Posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
Is Anton Corbijn already done with filmmaking just as he’s getting warmed up? His debut feature, Control, was a great start, and then The American turned out to be both a satisfying art-house thriller slash character study and a weird out of left field financial success. OK, it didn’t rake in fifty million, but it won its first weekend, and in today’s climate that counts for a lot.
But Mr. Corbijn now sounds as if he’s not really interested in playing the filmmaking game, and says he’ll “only do three films.” The idea for his third and last film, should it be that, is to build a movie around the actor and composer Herbert Grönemeyer, who has been associated with both of Mr. Corbijn’s films.
That quote and what follows comes from the print edition of Empire, by way of The Playlist. Herbert Grönemeyer appeared in Control, and that led to him scoring The American. His biggest role was in Das Boot, but the bulk of his career has been as a musician. It seems that Mr. Corbijn wants to write a film around him — in which he’d appear as an actor — and “…then we’ll see if there’s anything there.”
While I’d be disappointed if this idea of only one more film turns out to be the director’s future — very disappointed — I can’t say I’d be entirely surprised. Anton Corbijn comes from photography, where it’s just him, an assistant or two, and the subjects. And he’s powerful enough in that realm that he can do whatever he wants. But filmmaking is a totally different game, and he doesn’t have the same power when it comes to film. Some people like that change of pace, but that doesn’t seem to be his mindset.
Asked if the transition from photographer to film director is natural, he says, “No, not at all…Maybe if you’re used to big set-ups, if you do commercials, but that’s now how I work. It’s a big jump.”