Sunday, December 7, 2014

I found this line from a report on Angelina's Australian TV interview interesting because it goes to the heart of what may be the main weakness of the film:

"After Louis' passing Angelina says she had trouble finishing the edit as it felt like sacrilege to leave anything on the cutting room floor.
And she kept finding ways to stall, as finishing the film meant more distance from her mentor."

The Omori POW camp section in particular dragged a bit.  Anne Thompson and Eric Kohn mentioned this in their Screen Talk podcast although they both agreed that overall, the movie was a fine and very polished effort.

-- Fussy


'I was scared but he made me feel it would be all right:' Angelina Jolie reveals she turned to WWII hero Louis Zamperini for support while filming biopic Unbroken

She's an Oscar-winner, UN ambassador and one of the most world's most beautiful women. 
But despite seeming to have it all A-lister Angelina Jolie, 39, admits she's just like the rest of us and suffers from raging self-doubt.
The wife of Brad Pitt claims she suffered 'many sleepless nights' editing her new biopic Unbroken but sought support and guidance from the movie's subject, Olympic runner and WWII prisoner Louis Zamperini, 97, before his death in July.
 She told Channel Nine's Richard Wilkins on Saturday night: 'I had many sleepless nights feeling,“Oh my god, I hope I can do good enough work and be worthy of this man’s story, to be a keeper of this man’s story." 
'And I was scared. But I worked hard and he made me feel that it was going to be all right.
'And even when I didn’t have faith in myself during production he would remind me I was going to do a good job.'


Angelina, who saw Louis just two days before he passed away whilst he was in a coma, says that, in true spirit, he fought until the end and 'poetically' left this earth on his own terms at the age of 97.
'Everyone went and whispered in his ear and nobody dared say goodbye,' she told Channel Nine in the exclusive interview, 'but we all said we loved him and everybody took their turns.
'I went home and said, “Oh God, he’s gone," and then I got a call a few days later and they said his son was reaching for his hand. 
 And when they asked if he wanted to keep fighting he was able to signal that he did. And I kept thinking, "this is impossible." 
'But he came back to say goodbye and to go on his terms. It was very Louis.'
Although Angelina is devastated Louis never got to see the final edit, the actress and director was in constant contact with him and takes comfort in the fact he saw the draft edit on her laptop.
 It was so beautiful to have the privilege of watching this extraordinary person watch his life before his eyes,' she adds.
'He saw his mom and he smiled, he saw his brother...and one of the most touching things was the races. 
'He was so frail in the end - this mountain of a man of physical strength was now in a place where his body was failing after all this time and he was watching with his bright blue eyes.
 Watching himself win races and fight, and survive, and it was so magical. It was very, very special.
'I think there was something beautiful that his whole life was about fighting against the odds and fighting to survive and fighting to get this message out.
'He really believed in getting this message of helping to inspire others out into the world and he felt he’d done that with his speaking, his book and he always wanted to do that with a film.
 I think we always knew that there was a chance he wouldn’t make it [to the end of the edit]. And he used to joke with me and say, "you better had get on with it girl."' 
After Louis' passing Angelina says she had trouble finishing the edit as it felt like sacrilege to leave anything on the cutting room floor.
And she kept finding ways to stall, as finishing the film meant more distance from her mentor.

During editing Angelina says she often used to telephone Louis to double check facts because although she knew his story, some of what she was seeing on camera was so astonishing.
Like when on day 27 of being afloat in the ocean on a raft they were strafed by a Japanese bomber and he dived in the water, only to be attacked by a shark.
In his book Louis says that if he hadn't punched it in the nose he would have been a goner. 

Angelina tells Richard Wilkins: 'So much of his life is so unbelievable that we didn't even put it all in the film. In the film he kicks the shark but apparently he did square-on punch it.
'He was a boy scout and took real pride in that, and [was] a survivalist. When they were in base camp before they took off, there were a few thousand men and they had a 'how to survive on a raft'.
'And him and four others took the course. Part of that was to deal  with sharks. 
'So it's lucky for us he took the class!' she jokes, 'he was always prepared.'

 He was extremely intelligent, he’s also extremely funny and so charming,' she adds in the Channel Nine interview: 'That rebellious Italian blooded cool, witty man to the end. And very, very funny. 
'I wanted to spend years following this man’s footsteps because I wanted to learn from him and I wanted to be inspired like everyone who learns about him.
'But I didn’t know I’d meet one of my best friends, who would be such a father figure to me and give me so much guidance and help me through tough times in my life.
‘I’m forever changed for having known him. 

You can help but somehow feel like, “this wasn’t me wanting to make a film, this is Louis’ life and Louis decided how he wanted to live his life.
'Louis championed things and fought for things and we kind of became the final chapter in his life.’
Because Unbroken is Angelina's second film as a director she said she had to dig deep to try and identify with all the characters, and often listened to and took direction from the actors playing them.
She also drew on experiences that Brad and her sons, Maddox, 13, Pax,11, and six-year-old Knox have had and encountered for inspiration.
 As a director you’re that little bit removed where you have to try to really put yourself into everybody’s shoes,' she adds.
'Including all these young men which made me less think about my own experiences but more about my sons, or things I know about Brad and the young men I have known in my life.
'And to try to get into their mindset I listened to the actors a lot who helped me to get them through his because they told me what they should be doing.'
When Richard asked: 'Which one was Brad?' she smiled and answered, ‘I can’t tell you!’ 
All will be revealed when Unbroken is release in Australia on January 15.

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