favorite films of the year

Serious Squareness: an exclusive interview with Lorenzo Semple, Jr. on the creation of TV’s Batman

Holy unexpected delights! I opened my Tumblr inbox the other day to find a message from @jondambacher, and, well, let me just turn it over to him:

Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr. celebrates a birthday today (March 23rd). The following is an excerpt from a number of long interviews I was blessed, honored & ecstatic to conduct in 2008, for Lorenzo’s biography I was writing.

To the King of Serious Squareness, I celebrate you, I thank you, I wish you a Happy Happy Birthday.

Jon Dambacher: I have a quote from Dozier referring to you as “the most bizarre thinker I knew.”

Lorenzo Semple: Good.

JD: Have you ever read that?

LS: I think I have, now that you mention it.

JD: What do you think he means here?

LS: I don’t know what he means. He obviously meant it as a compliment but it’s… I don’t know what he meant. I just could think of off-the-wall things. When he showed me, as I’ve told you, when I was living in Spain writing plays with a family, he sent me a cable to come up and meet him at The Ritz in Madrid there in the garden of The Ritz, he had a very strange face, as he pulled out of his pocket a “Batman” comic book. Said, “Would you believe it, this is what ABC has given us to do, because they’d owed us one, can you believe it? He was… Was so disdainful of it. I, uh, in all honesty, I took one look at it and thought of it and said, "I know exactly what to do.” I’ll go home and I’ll write it.“ That was the only discussion about "Batman.” The only discussion. As I say I wrote it, Bill loved it, he gave it to ABC, they thought it was excellent, but they were dumbfounded by it because there was nothing like it. All those things like, “Pop!” and “Bam!” were all written into the script.

JD: That’s awesome! Did you guys just share some crazy sense of humor together–is that how you were able to create this amazing…

LS: Yeah! It’s not really that crazy once you get the note of it, you know what I mean?

JD: Okay.

LS: It’s all out of that same… That dead serious nonsense, you know what I mean? Adam was actually perfect for it and Burt in his way, too. You know, they’d be chasing somebody and Robin would say, “Park here, they just went into that building…”

JD: And there’s “No Parking” signs…

LS: “No Parking” sign, right! That kind of thing. All these come out of the same level of dead serious, squareness, if you want to call it that. Dead seriously square. That was… Which isn’t that bizarre compared to modern movies, you know, like Charlie Kaufman and things.

JD: Right.

LS: It wasn’t too bizarre. Bill probably thought it was bizarre but we’ve both recognized he was a sophisticated guy. He recognized it as being funny. He didn’t mind me thinking up all these things like Bat-Shark-Repellent or whatever it was when the shark had him by the leg…

JD: Right, the Shark-Repellent-Bat Spray.

LS: I guess you could call that bizarre thinking. To me it’s all a part of one type of thinking; do you know what I mean? Bizarre isn’t quite the word, I’d say imaginative.

JD: Okay. We were talking about favorite lines from that film specifically, one that’s stuck with me over the years–I’ve always wanted to meet the man who wrote the line, “Ah, a thought strikes me–so dreadful I scarcely dare give it utterance!”

(Lorenzo breaks out laughing.)

LS: That’s very funny, I agree! I agree! That’s the kind of thing we’ve been–you know, that pompous squareness actually. Very good hearted. Adam was a very sweet guy. A very nice guy himself and Batman, you know, nobody was killed in it and there’s nothing–except the name–in common with the Batman franchise, the Warner Brothers ones. The people who say, “What do you feel about those movies” always expect me to say something, I say, “Actually I don’t like violent movies particularly and I stay away from them.” The Batman I wrote has nothing to do with these movies–really has nothing to do with each other… My Batman is more in the spirit of the comic and the very fact that millionaire Bruce Wayne, that’s all you have to say… The fact that you refer to him as Millionaire Bruce Wayne, I mean…

JD: The Millionaire Philanthropist.

LS: The Millionaire–thank you! The Millionaire Philanthropist. I had forgotten that. Just the fact that you’d refer to anybody like that–if you’re sophisticated it shows immediately–it’s ironic at best.

JD: That squareness.

LS: You’re right. That’s what I mean. The squareness, exactly.

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Rogue One (2016)

Directed by Gareth Edwards

Cinematography by Greig Fraser

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Anonymous asked: What are your 5 favorite Emmy pics of Alexander Skarsgård?

I’m surprised I could narrow these down to 5 so quickly. Although I honestly love every single Emmy photo there is of Alex - didn’t he look so happy and proud all night - these five stood out to me. ETA - I had to add a 6th one thanks to the ASkars Photo Queen!

Keep reading

Top 20 Favorite Films of 2015

Just as the title says! I saw way more films this year than last year so obviously it was a lot harder picking favorites. I almost decided to increase the list to 25 but eventually opted against it. Also this list is going by 2015 USA release dates or whatever I happened to see at a festival in 2015. Before I start the countdown here are a few films I really loved that didn’t quite make the cut.

Honorable mentions: The Tribe; Phoenix; Tag; Magic Mike XXL; Nasty Baby; Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter; White God; Tangerine; Heaven Knows What; In Jackson Heights

But anyway, here is the list of my favorite films of 2015 with a few, simple words on each.

20. The Diary of a Teenage Girl (dir. Marielle Heller)

As John Waters said in his top of the year list, this is a film that deals with sex between teens and adults that manages not to be creepy or unintelligent. I always hate when I’m watching films about sex and the actual sex is sugar coated or portrayed in a prudish manner. Thankfully, it’s not only incredibly frank about its subject matter, it’s also incredibly heartfelt (in part from the fantastic lead performance of Bel Powley). I went into this expecting another typical American indie comedy and instead got something incredibly funny, sweet and actually kind of edgy. 

19. Goodnight Mommy (dir. Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala)

When both my girlfriend and I were able to figure out the twist of this horror mystery film about halfway through its running time, neither of us expected to enjoy it nearly as much as we did… but by the time it ended we were floored. In a strange way, knowing the twist only added to the last incredibly disturbing, unpredictable and horrifying third of the film. And in many ways it made it only scarier, so much so that I wonder if it was intentional that we were able to figure it out? Regardless, there were gasps and screams in the theater and they definitely weren’t unwarranted. This film about two young boys who question their unrecognizable mother’s true identity gets pretty damn freaky. 

18. Tokyo Tribe (dir. Sion Sono)

Sion Sono is one of our greatest living filmmakers. So when I say a Sono film isn’t among his best work, you can still count on it being a hundred times more interesting than most people’s entire body of work. In this case, Sono crafted an insane, sloppy, brilliant and totally hysterical rap battle musical. The rapping itself isn’t all that great but I could care less. This is a blast from start to finish! Shot in a floating, god-like perspective we move from scene to scene as the film only builds in insanity, vulgarity and implausibility. But perhaps the best aspect of Tokyo Tribe is when the true intentions of its villain are revealed. I won’t spoil it here, but I always love films with high stakes (in this case warring gang tribes) which arise from something totally insignificant, as it only makes it more ridiculous. Far from perfect, but one of the most fun film experiences I had this year.

17. The Mend (dir. John Magary)

Definitely among the more underrated films on the list, this dry, (extremely) dark comedy explores something that I am personally fascinated with and tend to make films about myself: failed men. The Mend centers on two brothers who initially appear like polar opposites but are eventually both uncovered as pathetic, selfish and deeply angry individuals. Neither of them are very likeable but there are aspects of them that are vey relatable (in a scary way). Although I did frequently laugh during this film, most of the humor was so cringe-worthy and uncomfortable I wasn’t able to make a peep. It’s also incredibly well crafted, well paced and consistently manages to be visually interesting. 

16.  Mustang (dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven)

What an absolutely phenomenal debut feature! Despite some big flaws (all the girls kind of blend together at the beginning of the film) I was so moved by this film I forgave all its problems. Mustang is about a group of sisters in Turkey whose home starts turning into a sort of prison as they are forbidden from interacting with the outside world for fear that they might ruin themselves before marriage. It manages to be inspiring without being sappy, and political without being in-your-face. The emotions of the film totally snuck up on me, and sure enough before the credits started I was tearing up. This is a fantastic feminist work of art that of course reflects the current cultural climate of Turkey but is also very universal. 

15. Anomalisa (dir. Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson)

Charlie Kaufman needs to be given every possible resource he needs so that he can make as many films as possible before he dies. The fact that he’s only directed 2 films is an absolute crime. Perhaps this isn’t as moving or as ambitious as Synecdoche, New York but it’s not trying to be. It’s a smaller, more intimate film that revolves around a motivational speaker who meets a woman in a hotel who seems to breath new life into him. Anomalisa is a stop motion film and it actually incorporates the puppetry of the main character into his breakdowns and fantasies. It’s a deeply sad film but one that abstains from being cynical. It also has the best sex scene of the year. Go figure. 

14. Taxi (dir. Jafar Panahi)

Iranian director Jafar Panahi was banned from filmmaking in his home country in 2010. Since then he’s made 3 feature films. Taxi is not only his best film under the ban, it’s also one of Panahi’s best films in general. The entire movie takes place inside a taxi cab as Mr. Panahi himself drives, picks up passengers, meets up with old friends and watches as his niece makes a film herself for a class project. It wasn’t until after the film ended that I realized the entire thing was staged. Taxi serves both as a meta discussion on the kind of society that would lock up and censor one of its best filmmakers (the ending of this film is heartbreaking given Panahi’s situation) as well as an incredibly sweet and intimate portrait of the people of modern Iran, the kind you won’t see in any western media outlets. The fact that this film exists at all is stunning, but the fact that it’s as good and engaging as it is is even more stunning. 

13. The World of Kanako (dir. Tetsuya Nakashima)

Without a doubt the most vile, repulsive, disturbing and transgressive film on this list, The World of Kanako is a mad whirlwind of violence and mayhem that doesn’t slow down once for the length of its two hour running time. We follow an ex-detective as he searches for his daughter and starts slowly falling down the rabbit hole of the pitch black world she inhabits. The editing is slick and quick as we are constantly jumping between 3 different timelines, trying to piece together just what happened to Kanako. What’s revealed is beyond perverse, as even our protagonist is shown to be as disgusting and amoral as any of the villains he’s chasing. Cinematically explosive (every trick in the book is pulled out in this film) and totally degenerate, I couldn’t help but get sucked into one of the most fascinating and exhausting films of the year. 

12. Victoria (dir. Sebastian Schipper)

At 138 minutes, Victoria is the longest single shot narrative film ever made. One might be worried that this gimmick would be distracting to everything else in the movie, but it isn’t.  The characters and their performances make the journey incredibly real and emotional (Laia Costa as Victoria was my favorite performance of 2015) . There were times where I even forgot that I was watching something done in one take. I don’t wanna give away too much about the plot because going in completely ignorant will probably lead to a much better viewing experience. I will say that this is the kind of naturalistic filmmaking I really admire. One where extraordinary events take place, but not a single moment feels untruthful. 

11. The Revenant (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)

As much as I really enjoyed Birdman, I didn’t quite think it was on par with some of Iñárritu’s best previous work (Biutiful and Babel are two favs of mine). However, The Revenant is without question one of his strongest and most impactful films. Teaming up a second time with Emmanuel Lubezki (arguably the greatest cinematographer currently working), together they crafted an absolute visual masterwork. The entire film could have have been silent and the story would have been as clear as day. DeCaprio also delivers the best performance of his career, achieving an almost Mifune-level over-the-top-ness that is constantly intense but never becomes cheesy. Out of all the films on this list, this one begs to be seen on a big screen. It’s a true spectacle. 

10. The Look of Silence (dir. Joshua Oppenheimer)

Oppenheimer’s follow-up to his masterful The Act of Killing is just as brilliant and perhaps even more powerful. Once again focusing on the Indonesian genocide of 1965, but instead from the point of view of a victim’s family. The brother of a murdered “communist” confronts all the men directly or indirectly responsible for his brother’s death. A beautiful but haunting film that’s extremely difficult to shake off once you’ve seen it. 

9. The Forbidden Room (dir. Guy Maddin. co-dir. Evan Johnson) 

A solid quarter of the audience I saw this with walked out of it. Maddin is a true cinematic madman, willing to try and do absolutely anything in his films. It would be kind of pointless to try to describe this movie because there are a million stories in it and about a billion things that happen in it. A lumberjack ends up in a submarine, bananas come alive and tell a story, a man becomes so obsessed with butts that he has parts of his brain removed, skeletons force a lover to don a poison suit, a mustache has a dream… etc. etc. etc. All shown through grainy, kaleidoscope-esque images. Equally hilarious, destructive and insane, this is probably one of the strangest films I’ve ever seen. It’s bizarre even by Maddin’s standards. 

8. Mad Max: Fury Road (dir. George Miller)

I mean, what is left to say about this one? This film seems to be on absolutely everyone’s “best of” list this year (and if it’s not I’m assuming that person either hasn’t seen it or is insane). It’s a masterpiece of the action genre. I’m not going to say much else about this one because if you have yet to see it, stop reading and go watch it. 

7. It Follows (dir. David Robert Mitchell)

This film has had me looking over my shoulder when I’m walking alone ever since I saw it. I’m one of those people who gets really scared by good horror. And man, this scared me like no other film I’ve seen recently. I’ve only just started watching more horror films (thanks to my girlfriend, who’s much more of a buff in the genre than I am) and this film definitely stands out as one of the best and most original American horror films in current memory. The concept of people -whom only you can see- following you no matter where you are and who are intent on killing you is terrifying enough, and thankfully this film is so well made that it truly is as scary as it sounds. 

6. World of Tomorrow (dir. Don Hertzfeldt)

The only short film I even considered to be on this list. Hertzfeldt has created yet another hilarious, emotional, and supremely intelligent film. He manages to pack more ideas into a single scene than many films can muster in their entire running times. A little girl is greeted by a 3rd generation clone of herself and is brought to the future, where she is shown and taught many extremely significant things… all at an age too young to fully grasp the information she’s given. By the end of this 17 minute journey, I was weeping. 

5. Wild Tales (dir. Damián Szifrón)

The opening scene of Wild Tales is the closest thing to Buñuel-style absurdity I’ve ever seen in a modern film. And the rest of the film is pretty great too! This dark comedic anthology film from Argentina really took me by surprise. It’s comprised of six unrelated stories that all deal with revenge taken to its most extreme, logical conclusion. I laughed so hard during this movie that the couple sitting in front of me in the theater moved seats. It’s extremely dark, at times absolutely absurd, beautifully shot and has a lot of fantastic social commentary that is very universal. One particular story about a man getting his car consistently towed is almost too relatable. 

4. The Lobster (dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)

I’ve been a committed fan of Yorgos Lanthimos since Dogtooth, so when I heard the basic concept for The Lobster a year or two ago I’ve been eagerly anticipating it. Having finally seen it, I can safely say that it’s definitely Yorgos Lanthimos’s best film yet. The story, revolving around a hotel where single people are forcibly sent in order to find a new mate (and are turned into animals if they don’t), is one of the best films about how completely ridiculous relationships can be. The whole movie is a brilliant breakdown of what makes something normal and how arbitrary the rules in our society often are. It’s a hilarious, beautifully made film and has the best overall acting of 2015. 

3. The Hateful Eight (dir. Quentin Tarantino) 

What’s already turning out to be Tarantino’s most divisive film also turned out to be one of my favorites by him, if not my absolute favorite (a 2nd viewing will tell). Yes, the 70mm roadshow version made the screening really special (complete with an intermission and overture) but aside all hype surrounding the format, this is one of the few times I’ve felt like Tarantino was commenting on something other than filmmaking (or past films) itself. The Hateful Eight deals with issues of misogyny, racism, the death of the American dream and how all of those things fit into the myth of the American west and how that relates to our current culture. Also, the fact that it’s as engaging as it is for a 3 hour movie that takes place mostly in one location and only has despicable characters is a miracle. I personally think this is Tarantino’s smartest, most subversive and most mature film yet. 

2. TIE 

Mommy (dir. Xavier Dolan)

Xavier Dolan knows how to craft classy melodramas. The emotions the characters go through in Mommy are massive and almost become over the top. But instead they are very real and very felt in the audience when watching it… at least for me they were! I cried and cried during this movie. It’s the most emotional experience I had during any film from 2015. However it’s not just beautiful and heartbreaking, it’s also a marvel of filmmaking, using a totally unique 1:1 aspect ratio (one that’s not reflected in the still I chose), featuring incredibly sincere uses of pop songs, and having some of the best cinematography of the year. 

AND

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (dir. Roy Andersson)

2015 seemed to be a great year for absurdist comedies! Roy Andersson is one of our best living filmmakers and every film he makes is an absolute treasure. Pigeon is no exception. Meticulously crafted for years on end, Andersson can spend up to 5 weeks just creating a single shot (everything in Pigeon is shot on a soundstage as well, so the shots can look exactly as Andersson likes them to look). Andersson is also a champion against outdated concepts of traditional story structure, with his last 3 films focusing more on moments and situations rather than arcs or characters (although Pigeon is the most character driven of the trilogy, but not by much). This film is also hysterically funny, filled with macabre, absurd and surreal moments. While the other two films in his trilogy may have asked “Where are we now” this one asks “What do we do now?” The answer (if he even has one) isn’t always pretty, but it’s almost always funny. 

1. Entertainment (dir. Rick Alverson)

Entertainment takes Gregg Turkington’s infamous “Neil Hamburger” character (an aggressive, intentionally terrible meta stand up comedian he’s played since the 90s) and poses the question “What if he were a real person?” The result is one of the strangest, most horrifying and most cinematic films of the year. This film entered a very dark part of my consciousness and stayed there. We follow “the comedian” as he travels from shitty gig to shitty gig playing to audiences that couldn’t care less (or sometimes are even violent). He occasionally makes phone calls to a daughter we’re not even sure is real, he visits relatives he has nothing in common with and he takes awful tours of the desert to kill time between shows. It unfolds its themes and story (if you even wanna call it a story) visually, utilizing gorgeous widescreen cinematography that takes advantage of its Mojave desert landscapes. Entertainment is an uncompromising character study of what it means to be “entertainers”, the mask they use versus their inward emotions and the hollowness that can accompany artists (especially unsuccessful ones). The film starts slowly moving into the totally surreal, and by the end we don’t even know what’s reality and what’s not. This is the most unsettling film I’ve seen all year. It truly got under my skin and as painful as it can be, it’s a trip worth taking. Even if the destination of said trip is the center of hell. 

favorite films since your birth year meme
tagged by @heterophobialec thank you!!
I’m sorry, I’ll cheat and sometimes list two films

  • 1993: The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • 1994: Stargate
  • 1995: The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love
  • 1996: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • 1997: Anastasia
  • 1998: The Prince of Egypt
  • 1999: The King of Masks
  • 2000: The Road to El Dorado
  • 2001: LotR:FotR
  • 2002: LotR:TT / Treasure Planet
  • 2003: LotR:RotK / Master and Commander
  • 2004: Saving Face / D.E.B.S.
  • 2005: Corpse Bride / King and the Clown
  • 2006: Pan’s Labyrinth / Tekkon Kinkreet
  • 2007: Stardust
  • 2008: Were The World Mine
  • 2009: Coraline
  • 2010: How To Train Your Dragon / Little Big Soldier
  • 2011: Kung Fu Panda 2
  • 2012: Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • 2013: W Imie… /  Warm Bodies (was considering not putting it here but i’s a shakespearean zombie romance and I’m Weak)
  • 2014: What Do We Do In The Shadows
  • 2015: The Silenced
  • 2016: Train to Busan
  • 2017: Mystère à la Tour Eiffel

I uh dunno who likes doing memes but I’m tagging @lucrezianoin @cy-lindric @caranthirella @neavi @visnomer @melodramaticmelon @misbehavingmaiar @paticmak @twinkmastertoudou also anyone who wants to do this, you can say I tagged you

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Who’s your favorite movie character to wear glasses? 

For National Eyewear Day, here’s our tribute to our favorite bespectacled characters from Sundance Film Festival titles throughout the years. Glasses are often used as visual shorthand for the stereotype of a ‘nerd’ or ‘weirdo,’ but these characters stand out for their charm, depth, and personality. Whether near sighted or far, horn-rimmed or aviator: here’s lookin’ at you, four eyes!

Film stills courtesy of Welcome to the Dollhouse, Napoleon Dynamite, Cronies, Little Miss Sunshine, Smoke Signals, I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore (Photo by Allyson Riggs), Enigma, and Waitress.

FILM REVIEW: Stephen King’s It (2017), Spoiler Free

*Before I start, I would like to apologize to any coulrophobics (people afraid of clowns) that I teased for not wanting to see this movie. This film is a nightmare even for people who aren’t initially afraid of clowns. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid it, as there’s so much more to it than just the scares. There’s a lot of drama and emotional moments between the kids that make this an overall great movie, rather than just a great horror movie.*

In 1986, Stephen King released one of his many famous novels, simply known as “It.” Referring to the main antagonist of the tale, the book chronicled the journey of several children living in a small town of Derry, Maine, and their efforts to defeat a mysterious creature that has been responsible for many unsolved murders and disappearances in Derry. The creature primarily takes the form of a clown named Pennywise, and terrorizes the children multiple times throughout the story. The book was later adapted for a miniseries in 1990, with Tim Curry as the title character.

Now, as the legend of the creature says, twenty-seven years have passed, and It has returned. A new film starring Bill Skarsgard as the creature in his clown form has emerged from the darkness, and it had a lot of hype to live up to. The question is, did it manage to meet the expectations of the hype? You bet it did.

If you think watching the miniseries will prepare you for what you’re about to face in this film, you are dead wrong. Not only is this a fantastic film for how scary it is, but it also has incredible emotional elements between the main actors. There is an incredibly bright future for all of the young actors who appear in this movie. They interact with each other like actual kids, and not like a typical live-action Disney Channel/Nickelodeon show. Their fear and emotions in the film seem incredibly real. I haven’t been this convinced by a performance in a horror film since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And finally, there’s a lot of horror movies that make me just want to watch the victims just die like Friday the13th, but this is a massive exception. Every moment of the movie had me concerned for what was going to happen to these kids, whether Pennywise was responsible for it or not. When you get the audience to connect with your characters like that, especially for a horror movie, you have a good movie.

As for Pennywise? Bill Skarsgard completely nailed the role. As Bill himself said, there’s no point in making comparisons to Tim Curry. This is a completely new take on Pennywise, but he definitely instills fear in a much different way that will haunt you. Bill not only manages to act like a clown with his voice and mannerisms, but he also puts on a very serious look and a devilish grin at the right times when you know something terrible is bound to happen. This is a horror icon that is among the ranks of Freddy Krueger, Norman Bates, and plenty of other horror antagonists that managed to do their job so well that they are still remembered to this day. I honestly hope Bill is nominated for some kind of award for his performance as Pennywise. Credit should also be given to the makeup and special effects team, as they had just as much of an impact on the scare factor of Pennywise as Bill’s acting did.

In conclusion, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, let the usual argument that a remake is usually worse than the original keep you from seeing this movie. This is not only one of the best remakes in film history, but it’s also one of the best movies based on a Stephen King work since The Shining, Misery, and The Shawshank Redemption. If you want to really treat yourself to some scares this Halloween, please see this movie. It deserves all the support it can get.

It (2017) gets an A+ from me. It has managed to dethrone Wonder Woman as my favorite film of the year, and was incredibly close to dethroning The Shining as one of my all-time favorite horror movies. Make it a priority to see this movie if you love scary movies.

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Robert Pattinson Knows What You Think, but He Can Work With That

By MANOHLA DARGIS MAY 28, 2017 for the New York Times

Excerpts:

About Cosmopolis:

It was, however, “Cosmopolis,” the 2012 dystopian fantasy from David Cronenberg, based on the Don DeLillo novel, that effectively set Mr. Pattinson’s career path.

“I think it was the first time when I worked on something that was quite complex,” he said. “Cosmopolis” was, he added, essentially the first movie he made after he finished the final chapter of the “Twilight” series. “I especially love the fact that it came out really at the height of my popularity,” he said. Cast as a master of the universe who endures a spectacular, increasingly violent and humiliating fall, Mr. Pattinson sees the movie as “the big turning point for me — I just realized that was what I wanted to do.”

Mr. Cronenberg had made a movie without a mold, and his star became eager to follow suit. “I think it’s so rare for something to break a pattern,” Mr. Pattinson continued. “I feel like almost everything in the world is designed to be predictable.”

About transfiguration and transformation

It’s common for stars to obscure their looks, pop on a fake nose and fright wig, of course; it’s less common for actors to wholly embrace the irredeemable and risk the audience’s love.

“Anyone can look ugly,” Mr. Pattinson said. “It doesn’t take much.”

In “Good Time,” the ugliness he taps into goes beyond Connie’s greasy hair and torrents of flop sweat, and seems to exude from his very pores. Mr. Pattinson, who conveys a warmth and openness in person, conceded that it could be a problem when audiences confuse actor and character. But that hasn’t happened to him, which is why he is, he said, “pretty blasé about it.” If anything, he seemed happy at all the “revolting parts” he has coming up.

About his future projects

Looking further ahead, he would love to work with the German director Maren Ade, whose “Toni Erdmann” played big at Cannes last year. During this year’s festival, it was announced that Mr. Pattinson would star in “The Souvenir,” an ambitious movie from the British director Joanna Hogg that Martin Scorsese will executive produce. Mr. Pattinson also hopes that this summer he can start on a project (“High Life”) that he and the French director Claire Denis — he counts her film “White Material” among his favorites — have been working on for three years. (“That, to me, that’s kind of the biggest thing I’ve got. I literally still can’t really believe it.”)

About his past work

“I think one of the best things, basically, about being a bit of a sellout,” Mr. Pattinson said, is “if you’ve done five movies in a series, you’ve had to accept some responsibility for playing the same character.” He didn’t sound regretful, just matter-of-fact. Working on the “Twilight” movies, he said, was “an amazing luxury” and it was “amazing luck, as well, to just have fallen into it with the group of people I worked with on it.” They were kids in it together, kids who rebelled or tried to, and felt emboldened to act out. He even came close, he said, to being fired on the first movie, until his agents flew in to straighten him out. “I didn’t have to kiss anybody’s” rear end “the entire time,” he said. “I don’t think I did, anyway.”

Mr. Pattinson seems entirely at peace with “Twilight” and has clearly found a way to harness its legacy, which includes going dark and making the kinds of art films that find love at Cannes. He says he always thinks he’s terrible in every take. “I can’t say that about anyone I work with,” he added. “I’ve never seen anyone give themselves such a hard time. I’m beating myself up afterward. And I think there’s some weird perverted energy that comes out of when people criticize previous work or think you represent this certain thing; it gives you this energy.”

Maybe that sounds disingenuous, but I believed him. He was on a roll, though, and soon added that he was “almost scared of anyone saying anything I do is good.” He then laughed, perhaps a touch self-consciously.

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