights on.”
Despite his well publicized difficulties with getting projects financed, Field says he has no regrets about pursuing a career in directing. With a film like TÁR under his belt, Field feels more confident than ever in his ability to write and direct great stories.
What film inspired you to join the film industry? Let us know in the comments below!