“I grew up watching all the award shows and I’d put on a fancy dress and watch it with my friends,” Gerwig recalls.

The scenes flash by as a series of moments — snapshots of life — held together only by the breathless bravura of Gerwig’s filmmaking. The Oscar selections were a personal triumph for Gerwig and for Lady Bird – its stars, Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, who play a squabbling daughter and mother, are also nominated – but it was an important moment for female film-makers everywhere.

I was crying for the first 45 minutes, watching a female superhero on an island of awesome women.

Part of the journey is both loving who she is and where she’s from.’, Would you have wanted to play her at Saoirse Ronan’s age?‘I can’t imagine anyone else playing that part. It has a powerfully distinctive voice — bold, darting, sneaky and new. “‘Did you bring your resumé?’ I looked such a nerd.”, Payne she knows less well, but is an ardent fan. Movie stars, it appears, outnumber the rest of us. Because that’s just how those moments seem to go for me.”. Her kind of innate bravery. The effect is to create a flow of coruscating emotion in which each moment becomes special — not because it’s servicing an “arc” but because it simply is. “Lady bird, lady bird, fly away home. And in a year ruled by the pop gender explosion of Patty Jenkins’ superheroine blockbuster “Wonder Woman,” and one that has ended with nothing less than a paradigm shift in the issue of sexual harassment, “there’s something coalescing,” says Gerwig. All rights reserved. © 2020 Time Out England Limited and affiliated companies owned by Time Out Group Plc. “When I was acting in those little movies,” she recalls, “I was also able to write while I was acting, because we had the characters and the plot devised, and we were speaking improvisationally.

“But awards are not important in terms of whether or not I’ll make another film,” she says. “I felt so badly for all those women,” she says, “and I felt so understanding of where they were, especially the young women, the women who were in college, the women who were just excited about movies and film-making and found themselves in a position that they didn’t know how to say no, but they didn’t know how to leave and that they felt overpowered and then they felt scared to say anything.”, There are tears in her eyes; her voice cracks. “I’m just as bad as anyone,” she admits. The film follows Ronan as 17-year-old Christine McPherson, who’d rather you call her Lady Bird: when asked if it’s her given name, she clarifies: “It’s given to me, by me.” The year is 2002, the place is Sacramento, a mid-size city in California, and both these facts are a cruel disappointment to her: “The only exciting thing about 2002 is that it’s a palindrome,” Lady Bird sighs. “When I went into pre-production for Lady Bird, I’d been working in films in different capacities for 10 years.

Other people go to film school; I cobbled it together differently.’, How were your boom mic skills?‘I was an okay boom mic operator. At one point, he puts down Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States to announce, “I’m trying to live by bartering alone”. Gerwig came of age admiring directors like Claire Denis, Agnès Varda (Gerwig on Varda: “You’re just as good as Truffaut, or Godard, or your husband!”) and Kathryn Bigelow (when she won the Oscar for director, it said to Gerwig, “This is a job available, to you”).

“John Hughes movies I love; they loom so large for me. “Even though it isn’t literally autobiographical there’s a core of emotional truth that’s very resonant,” says Gerwig. In person, the actress-turned-writer/filmmaker is as funny and thoughtful as her movie, and prone to lovely flashes of lyricism.

Greta Gerwig talks about the origins of 'Lady Bird', if she wants to continue directing, and gives her thoughts on 'Shape of Water', 'Dunkirk' and more. Ten years ago Greta Gerwig co-directed an indie flick few people saw. She tells us how her memories made it to the screen.

Physically, she mixes elegance with eccentricity. She later offered him the role of Larry McPherson based on that meeting. As you move from moment to moment, it doesn’t feel like anything’s signposted for you, but a third of the way through you realize it’s starting to catch under you.”. “She’s testing them all out. The Lady Bird director on being only the fifth woman ever to be nominated for a best director Oscar, #MeToo and looking like a nerd in front of Angela Merkel, Sun 4 Feb 2018 09.00 GMT She’s in her final year at an all-girls Catholic high school and, after graduating, she wants to move to the east coast to study, “where writers live in the woods”. And to see that on the screen, and to see her get out of the front seat and get rid of the boy, because that’s not what she needs — she needs to be there for her friend — to me, that’s the moment where Molly Ringwald goes out to the car, and he’s waiting for her.” It’s John Hughes, all right — or as Gerwig explained it to Ronan, “your boom-box-over-the-head moment.” Only this one shows what it is inside. Last modified on Wed 21 Mar 2018 23.48 GMT. Yet what all the success adds up to — and can’t entirely measure — is that “Lady Bird” has become a touchstone, a generational movie landmark hailed for its declaration of a bold new way of seeing. The illogical nature of making movies is appealing to me as well. Greta Gerwig, whose very personal, coming-of-age debut film Lady Bird was hotly tipped, lives in New York but happened to be in LA for work. A comedy-drama set in her hometown, starring Saoirse Ronan as a 17-year-old high-schooler, it’s a coming-of-age tale bursting with wit, heart and the nostalgia of youth. “I was so rule-following and people-pleasing and gold-star-getting. At the Telluride festival last September, there was a photocall for the film-makers in attendance and Gerwig collected a giant bruise on her leg trying to hurdle a bench to tell Payne how much she liked his latest movie, Downsizing. But I think, for me, art was always the place where I could go too far.”, But what about Lady Bird’s thoughts — all those drop-dead one-liners?

“They give extraordinary performances and they should get all the statues and prizes. Bill Nighy stands at a urinal in the men’s room, director Alexander Payne sweeps through the lobby. It doesn’t quite feel real. “I was so rule-following and people-pleasing and gold-star-getting. The pair became friends when they were on the jury for the Berlin film festival and catch up every so often for dinner in New York. The two first met at the Sundance premiere of “Wiener-Dog,” a movie both had acted in (in separate scenes). “It’s thrilling and it’s also part of what the dream of making films is.”, Then Gerwig’s eyes narrow; these are defining moments both for her personally as a director and also as an inspirational member of the too-small band of female film-makers. The change might be ten years away: it’s a trickle-down effect. And I showed up and Christoph looked at me and said – she slips into a strident Mitteleuropean accent – ‘Greta, are you applying for an internship with Angela?’” Gerwig cracks up. But I don’t participate.

“You feel like you could look straight through her, like you can see her insides and her brain working.”, The daughter-mother relationship between Ronan’s Lady Bird and. “You need to reach a level of boredom to make anything. “There’s something about Saoirse on-screen,” says Gerwig. She didn’t dive headfirst into screenwriting until the two films that she co-wrote with her partner, the filmmaker Noah Baumbach. And it doesn’t bother me, because it’s the assumption people make and in a way maybe they make that assumption because it feels very real. “I’ll keep making films, no matter what.”, Lady Bird is in selected cinemas from 16 February and nationwide from 23 February, It’s Shape of Water v Three Billboards v Darkest Hour as the British film establishment gets together for its big awards night, In Greta Gerwig’s wonderful new film it’s the mother rather than the teenage daughter who grows up, says Eva Wiseman, Women dress in black to turn awards ceremony spotlight from clothes to the fight for equality, Actors and activists gathered at the Royal Albert Hall wearing all-black outfits in support of the Time’s Up movement sweeping the film industry, Available for everyone, funded by readers. There was nothing to hide behind.”. It has been a common assumption that Lady Bird is Gerwig’s teenage diaries transcribed. I was much more coloring inside the lines.

What, then, are some solid, hard facts about Gerwig? “She is lustful; she wants things. She confesses that she was surprised at how much she fell in love with directing. Timothée Chalamet, for example – who plays Lady Bird’s crush Kyle and is also Oscar-nominated this year for his role in another coming-of- age drama, Call Me By Your Name – was directed towards the films of Éric Rohmer and a collection of theoretical essays, The Internet Does Not Exist. Gerwig says she learned how to direct by soaking up everything she saw on the movie sets she worked on as an actress; she refers to that as her film school. You think that’s me.’, “But I don’t know,” she continues. But she undercuts the effect by slouching a little, laughing unguardedly and demonstrating odd and endearing mannerisms, such as the stiff handshake of a Victorian industrialist packing his son off to boarding school. In the two months since “Lady Bird” was released by A24, the indie maverick behind 2016’s Oscar-winning “Moonlight,” Gerwig’s film has become the rare independent feature that’s a crossover hit ($30 million and counting), a critical darling (99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and a major awards player. “I’ve felt for so long that there just need to be more women in positions of power,” Gerwig goes on. This is the first movie Gerwig has written and directed, and just as she has emerged from the indie world, at 34, as a titanic filmmaking talent, Ronan, after a series of highly revered performances, raises her game to a new peak of emotional purity.

“I hope they give her a ‘Star Wars’ movie, if that’s what she wants,” he says. Gerwig is beaming, though you get the feeling that’s her natural state. “Christoph Waltz is here?” she shrieks. She was born in the Bronx, but her parents came from Dublin and moved her family back to Ireland when she was three. Try another?

Greenberg was a life-changing experience personally as well: after it wrapped, Gerwig and Baumbach began dating, for a while on the down-low, these days more openly, though Gerwig tends to refer to him as “Noah Baumbach” or “Baumbach” in our interview, suggesting they keep their work and private lives quite distinct. Gerwig is technically a millennial, but not spiritually so. Greta Gerwig “So much of what Lady Bird is was this very flawed but fantasy heroine I created,” says Gerwig. Saoirse is so transparent emotionally – when you look at her face you can almost tell what she’s thinking. “We were both in a very open state. Greta Gerwig, whose very personal, coming-of-age debut film Lady Bird was hotly tipped, lives in New York but happened to be in LA for work. Thanks for subscribing! But I worry that we’ve lost that capacity, which I think maybe erodes some creativity as well. I’d come from ballet, which is about trying to be perfect, and hip hop was not about that at all. “I remember very well when Sofia Coppola was nominated for best director and won best screenplay [for Lost in Translation in 2004] and what that meant to me,” says Gerwig on the phone from New York last week. “No!” she says, laughing. The allegations against the producer Harvey Weinstein and others, while monstrous in their scope and detail, have led to the most positive kind of backlash: through the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, and the 50/50 by 2020 initiative, which aims to have male-female parity in the business world in two years.


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