Hard Candy

David Slade

Editors’ Introduction: Normally this feature is created by diving into the deep end of interviews, but when David Slade agreed to write an entry himself, there was no way for us to refuse — partially because he’s a very talented filmmaker and partially because he has us tied up in his store room. Slade earned cinephile street cred with Hard Candy and then scored genre love for 30 Days of Night before doing his best to beef up the Twilight saga. Now he’s the executive producer and director of Hannibal – a cooking show, we think — whose season finale is this week. He’s opened up about the Daredevil movie that never was, waxed at length about his role as a storyteller, and now he has some tips for those of you who may want to hop behind a camera. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) directly from a man who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty in the kitchen.

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After five episodes of NBC’s Hannibal, it’s already fair to say creator Bryan Fuller‘s horror drama is one of the most atmospheric series on television. From the mood to the show’s bold textures, each episode leaves a cinematic impression — an impact director David Slade (Hard Candy) had a hand in sculpting. According to Slade, production in the often chilly Toronto weather and fast-paced production is no cakewalk — which you can read more about in a production blog he wrote — but the final reward is worth it. Speaking with the show’s executive producer for well over an hour, it’s obvious Hannibal encapsulates the genre work Slade wants to see more of on television, and he’s proud to be a part of Fuller’s new show. The two men have different sensibilities, but Slade those two distinct outlooks fused together rather nicely. Here’s what else Slade had to say in part two of our massive discussion with him (you can read part one here), where he touched upon the show’s striking atmosphere, the long-gone music video industry, and how the film business is not one to inspire noble actions:

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Acclaimed directors often drop in to shoot the pilot for a TV series. They don’t often stick around for seconds. Director David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) is one of those rare film directors who must love brains and chianti a lot. He went from directing the pilot of Bryan Fuller‘s Hannibal to serving as an executive producer and moving on to direct more episodes, fully immersing himself in the world of Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter. The material for Hannibal is right up Slade’s alley, a director known for having a moody and atmospheric eye. It’s very much in the genre mold we’ve seen on television in recent years, the type of television Slade says he’d prefer to see more of. We recently had a long-form interview with Mr. Slade regarding Hannibal and many, many, many more subjects. As you can tell by our chat below, Mr. Slade isn’t exactly a man ever at a loss for words. Because of that, we’ve got two big interviews with the filmmaker on tap. For now, here’s what director David Slade had to say about Hannibal, how digital can’t touch film, the obsessive nature of filmmaking, and why The Man Who Fell to Earth is really an allegory for working in Los Angeles:

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Commentary: Hard Candy

In honor of our brave rejects battling the snowy terrain and darkened theaters of Sundance, we felt it best to revisit a recent breakout hit from the film festival. As luck would have it, a shiny, slightly used copy of Hard Candy ended up in the DVD player this week. It’s called serendipity. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a fine film, and there is sure to be plenty to gleam off of the actors involved. That’s right. Actors. We’re giving the directors/writers/producers/best boys a break this week and delving into the minds of Hard Candy‘s two leads, Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson. It’s the first time we’ve checked out a commentary involving only actors. This uncharted territory could be rocky, or it could be fascinating. One thing is for sure, though. The chances of it being boring are about as slim as Wilson’s character ever getting the upper hand in this film. So here, in all of its uncomfortable glory, all the great things we learned from listening to Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page talk about Hard Candy. We’ll keep the Goldfrapp comments to a minimum.

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Hard Candy director David Slade has been said to be the guy Fox has hired to direct a reboot of its Daredevil franchise, but according to a recent report by Variety, rethinking the adventures of blind vigilante Matt Murdoch isn’t the only comics-to-film work that the director has on his plate. Apparently he has also been chosen to direct a film called Coward, which is the initial storyline that kicked off the first five issues of the comic book “Criminal”. The exciting part of this news, apart from the fact that Slade is working on something new outside of the Twilight franchise, is that “Criminal” was a smaller book done by Ed Brubaker, who is one of the best comic book writers of the last ten years. Apart from his smaller original works like the “Criminal” books, Brubaker has had legendary runs on books set in the Batman universe, “Captain America”, and even Slade’s other upcoming adaptation “Daredevil”. Coward tells the story of a pickpocket and master thief named Leo. It’s the typical professional with a set of rules who takes one risky job and has everything blow up in his face storyline, but it’s also really cool and seems like it would be easily adaptable to film. Brubaker himself has written the screenplay, which is why I’m so interested to see how this one turns out. I think that his writing and Slade’s directorial eye could prove to be a great match, and if this one works out then […]

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It’s a taboo topic, but we brave the films that brave the unclear world of this sexual pathology and emerge unscathed with the best portrayals of pedophiles in film.

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Ellen Page

Ellen goes from the acerbic teen Juno to being drug into the pits of hell?

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