Joel Schumacher – Tigerland
EYE OF THE TIGER
FILMINK's Arnold spoke with former Costume Designer turned blockbuster director Joel Schumacher about his change of pace, Tigerland.
Director Joel Schumacher is well known for films such as Falling Down, Flatliners and The Lost Boys. His John Grisham adaptations The Client and A Time To Kill both enjoyed reasonable success, but it was the third and fourth entries in the Batman series that gave him his biggest platform to date. The second of his Batman films, Batman and Robin, was critically panned – the fallout of which carried over into the response to his grim and contentious 8mm. He's now scaled things down a bit, and the modest Flawless is now followed by the Vietnam-flavoured Tigerland.
After such a long career, how does it feel to be making movies today?
“In 1971 I was a costume designer wanting to be a director. Now, it's like I'm on my fourteenth film! I can't believe it! I struggled to get my first, didn't know if I'd get a second or third. I feel guilty to be ungrateful for one second in my life, but I do have ridiculous, asshole moments like everyone else. I saw a 70mm print of The Lost Boys at a film festival, and it's very exciting in a visual way. That film was a real breakthrough for me, but I still hope to make my best.”
Flawless was a bit of a departure, as you're more known for your visual style.
“The two Batman films were different for me – usually I'd always worked on a smaller budget with relatively unknowns. With 8mm, Flawless and Tigerland I've tried to get out of doing summer blockbusters. With them, it's a bit like the feeling when you've eaten too much. I sold a lot of toys all over the world, but it's good to get back to storytelling.”
Has the advent of DVD changed your role as a filmmaker?
“Well, the montage at the end of Flawless was meant to be in the middle, but I decided to stick it at the end. With Tigerland, Colin Farrell's screen test – done in Dublin with his sister holding a video camera – was something I decided to put in afterwards. We've just done DVDs of 8mm, St. Elmo's Fire and Flatliners. If I've left anything out of Flawless or Tigerland, I can go back and put it in.”
Any actors you'd really like to work with?
“Oh, Daniel Day Lewis, Helen Mirren, who's my favourite actress in the world, Brad Pitt. Tom Cruise and I have spoken about projects.”