Posted on Thursday, May 13th, 2021 by Jack Giroux
It’s fitting interviewing director Timur Bekmambetov over Zoom. Towards the end of the conversation, when the pleasantries and goodbyes were over, something about my reaction to finishing the call made him say “You see!” I didn’t see. Maybe he saw how exhausted I actually was the morning of the interview after I hit pause on the recording and was exiting the digital room. I imagined he got a kick out of seeing something surprising over Zoom, something he wouldn’t have gotten over a phone call – my true face of the day following a jovial conversation.
Maybe I’m projecting, but something had the director of Night Watch and Wanted exclaiming in excitement. “You see!”
I could see his true joy for the screenlife format at that moment. I got to hear all about his passion for it during the interview, but seeing it, especially over Zoom, made the filmmaker’s love for the modern technique all the more tangible. The director’s belief in this format, which tells stories entirely through computer and phone screens, is strong.
He’s already produced several movies using screenlife, including Unfriended and one of the most original thrillers of the past few years, Searching. Now, Bekmambetov has directed his very own thriller using screenlife: Profile. It’s based on a true story about a journalist (played by Valene Kane) trying to infiltrate ISIS, to see how they recruit young women. Naturally, things go wrong.
Bekmambetov wants to push the boundaries of screenlife – and he thinks it is the future of moviemaking.