Interview: Why ‘The Light Between Oceans’ Director Derek Cianfrance Is Obsessed with Longevity and the Passage of Time
Posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 by Jack Giroux
With his adaptation of M. L. Stedman‘s bestselling novel, writer-director Derek Cianfrance wanted to make The Light Between Oceans a cross between a John Cassavettes movie and a Dean Lean film, a personal tale told against an epic backdrop. Cianfrance, both in his films and in person, proudly wears his influences on his sleeves, but The Light Between Oceans still features staples we’re now coming to expect from the filmmaker behind Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines.
Like the relationships in Cianfrance’s two previous dramas, Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) and Isabel Graysmark’s (Alicia Vikander) intense love for each other is tangible, intimate and often painful. When Isabel first enters a room, Tom’s face is lit up as if a miracle is unfolding before him. As Cianfrance tells us, he wants these seemingly minor moments to feel grand — but that’s not all we talk about with the filmmaker.
Below, read our Derek Cianfrance interview, in which he discusses with us the themes that tie his body of work together, his dreams of longevity as a director, the 209 hours of footage he shot for The Light Between Oceans, and more.