Guest Programmer: Todd Haynes - 10/19
Filmmaker Todd Haynes, TCM Guest Programmer for October, is described by host Ben Mankiewicz as "one of the most visually arresting directors working today." Born in Los Angeles, Haynes made his feature film debut with Poison (1991), which was followed by such critically praised films as Safe (1995), Velvet Goldmine (1998), I'm Not There (2007), Far from Heaven (2002) and the Academy Award® nominated Carol (2015). Haynes considers himself "a perpetual student" of film technique, and acknowledges that he is a big fan of TCM, "one of the enduring institutions of the medium of film, of culture."
Haynes' programming picks are all movies he had studied in preparation for his current film, Wonderstruck (2017), which employs different time periods (the 1920s and 1970s) to tell the story of two children on quests in New York City. The first influence is The Crowd (1928), King Vidor's silent film about a young couple's struggle for survival in the city, described by Haynes as "a magnificent piece of engineering and filmmaking."
Haynes first saw Martin Ritt's Sounder (1972) as a child, and remembers it as "an intense emotional experience." He now finds certain parallels in Sounder's story of a boy's odyssey in 1930s Louisiana to find his father with the treks of the young protagonists in his own film. Similarly, Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter (1955) has two children on a crucial journey - this one to flee an evil stepfather. Haynes' final choice, Nicholas Roeg's Walkabout (1971) is about survival in the Australian outback, where young aborigines endure a rite of passage into manhood by living off the land. Be sure to watch these films October 19 and see Wonderstruck when it hits theaters October 20.