How to create the film "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
• How to create the film "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
Twenty years ago, Terry Gilliam sent his audience into a psychedelic trip to the city of sin. Parse is recreated on the screen narcotic grim experience of Hunter Thompson's "gonzo-direction", wide-angle optics, the one-eyed operator and Japanese Jimi Hendrix
Preparation and shooting: long run, the script in ten days and pre-production nightmare
Attempts to film the novel by Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" began to take almost immediately after the release of the book in the early 1970s. Among the directors who took over the material, were Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone, and the candidates for the duo main characters have visited Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, John Malkovich and John Cusack. However, the actors have time to get out of the right age, or even die, and all the project was in place. (It is worth noting that in 1980, for example, came the film "Where the Buffalo Roam," based in part on the novel: there starring Bill Murray, but now take a cool..)
The situation has changed only in the early 1990s when the company was engaged in the production of paintings Rhino Films. It attracted as a director and author Alex Cox script. He pledged to make a film as soon as possible and to meet the fairly moderate budget. Soon, however, Cox was fired, and replaced invited Terry Gilliam, who had previously been a few times anyway intersected with the project. Together with screenwriter Tony Grisoni wrote it from scratch your script, and because time was running out, the text was prepared in just ten days.
The creative process Gilliam describes as follows: "... we have decided that we will write quickly, relying on first come to mind instinctive decisions. We both thought that the feel good book, so just move the text, take what we like, discarding what does not like replica recruited from different places and in the process, decide how to structure this material. " The narrative authors, as in the book, divided into two approximately equal parts. The center of each of the acts are a narcotic "adventure" in different hotels. In the middle of the narrative there is a kind of interlude - "trip" aborted attempt hero Johnny Depp leave Las Vegas. However, the flight is not successful, the hero returns for another "circle of hell", as the viewer, words Gilliam, "guidelines strictly and completely lost."
In general, pre-production of the film Gilliam has since described as "a nightmare." For a long time everything was done solely on verbal agreements, and the producers threatened with removal from the project and tried to cut the budget, but as training becomes evident that the costs should be increased. As a result, the budget actually increased from seven to nineteen million dollars. Forty-eight days have been allocated to the shooting, but in reality the group took fifty-six days from August to October 1997. Gilliam, known for the ability to work quickly, laid in two or three takes, but notes that had to shoot here, "exclusively pragmatic". Forced the pace of filming he later described as follows: "Procrastination is like death. No reshoots, no return to the scene. Gonzo-direction, matched hanterovskoy gonzo journalism. "
Casting: a set of 18 kilos and lives with Hunter Thompson
Back when the movie director was listed as Cox, a belt connected actors Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. Both reacted to prepare very seriously. Del Toro would play Dr. Gonzo, a prototype of which was a lawyer and friend of Thompson's Oscar Zeta Acosta. To embody the image of the actor studied in detail the biography of Acosta, and in just nine weeks, scored an impressive eighteen kilograms.
Depp played the journalist Raoul Duke, Thompson's alter ego, and that, according to the actor, "to steal his soul," he lived for four months with the writer, studying the character, habits, gait, intonations of his hero. A particular challenge was the imitation of specific voices Thompson.
To do this, Depp used technique, borrowed from Marlon Brando (he just shortly before the "Fear and Loathing" was filmed in the directorial debut of Depp's "Brave"), renowned for its phenomenal inability to memorize the text. At the site, the actor was in the headphones, which sounded a necessary pre-written text. With such a scrupulous respect for the role, Thompson eventually even admitted that he sees in the image of Duke anyone other than Depp. And as a sign of special respect Thompson even personally nalyso I shaved actor before filming.
Locations and scenery: Las Vegas, the desert and pavilions
The action of the book and the film takes place almost entirely in Las Vegas, but for various reasons, only a part of the filming could take place in the same places as those described by Thompson.
The first problem - the capital of entertainment for a quarter century has changed dramatically. As Gilliam said: "In Vegas, there was only a single quarter, which is still a bit like Vegas seventies: there are old motels and old signs. This Street North Fremont is located on the outskirts of Las Vegas. "
However, the majority of hotels and casinos, which are suitable for the film, the group refused to keep away even close, apparently, knowing in what light the life of Las Vegas appear on the screen. They agreed to open its doors only hotels and casinos Stardust and The Rivera. However, they severely limited the work on time the team allowed to shoot only in a short period of between two and six in the morning the night.
A significant part of the interior had to be built in the pavilions Warner Bros, including one of the most insane space movie - casino Bazooka Circus, under which guessed the real casino Circus Circus. The whole design of space prompted the actual interiors of the casino-hotels - the authors of not very exaggerated. For example, patterns of plant forms carpets and poisonous color Gilliam observed in all entertainment establishments during one of his visits to Las Vegas in the 1960s.
In addition to Las Vegas, a few scenes were filmed in California, in the desert regions of Arizona and Nevada, and Red Rock Canyon. Speaking of the most difficult episodes Gilliam highlights scenes on the roads and in the wilderness, they were particularly costly, time consuming and physically unpleasant because of the constantly hanging in the air of dust and sand. The latter circumstance was created intentionally by a vetroduev. Johnny Depp in an interview notes the originality of such ideas: "It was very unusual - the very idea of letting tons of sand to score your throat, and even for many miles around. It simplifies everything: you only think about how to cover his mouth, because your lungs are completely saturated with this terrible dust. "
Visual solution: the effect of painting, dutch angle and retro charm
Operator pictures made Nicola Pecorini, who had behind only one full meter, but it has worked for many years in the second chamber Vittorio Storaro and has extensive experience stedikamschika. He just volunteered to Gilliam in the group. Director resigned under the pressure of his enthusiasm, though, and continued even after the shooting surprised that Pecorini only one eye. Cooperation has proved so successful that later became a frequent co-author of Pecorini Gilliam (fresh film "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" is he rented).
In "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", perhaps most obviously Gilliam uses some of its characteristic visual techniques. Above all, this wide-angle lenses (mostly 14 mm and 16 mm), the deformation space and objects in a scene and Gilliam words, "giving a feeling of overall atmosphere" and "concern". Another characteristic decision - Dutch angle, causing a feeling of strangeness, discomfort and disorientation.
Moreover, Gilliam found such a feature of this solution in the film: "We have so many use this method in the first part of the movie that when comes the horror, and we align the horizon, it is even more disorienting." A set of wide-angle optics and the use of Dutch angles, according to the director, made it possible to convey the effect of "drug trip".
A key visual reference picture authors call painting by American artist Robert Yarbera. Gilliam, thinking about the impact of his work, describes them as follows: "Fluorescent neon colors on a black background, a strange ghostly events, all of which are taking place in the hotel rooms." Thompson's book came out with illustrations by Ralph Steadman, because of which in the minds of the mass audience already existed visual interpretation of the work. Gilliam initially thought to develop the established canon of the screen, however, soon realized that the idea unrealizable: "Despite the fact that the illustrations great pass crazy energy of the book, I realized that we can not take literally translate them into the language of cinema, turning it into a three-dimensional image. So I tried not to pay attention to them. " Nevertheless, some of the images reproduced in the film almost literally, for example, the image of a hitchhiker.
In spite of the rapid preparation and style "gonzo Directing", the picture is carefully thought through in detail. For example, Gilliam notes the importance of the costumes: "The costumes come to symbolize everything that was happening in America at the time, none of the political and social movement was not left without attention. We spent hours discussing the political significance of colors and textures. " As an example, the Congress district attorneys, where all dressed in red, white and blue, that is, the American flag colors.
But often the color in the picture has not only symbolic, as an emotional charge. For example, for the number of the hotel Mint used a radical combination of purple and green colors, deliberately selected to create a feeling of anxiety and discomfort. In general, for each establishment the authors thought through their own, more and more uncomfortable color, emphasizing the key idea: "Every new casino, in which heroes, transformed into the next circle of hell."
One of the most impressive visuals of the film - the reptile in the hotel lobby, which the main characters are seen under the influence of acid. Initially, Gilliam wanted to "creature" looked as if written by Francis Bacon. However, this solution was too expensive and time consuming. For the filming had to be more than twenty-suit heads of lizards, but the budget was enough only for seven. Therefore, to create a feeling of mass groups had to dodge: on the set of mirrors used by the system, and in different frames appear the same head, only in different costumes. Special retro charm of the film attached to the use of certain road scenes keying. It is interesting that on the backdrop projected not specifically shot footage and excerpts from the 1970-80s television show "Vega $".
Music: psychedelic experiments and Japanese Jimi Hendrix
The original source of Hunter S. Thompson gives clear guidance on the musical accompaniment, and Gilliam is sometimes a problem. For example, a "anthem book" is considered to be the composition The Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil", but to use this song in the film was not possible. Firstly, it is not suited to the rhythm, and the second - half the cost of a musical picture of the budget. As a result, it was replaced by the track "Combination of the Two" Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company.
Nevertheless, The Rolling Stones on the soundtrack managed to get - in the film sounds another hit band "Jumping Jack Flash". In general, the arrangement pattern is based on the classic rock and psychedelia 1960-70-ies, including the music of The Yardbirds, Jefferson Airplane, The Youngbloods.
In addition, Gilliam decided to appeal to musicians whose career has been something to do with Las Vegas. So the soundtrack added Tom Jones and Debbie Reynolds. Gilliam said that the choice of songs influenced by this principle: "The more wild are the circumstances, the more convincing sound comforting songs."
Initially it not expected that the film will be more than five or six songs by other artists. A complete music for the film was supposed to write a Ray Cooper. While the concept has changed and Cooper created for a film a few unusual sketches. The singularity of was that the musician has imposed on each other a few tunes and added the game Japanese guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei, who, according to Gilliam, "ingeniously faked" by Jimi Hendrix. Such an eclectic soundtrack perfectly fits not only the chaotic atmosphere of the film, but the plot motifs of unbridled mix of all possible drugs. Perhaps the best example of this - a textbook scene with "white rabbit".
The film was shot wide angle lens, and the image was soaked in poison, as they say in the 1990s, acid, surreal colors. Director and artist was inspired by futuristic grotesque works of the painter Robert Yarbera. Neon, metal and rubber scales lizards mixed on screen. Gilliam stated that he wanted to create a movie, uncomfortable for the viewer both in terms of narrative, and just at the physiological level of sensations. A two-hour immersion in stupefied mind disillusioned outsider of 1960 should have been a memorable and difficult walk. In general, the film Gilliam was much more uncompromising political statement than what I wanted to do coke.
Even before the premiere of Gilliam's got a nasty surprise. Guild writers banned director to indicate in the credits themselves and Grisoni as the script writers, they say, history is already written Cox and Davis, and that their names were printed on the first poster of the film before the premiere in Cannes. Gilliam challenged this decision, pointing out that doing a new script, and all occurrences in the texts associated with the use of the same source. Guild compromised, must indicate in the credits of all four. Cox to grant, but Gilliam, who a year later publicly burned his membership card of the guild.
What percentage of the book remains the adaptation of one or another writer, really unclear to this day. And yet, the only author of the film is undoubtedly Gilliam. "Fear and hate" is best known for his work, perhaps along with the "Brazil". However, critics and the audience appreciated the film is not immediately. In theaters now I am waiting for a commercial failure. Were not enthusiastic and critics who, as expected Gilliam, felt discomfort while viewing. They blame the creators vague plot, a strange sense of humor and lack of psychological insight. But the number of film fans has grown every year, and critics rave reviews changed over time. Changed the canons of cinema (the film is hardly less clear Gilliam viewer than, say, "Neon Demon" Nicolas Winding Refn or third season of "Twin Peaks"), and with them the habits of viewers. Instead demonstration plot twists, turns and compulsory catharsis "Fear and Loathing" offers a psychedelic stream strange and yet recognizable life. A fragment of the past is shown as a video diary Gilliam as daily - and convincing surreal, strange, but charming.
In Russia, the film has gained cult status soon. We have not heard of his failure in the West and a loss of critics, the audience of all social classes took Gilliam movie as a completely natural, almost naturalistic story. "Fear and Loathing" with pictures of drug, free life, hooliganism with a weapon in his hands and dubbing Andrei Gavrilov was surprisingly in tune with the Russian 1990. At the end of the decade - and thanks to the film - to the country reached the fashion for Thompson's book. His first interpreter was the "punk of publishing" Alex Curve, one of the founders of the "alternative" series "AST" in orange cover, then known to every teenager. It is thanks to Curwen came into use supposedly more correct, but the bulky version of the name "Fear and Loathing". Books Advertising and atrophying the popularity of the film, which is at variance to quote both among Gopnik, and among linguists, Thompson made almost more famous in Russia than at home. Young readers to try on their life abundant profanity and poetic metaphors translation - apparently, they also spoke in the minds of the post-Soviet people, like the inescapable disappointment Thompson's characters, too, experienced a great age.