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Friday, April 1, 2011
DUNCAN JONES ON 'SOURCE CODE'
"THERE'S A LOT OF HITCHCOCK AND DE PALMA"
Back in January, Comingsoon.net's Silas Lesnick posted an interview with Duncan Jones from the editing bay of his new film, Source Code, on which Paul Hirsch served as editor. In one section of the interview, Jones discusses having Hirsch on set during filming, and also cites Alfred Hitchcock and Brian De Palma as two big influences on Source Code, which he says he took on "to have a project which gave me some real scope to try things visually." Here is the excerpt involving Hirsch and De Palma:

CS: Can you comment a little on the editing? It seems like a time jumping plot like this lends itself specifically to filmmaking which is literally that.
Jones:
Well, as I mentioned, Paul Hirsch is the editor on the film and Paul Hirsch -- who I keep calling Paul Hirsch every time, even though it's so informal. I call him Paul -- was with us on the shoot. So while we're there, he might say, "Can you grab this, because it's going to be really useful later on." There a lot of little details that, I have no problem saying, his experience is just so vast that any advice on coverage or on what things could be really useful to him, we went with. He was downstairs in the studio all the time. We were at the big studio in Montreal and he was putting an assembly together while we were shooting. There was a constant loop of feedback from him as I was shooting.

CS: There's a common theme in science fiction of perspective and of returning to an event time and again. What films jump to your mind as having inspired you in the making of "Source Code"?
Jones:
It's strange because they're not really obvious ones. Certainly not ones that directly reference that sort of mechanic. There's a lot of Hitchcock and De Palma. We were trying to have the sensibilities of old Hitchcock movies.

CS: Hirsch has a very classic editing style. Is that something you went after very consciously?
Jones:
You know, one of the things that people loved about the making of "Moon" was that we went with model miniatures and what's not known is that we actually went with a good split of models and CG work. I had a background in both doing commercials. In this film, there are definitely a few moments of showy CG work. For me more than anyone else. Hopefully we kept it very light where we could because, otherwise, it could get quite grim with the train explosion. I think we've got the mood right that allowed me to get a little surreal at moments. I think it's really good fun and I hope that people will feel that way. But yes, Paul has a real simplistic elegance to the way he works. But for him as well, he also has a huge amount of experience on effects. He knew that I wanted to have these little beats where it got a little bit surreal and a little bit weirder. I think we got that.

CS: You mentioned Brian De Palma, who also has, while it's not science fiction, a lot of characters unsure of their identities.
Jones:
In this case, it wasn't really about films I had seen in the past that made me want to see this film. I think it was about the opportunity to be a bit surreal. To do something where some of my influences were Lucien Freud and a certain period of Picasso cubist paintings. I wanted to create visuals of things that I hadn't seen in film before. I wish I could show you some of the stuff later on because it does get really weird. It was more visual things that I wanted to do. When I was reading the script, I guess I did sense that there were certain scenes reflective of "Moon," but it was really about getting an opportunity to do something visually where I otherwise may never have the chance to do that. So I think, for me, that was the really fun bit.

CS: There are certainly, though, with a lot of filmmakers themes that directors tend to revisit.
Jones:
It's weird. Hearing you ask me questions about that and knowing what I'm going to do next, you're right. There is something there. I don't know why... I haven't analyzed myself well enough to know that.

CS: Is the next thing something else that was brought to you?
Jones:
No, the next one is something I originated.

DREW TAYLOR: "IF BRIAN DE PALMA HAD DIRECTED A SCRIPT BY RICHARD KELLY"
After Source Code premiered at SXSW last month, The Playlist's Drew Taylor posted a mostly positive review of the film. "And while the movie is very much a suspense piece," wrote Taylor, "with prolonged sequences of edge-of-your-seat tension that bring to mind what would have happened if Brian De Palma had directed a script by Richard Kelly, it has an incredibly romantic heart—one that is perhaps a little hokey at times, but a heart nonetheless."


Posted by Geoff at 2:40 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, April 1, 2011 2:42 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink | Share This Post

Friday, April 1, 2011 - 5:23 PM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

Haven't seen SOURCE CODE yet but it seem's to have the recurring sensibilty of SNAKE EYES and the film VANTAGE POINT as we get replayed moments from different perspectives as the plot unfolds. SOURCE CODE should be one of the better mind-warp sci-fi films of the year. Any film with influences from Hitchcock and De Palma will always demand attention from serious film-buffs. Lets see if SOURCE CODE is that film. Most of the reviews on rotten tomatoes have been favourable towards the film.

Friday, April 1, 2011 - 7:11 PM CDT

Name: "Arni"

"Moon" was the sort of sci fi I like the best! It was old fashioned Ray Bradbury-like and I absolutely loved it! Therefore "Source Code" is a film I would like to see, and when he states Brian De Palma films as influence it gets even more interesting.

Sunday, April 3, 2011 - 5:21 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.briandepalma.org

I saw SOURCE CODE today-- it is excellent. It catches you right from the start and packs a good emotional wallop in the last act. I didn't see anything explicitly De Palma-esque about it, but the opening credit sequence has the feel of a Hitchcock thriller. Really excellent film, and the performances are superb. More humor than you might expect, arising from the circumstances (lots of stuff where the characters on screen might not find it too funny, but the viewer can't help it).

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 11:51 PM CDT

Name: "takeitnotseriously"

I have Just seen Source code in France and  as a great fan of Moon, Source code is not  up to my expectations, the sci fi aspect is a bit shallow, the thriller side is a bit disappoiting, i do not really believe in the drama of this sergeant and his crew,  whereas i do really believe more in the past of Travolta as an ex-policeman  in Blow out, for instance ! Maybe the main problem with  Code source is that it wants to be explore a lot of directions and it remains on the surface in every directions. The best sequence in the movie is the first sequence of the train, from a helicopter point of view, which makes me think about Candyman but the music in candy man was from Philipp Glass whereas here it is more Hitchcockian ! Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is less hitchcockian. Hitchcockian would have explore more sightseeing place like Statue fo the liberty, Mount Rushmore etc.

It would have another third part with a big sequence in a great place some kind of Coda  ! I think of the Man who knew too much with the opera sequence and also the Ambassy sequence and all those movies like the International from Tom Tykwer with the Guggenheim sequence, Hitchcock would have like those action sequence in great places ! 

In that way, Source code is an artistic disappointment. Maybe i was expecting more excitment from this movie , some kind of  Bauer "24" "movie"  or at least  Peter Hyams "Nick of time"  movie, something more Hitchcockian.   

                        

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