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Michael Mann: Using style to shatter the status quo

Here is an old interview with Michael Mann. It is an excellent piece, if you want to try and understand what makes Michael Mann tick, and how he works. I found it an enjoyable read. Well written, with some genuinely good insights into his character and approach to work and life. An excerpt is below, with the rest available here.

I will quote from the article what he say’s about working in TV, because of his forthcoming TV series “Luck”.

… ┬áit comes to film, however, Mann’s chief belief is a simple one – absolutely everything counts. Day-Lewis puts it this way: “Michael’s very, very conscious of how every aspect of film contributes; the colour, the sound, the lighting, the clothes. I never saw him once make an arbitrary decision. On a film of this scale, that takes incredible concentration.”…

… Yet he admits the heady nature of wielding media power. “It first hit me one Tuesday night in 1976, when an hour-long Police Story I had written aired. The next morning I walk into 7-11 to buy cigarettes. And I hear the guy behind the counter using this phrase which I had invented! A phrase that had been on TV less than 24 hours before!”

He leans forward intently. “People’s response to TV and film is a very multiplex phenomenon. So if you neglect any part of film, you’re neglecting part of what is possible. It’s really wild, but every part of any film is active. A sound here will change your sense of a shape which appears seconds later.”…

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