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Interview: Gregg Araki – White Bird in a Blizzard

We sat down with director Gregg Araki at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival after the premiere of his new film, White Bird in a Blizzard (Magnolia Pictures – 10.24). A key figure in the New Queer Cinema movement of the early 1990s, Araki discusses how it feels to now be a filmmaker whose works are discussed and used as texts in film studies courses. Despite a successful career, funding for material deemed difficult or unprofitable remains challenging even for a filmmaker of Araki’s status, who discusses issues with maintaining cast members in the face of funding and distributor hang-ups. In reference to his latest, we discuss Araki’s attraction to the material (based on a novel by Laura Kasichke, who also penned The Life Before Her Eyes), why he decided to slightly tweak the locale, and the fascinating enigma of Eva Green and her screen presence that recalls vintage era Hollywood. Araki also comments on when he decides on his soundtracks as well as advice for filmmakers attempting to develop difficult cinematic subject matters.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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