Despite its flaws, Alex Proyas’ Knowing ended up being a fascinating film, with a cool sci-fi bent and some interesting ideas about faith. I was so taken aback by the film and its audacious ending that I held an impromptu /Filmcast, where we all tried to make sense of what the movie was all supposed to mean (and determine whether or not the film was actually any good).
/Filmcast listener Ned wrote in a detailed response to that podcast episode, in which he relates various elements of the film to Biblical prophecy. I don’t think I would make all the connections that he made, but I found his e-mail pretty thought-provoking nonetheless (especially from a Christian standpoint, as faith plays a huge part in the film). I’m republishing the e-mail here in its entirety, with his permission. If you ever have any interesting and in-depth interpretations of recent/classic films that you want to share, always feel free to e-mail me at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Who knows? Maybe it’ll end up on the site one day.
For obvious reasons, everything after the jump and the comments should be considered a SPOILER-FILLED zone. Continue at your own risk.
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Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2009 by David Chen
In this bonus episode of the /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Peter Sciretta, and Adam Quigley discuss their thoughts on Alex Proyas’s ambitious new science fiction film, Knowing. Spoilers abound in this meandering, barely-coherent discussion! Special guest Russ Fischer joins us from CHUD. As always, if you have any feedback, feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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Last week, we asked /Film readers to provide questions for a special question and answer blog with director Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow, I, Robot, Knowing). We sent Alex the submissions, and he has personally picked nine of the questions to respond to. Read the answers below.
1. TerrenceV: “Mr. Proyas when you are developing the visual style of your films with the various camera angles, framings, and lighting do you storyboard heavily with your cinematographer so that you reach your vision, or do you find that you improvise more? Are your visual choices pretty instinctual?”
I do storyboard, but not with my DP – these days I usually throw away the boards on the set and go for something more spontaneous. My choices are in fact based mostly on instinct – but every scene in a movie is different and requires a different approach so some are more structured than others.
2. JordanFRAV: “Alex, in one of your last posts, you spoke about the influence the film and the William Blatty novel ‘The Exorcist’ had on you as an aspiring film-maker, I was just wondering if you had considered creating a ‘supernatural horror’ or a film in the ‘horror’ genre in the foreseeable future?”
Yes I’d like to do a horror movie as many of my films have elements of “horror” in them. I’m working on a script based on a Heinlein story, THE UNPLEASANT PROFESSION OF JONATHAN HOAG, which I see as a horror movie.
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You probably know Alex Proyas as the director of films like The Crow, Dark City, Garage Days, I Robot and Knowing. For the last couple weeks, the filmmaker has been guest blogging for /Film. But this week Proyas will be answering questions from /Film readers. Want to ask Alex a question? Leave your question in the comments below. We’ll be collecting questions until midnight tonight, and later this week, Alex will answer some of the better and most interesting questions from the comments!
Editor’s Note: You probably know Alex Proyas as the director of films like The Crow, Dark City, Garage Days, I Robot and Knowing, but for the next week and a half the filmmaker has agreed to become a guest blogger on /Film. I asked Alex to blog about some of his influences, and you can now read the resulting blog post below.
I was too young to see The Exorcist in its first run at the theaters, but I remember reading the novel and being scared to death. Many years later when I was able to see the film, its impact was no less potent. I love thrillers with a spiritual aspect… simply because it centers around a danger out of human control. Sell the initial concept (brilliantly achieved by BLATTY), and you have the potential to create some of the most thrilling moments possible. Forget about the scary beats and cheap jumps which sustain most modern thrillers and horrors – I like a film that prolongs tension for so long that even a quick scene cut to a girl lying in bed with special effects makeup scares the hell out of you.
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There’s a whole lot of Alex Proyas around the web at the moment, what with the imminent release of Knowing. Of course, Mr. Proyas himself is blogging here on /Film, which gives him a direct route to you, like a syringe to your brain, but he’s also being quoted here, there and everywhere. Some fascinating possibilities are being dug up, as well as the odd BIG RED SIGN of priceless advice for all filmmakers, up and coming or otherwise.
MTV are quoting Proyas on the matter of a Dark City sequel, and Chud have the dirt on why Proyas will never work with Fox again. Jump over the fold for the good stuff.
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Editor’s Note: You probably know Alex Proyas as the director of films like The Crow, Dark City, Garage Days, I Robot and Knowing, but for the next couple weeks the filmmaker has agreed to become a guest blogger on /Film. Proyas will be blogging a couple times a week, talking about his inspirations, the state of sci-fi cinema, Dark City, and his upcoming film Knowing.
Peter asked if I wouldn’t mind re-visiting Dark City. It has been over 10 years since I completed the film, though the recent director’s cut was an interesting process to go through. It was fascinating going back and watching the old cuts of the film before they were “tweaked” to satisfy test audiences and studio pressure. I was surprised to see a much more confident and satisfying film before it was compromised.
Although we have made huge leaps and bounds in terms of technology and visual effects, I think the reason why this film seems to hold up today is because of its ideas. I think it resonates even more so today than it did all those years ago.
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Editor’s Note: You probably know Alex Proyas as the director of films like The Crow, Dark City, Garage Days, I Robot and Knowing, but for the next few weeks the filmmaker has agreed to become a guest blogger on /Film. Proyas will be blogging a couple times a week, talking about his inspirations, the state of sci-fi cinema, Dark City, and his upcoming film Knowing. Below you can find a quick introduction post from Alex. Enjoy.
I hope you might find what I have to say about my new movie interesting, and if you don’t – well, feel free to press the page-back tab and read something more to your liking on /Film. Otherwise, check-in once in a while ‘cause I’ll be doing 5 entries all up – the last one will be a Q&A with /Film readers based on any questions you leave in the comments section.
For those of you who don’t know, I have a new film coming out on 20 March called KNOWING. It stars Nic Cage in a role I guarantee you haven’t seen him in before. I think he does a great job and I’m sure when you see the film, you’ll agree.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Summit Entertainment has sent us three new exclusive photos from Alex Proyas’ Knowing. Summit will be showing two big action scenes from the film at a panel at the New York Comic Con this weekend (February 7th from 4-5pm). And I’ve been told that one of them will be the full plane crash sequence. Check out two more photos after the jump.
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Summit Entertainment has released the full length movie trailer for Alex Proyas‘ upcoming thriller Knowing. If you’ve seen the previous teaser, than you know that Nicolas Cage comes across a code that predicts every major disaster in the last 50 years, including the upcoming destruction of everything. This new trailer introduces a new (possibly) supernatural element to the story, “the whisper people”, a group of mysterious albino men who stand off in the distance. Yeah, I’m not too sure what role they play quite yet. Watch the full trailer and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/knowing2.flv 470 196]
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