To overcome the disappointment for neither Jakes winning an award for Enemy at the Canadian Screen Awards (but Canadians thought its Direction, Cinematography, Editing, Music and Actress in a Supporting Role deserved them, which is great but, really? practically an award for everything and everybody BUT Jake?) I’ll lick my wounds by listening to him for 90 solid minutes in this interview recorded in November 2013 for the Sag Awards Foundation. Enjoy.
(hey Canadians? these two deserved that Award)
Updated to add link to a new interview for Indiewire.
A few excerpts:
I walked into “Enemy” without having read the book on which its based. I watched it as a straight up thriller until that final shot that upended everything I had seen up that point. I left this film feeling not played, but dumb. Did you get the film upon the first read?
You’re not in the select echelon of people.I knew what Denis was going for. All I need is like an anchor, conceptually, emotionally, and he explained to me what he wanted the movie to be about. You know, he wrote a bit of a manifesto and he said, “Before you read the script, this is what I want the movie to be about. I want it to be about intimacy, struggle with identity, searching for your own and how that gets mixed up with being intimate, romantically, sexually, all those things.”
I love that idea of someone being split. Trying to kind of find their way and commit to in the end… a real relationship with his wife, who is pregnant with their child. You know, that’s to me what the movie was about. To me, that was the beautiful hopeful ending, that I thought, “Okay, that’s where he’s moving towards.” Now the irony of it is, and I don’t know if this is a spoiler, the end is cyclical because no matter what we commit to in what we decide we want our lives to be, there’s always the biological, psychological aspects that will torment us at times. You know, there’s always that snake. The snake doesn’t go away, you know what I mean? It’s always in the corner of the woods, you just need to know where it is, so you don’t step on it again. You can walk around it. And I think that’s the idea of the movie to me. There’s a lot of other shit there too.
But very simply, Denis said, “This is a movie about being a man in a relationship. and the fear and the relief in a certain type of commitment.”I was like, “Ahh, i love that idea!”
In both “Prisoners” and this, you have so much going on beneath the surface — they’re performances that stick with you. It’s no coincidence they’re my two favorite performances of yours. You seem to be digging deeper than ever before in your work. Is that due to what Denis asks of you, or did you just come to a realization of sorts?
Yeah. I feel a desperate need to bring that to everything that I do. And I feel that every interaction that I have, be it in the interaction that we’re having now, or I go out on the street, whoever I see, whoever I meet, in my life, my friends, the people I love, my family… each on of those things in between each project I do is an accumulation of an experience and I want to put all those things, even if it correlates to the movie I’m doing or not. It’s all inside me, it’s how I grow. So, I don’t want deny that stuff and then go and make a movie. I want to take all that stuff with me and put it into the experience I’m having. And that’s a decision I made, I started to realize, “That moves me. Oh, I detest that. Oh…” Whatever it is, and bring it in to the performances. I think you get to a certain age where you start doing that and you’re no longer feeling that.. I don’t know (Laughs).So I’m seeing more of you in every performance now.
I think so. I think so… I mean, I’ve become a lot more obsessed with the specificity of characters and like you said, my work, the choices I make, also being on stage was a really big evolution for me. Getting back on stage last year, I will again next year, to me, being a part of… I don’t know… I just feel more alive in what I’m doing. [GC: on stage AGAIN? now that's some news!]
I can’t explain it in any way, except the relationships I make with the people I make movies with matters to me the most and how we interact. I’m about to go do this movie about Everest with Baltasar Kormakur, directing the movie, and I know the relationship we have there, like, we will explore. I will listen to him and what he needs and then I’ll go into unknown territory for him as a result. I don’t now what that’s about. I don’t know what happened. I just know I went like, “Oh, now’s the time.” There’s no other time but now to go do it. I’m going to make a bold choice and if someone doesn’t want it they can cut it out.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
We’ve got a bunch of new juicy stuff to sink our teeth into and honestly, you sadists at the ENEMY promotion desks, can you tease us a little more?
Anyway, first things first: when in Rome do as the Romans do
Which was meant for the Roman Empire but actually means that when in Rome you’ve got to sit on sidewalks
Or maybe it means that in Rome you can dress like this and get away with it
(OK maybe this has nothing to do with Ancient Romans and Jake is just shooting a film based on a tragic EVEREST expedition at the Cinecittà Studios, although why not shooting near actual mountains like someone from the crew and cast did on the Alps is beyond me)
We’ve got a teaser trailer (see sadists remark above) and a new featurette
The trailer is slightly NSFW (we can see a gorgeous tit but alas, no Jake’s cheeks and no I’m not talking about his face)
Featurette #2: The Women of ENEMY
We’ve got a gorgeous photoshoot and new interview for the Man of The World magazine (excerpt beneath the gallery)
“It’s taken me a long time in my career to realize that you can’t be good at everything. You sometimes have to give something up. There are limits,” the 33-year-old movie star says. “I do care about the stories people want to tell. But then I want to get back to my honest self for the directors I work with.”
Gyllenhaal believes it’s important to set boundaries at the very beginning. “The movie business is largely just stuffing actors in this place, and this place and this place,” he says, noting that he typically takes time off to regroup between projects. “But it’s time in your life that you can’t have back.” (you can pre-order issue #7 here)
We’ve got new on-set photos (thanks to IHJ as always)
The next one is actually funny. If we didn’t know better one would think that Jake and Isabella Rossellini were ordering lunch with Denis Villeneuve waiting the table
We’ve got an ENEMY official website that looks very grey and very useless
(I know you’ve clicked everywhere on the page like I did)
If you don’t mind VERY spoilerish interviews, here’s one with Denis Villeneuve about Enemy for Filmcomment. The interviewer gave away something that even to me (I haven’t seen the film yet) sounds like a huge spoiler. You’ve been warned.
And last but not least, we’ve got a bunch of new release dates:
Canada 14 March 2014
USA 14 March 2014 (New York City, New York)
Germany 15 March 2014 (Fantasy Filmfest Nights)
Singapore 27 March 2014
Spain 28 March 2014
Germany 8 May 2014
Turkey 16 May 2014
Netherlands 29 May 2014
Portugal 18 June 2014
Now we only have to wait
(hey, IGN?…it’s ENEMY, not The Double)
Review Summary [source]: Truly unique experiences in cinema are rare today, and thankfully, Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy provides one. Sure, this film can be compared to others, but honestly, so can every film out there. Most films are just recreations of stories we’ve seen already. What makes a movie special is the way in which the story is told. From the opening shot of Enemy, you are trained to expect something out of the ordinary. Jake Gyllenhaal is magnetic, his performance seethes on the screen. As the movie progressed, and the tension built, it became increasingly obvious that this was “a thinker”, a film that movie nerds will be discussing on the internet for years. It’s a beautifully shot, well-acted thriller that’s well worth seeing. It also contains one of the scariest endings I’ve ever seen.
A couple of new scenes from the film in this interview with Denis Villeneuve for The Morning Show
It bugs me to read that the film will have a ‘limited release’ but maybe things will change. You can catch the film online though on February 6 on DirecTV, a whole month before its official release in the US:
A DirecTV exec told the Journal that it plans to introduce a new movie every month with a “huge marketing push.” It will charge as much as $12.99 for a seven-day rental, with Enemy making its debut early in 2014 [source]
Thanks to IHJ we have screencaps
I wonder if Jake himself decided to use this old shot. Brilliant!
We also have a new poster. I think of the three I like the red one better.
The anticipation is bloody killing me.
and a couple of behind the scenes shots (Jake on a bike, people).
Enemy’s release in Spain has been pushed forward to March 28, after the US release
(set your clocks, it’s March 14)
Two months to go, two months too many.
Maybe it’s because Saramago’s novel ‘The Double’ was already among my favorite books, or because the film is almost entirely on Jake’s shoulders or maybe because it’s so dark and disquieting, or because many say its ending is terrifying and confusing (a “mindfuck”) and it stays with you long after you’ve left the theater, whatever it is, I can’t wait to see it.
Jake received unanimous praise for his interpretation of both characters and I guess this counts as just one more reason for this to be my 2014 Most Anticipated Film.
Speaking of praise, here’s what must be one of Jake’s work in Prisoners most enthusiastic review. It’s from the FILMAKER, and I’m sharing it here so I can forget about the Oscars snub. Prisoners deserved more than just one nomination (for Best Cinematography, which is better than nothing anyway so congrats to Roger A. Deakins).
“Gyllenhaal shows us almost less than the script tells us, but in doing so, he shows us a lot. A slight eye tick betrays his hardness and tattoos. Every time he really needs to look tough, that damn eye tick acts up, revealing the little kid who’s still hurt and scared.”
His face juts forward in front of his body, and his huge eyes seem to blast forward in front of his face. But instead of this becoming some kind of Martian intensity, it is qualified, always, made earthbound, by his eyelids, which he has no control over. Which seem to say, “there’s a big part of me that just wants to go to sleep, please.”
Although there is some of the minimalist concentration of former screen detectives, like Steve McQueen’s Bullitt, Gyllenhaal’s cop is not cool. He speaks in goody two shoes police vernacular — “I need you to calm down, ma’am, and let me do my job” — and he’s an anal retentive, buttoned-up, freshly cut control freak. One does not get the feeling that some righteous overall moral justice guides this man. It’s more like a guy with PTSD and OCD just trying to take care of what comes before him. Trying to not add more misery to his life and the life of others.
Of course, that’s part of what makes the character such a great hero, and it’s part of what makes Gyllenhaal’s performance so great. He doesn’t know he’s a hero. He’s just doing his job. He doesn’t know that he needs to save these kids with all his heart; he’s just doing his job. And Gyllenhaal does not play him as a hero.
Gyllenhaal’s detective has no choice but to enter into Brothers Grimm territory. To find the kids, he must first find the kidnapper. He can’t just be an upstanding citizen, he has to go down into the basement. His prim and proper cop can only get him so far on the case. Then he needs his shadow. All the things he’s put away in the bag.
We watch Gyllenhall hesitantly go from his brain to his guts, watch him become emotionally involved despite his armor, watch him go into the woods to face the demons. He doesn’t transform from one person to another. At the end of the movie, he has the same weary, jaded circumspect mask on that he had in the beginning. But there’s the slightest flicker, in the last scene, of something just a little bit different about him. Something alive again, that had been buried. It’s just the slightest flicker though. We hardly notice it at all.”
Jake and Denis Villeneuve cover the next issue of the magazine and I can’t wait to read the new interview.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 52,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 19 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Citizen of the world.