StopSmiling

Buy + Browse Back Issues

ONLINE EXCLUSIVES

eMailing List

  • Name
  • Email
EMAIL STORY PRINT STORY

I Guess It's Romantic, If You're a Dog:
JOHN ASHBERY



SS: In that same interview, he suggests we all move to Canada: “They practically shovel the money at you just to doodle out lyrical stuff!” How do you like working with Guy Maddin? What do you guys talk about?

JA: I haven’t yet worked with Guy Maddin, though we have discussed a possible collaboration. We talk a lot about old movies — which are a potent source of inspiration for both of us — and also poetry and music. It turns out that we like a lot of the same things.

SS: Yet you did voice a part in a live-performance version of his recent movie, Brand Upon the Brain!. How was that experience? What did you think of the finished production?

JA: It was fun participating in the live performance of Brand Upon the Brain! and rather exciting being in the orchestra pit along with an orchestra, Foley artists and a soi-disant castrato, who certainly didn’t look the part and whose voice was apparently piped in from somewhere. I had watched the film several times on DVD and was wondering how to read the text in a way that would contribute to the gesamtkunstwerk envisioned by Maddin. By chance, on the afternoon of the performance, I was absentmindedly watching the film Ed Wood on TV, which I had seen before, and suddenly remembered the role played by the “psychic” Criswell in Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space — “Are you ready for the revelation of grave robbers from outer space?”. This seemed the perfect tone for Maddin’s text and I found it easy to channel Criswell’s whiny delivery. I share Maddin’s fascination with the clunky poetry of so many silent movie titles.

SS: What do you think is Barbara Stanwyck’s best role?

JA: For me it would be a choice between The Lady Eve and The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, which together convey the range of her talent.
EMAIL STORY PRINT STORY

© 2010 Stop Smiling Media, LLC. All rights reserved.       // Site created by: FreshForm Interactive