With some one hundred films to her credit, brilliant American producer Christine Vachon is a leading light in the independent film industry. Aside from her major accomplishments, Vachon is known for her desire to explore uncharted territory. With uncompromising authenticity, she calls on undiscovered talents to help her tell stories that are sometimes provocative, sometimes disturbing, but never boring. This encounter between Christine Vachon and Guy Maddin, the eccentric Canadian director, is funny, thought-provoking and inspiring.
Christine Vachon is an Independent Spirit Award and Gotham Award winner who co-founded indie powerhouse Killer Films with partner Pamela Koffler in 1995. Over the past decade and a half, the two have produced celebrated American indie features including Far From Heaven (nominated for four Academy Awards), Still Alice (Academy Award winner), Boys Don’t Cry (Academy Award winner), One Hour Photo, Kids, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Happiness, Velvet Goldmine, Safe, I Shot Andy Warhol, Camp, Swoon and I’m Not There (Academy Award nominated). In television, Vachon executive-produced the Emmy and Golden Globe winning miniseries Mildred Pierce for HBO and a series on Amazon based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald. Other recent work includes: Kill Your Darlings, Magic Magic, Carol, directed by Todd Haynes and Wiener-Dog, written and directed by Todd Solondz.
Guy Maddin: Filmmaking is full of a lot of useless lessons… Just when you master how to blow feathers out of a fan so it lands on some honey…
Christine Vachon: Right, film is all about learning something really well and never, ever having to know it again. On Kids, for example, I learned how to get somebody out of jail. I learned that my lawyers could buy me a condo, or get me a music licence, but they had no idea how to get somebody out of jail… So I found the guy that did know how. But the other thing about film production, I think, is it’s so heinous in so many ways that you forget about it when it’s over.
GM: Like childbirth I imagine… So I hear.
CV: Yeah me too… Otherwise you’d never do it again. And I found myself often on a film set the first day going like "Oh right, I forgot, I hate this!”
About Guy Maddin
Guy Maddin is a Canadian multidisciplinary artist, screenwriter, filmmaker and producer. He has more than ten features to his credit and numerous short films. A Member of the Order of Canada and of Manitoba (his home province), Guy Maddin has won several awards for his work, including Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) for My Winnipeg. His latest project, The Forbidden Room, racked up countless accolades, awards and honours during an impressive run on the international festival circuit (Sundance, Berlinale, Locarno, TIFF, etc.).
Photo credit: Marc-Olivier Bécotte