Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinnis a movie bursting with personality. It’s poppy and gritty, slapstick-y and visceral, and most striking of all, it doesn’t confine itself to as many boxes or rules as most comic book movies do. It’s a rare comic book movie with an actual sense of freedom and spontaneity. Behind the boisterous vision is filmmaker Cathy Yan.

Before Yan was writing and directing films, she was already sharpening her skills as a storyteller. A graduate from Princetown University and the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Yan was a journalist for the Wall Street Journal, based in Beijing, Hong Kong, and New York. She was one of the youngest writers in Wall Street Journal history. After her time as a journalist, she went on to direct more shorts and her feature directorial debut, Dead Pigs, which impressed Birds of Prey‘s star and producer, Margot Robbie.

Recently, we spoke to Yan about the set pieces in the movie, paying homage to Jackie Chan and Orson Welles, and more.

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You might consider it a given that Clint Mansell would score Noah for Darren Aronofsky, as the two have a long-established working partnership that is beginning to resemble the creative marriage between Joel and Ethan Coen and Carter Burwell. In fact, “marriage” is exactly the word Aronofsky uses to describe his work with both Mansell and frequent cinematographer Matty Libatique.

During a filmmaking master class given at the Marrakech Film Festival, Aronofsky recently talked about his entire career, and confirmed that Mansell will score Noah. In doing so he also talked about the nature of his work with the composer, and the quotes are not the boilerplate “we work well together” stuff we hear from most directors. Read More »