I was interviewed by Eric Hehr for his excellent VIDEODROME column (read all of his essays) at the great Aquarium Drunkard to discuss one of my favorites -- Frank Perry’s masterful Play It As It Lays.
Talking Tuesday Weld, Anthony Perkins, Perry, and lots of driving in Los Angeles and more and more.
From my interview:
I guess I really connected with this film because of how Perry explores everything: the enigmatic, the way we feel when depressed, the mystery and the ghosts; things that I frequently feel in Los Angeles. There is a beauty to that. I’m not sure if Frank Perry thought this was all beautiful in real life, but I think a lot of what is in this film is beautifully expressed and composed, like the snaking freeways. I could get into more specific shots and things like that because that’s important — they fuse with Maria’s search for her narrative. She’s almost like her own editor. Not surprisingly, Didion was fascinated by film editing, and Perry expertly conveys this with his innovative editing. Maria’s an actress and a model, but I feel that this is a woman who maybe really wants to be a writer. She’s trying to write her own life in a sense, and everyone else around her is interpreting her. Her husband is a director inspired by her story. She breaks through it all by telling her own truth, which is really interesting — that she bluntly says things. She cuts through everything.
Here's my essay on Play It as It Lays for the New Beverly.
And, thanks for the wonderful discussion, Eric.
Read the entire interview here.