If you are a fan of mind-bending cinema, a title you might be familiar with is the 2004 science-fiction movie Primer, widely regarded as one of the best movies the genre has to offer. The time travel feature signaled the arrival of a strong new voice in cinema, Shane Carruth, who wrote, directed, edited and scored the film along with acting in it. But despite only making one other movie since Primer, 2013's Upstream Color, Carruth is done with Hollywood after his next project releases.
"I've got one last project in front of me. I shouldn't say anything about it. I'm still defining the edges. But that is it for me. I'm not going to say I'm doing a project and then hope Paramount gives me a deal or whatever the hell. I'm not doing that anymore. There's a thousand other things I'm interested in doing in life that I don't talk about, because they don't matter to film Twitter. I have interests and I'm going to go there."
Fans will be disappointed at the prospect of Shane Carruth no longer applying his unique talents to making more films. And as the filmmaker went on to explain, the burden of the responsibility for his decision falls on the way Hollywood functions.
"I'm not going to spend the rest of my life talking to these a**holes and trying to get financing for a fucking bridge loan or whatever the hell they're going to do. All this shit is stupid. None of it is real. I'm not going to be a guy who spends his life bitching about Hollywood being crass. We already knew that. I just happened to learn how it works. I don't want to be somebody spending the second half of my life picking and choosing things. I'd love to have a ton of cash. If I did, I'd just distribute this thing, we'd get our money, and that'd be the end of it."
The passion that Carruth has always exhibited towards moviemaking makes his departure from the industry all the more shocking. But for the filmmaker, the reason behind his decision does not lie in any one thing, but rather a steadily increasing disillusionment regarding his place in the film industry.
"I am not in the same business as Hollywood. This is not arts and literature in early Greece. This town is what everybody says it is. We hire models to say words they don't even understand and then light them well. Only one percent of that is worth watching. The confusion is, we get to go to the same building to watch a fucking "Garfield" cartoon and "Phantom Thread," as if those two are the same things."
"When I go to a vending machine, there's a Snickers bar and a bag of Chex Mix. These are the same things. OK, one is savory and one is sugary. But they're still food I can put in my mouth. We go to the theater and act like they're all the same thing, and they're just not. One is meant to be there so you can make out with your date on a Friday night, and the other is there so you can be edified for the next 30 years. We just pretend they're the same."
Clearly, Carruth is not interested in being a part of a system where studios do not appreciate the difference between popcorn fare and serious cinema. But while his filmmaking days might be numbered, Carruth has joined the team behind the fantasy-drama The Wanting Mare, as executive producer. The movie will have its virtual premiere this weekend as part of the Chattanooga Film Festival and is currently searching for distribution. If Carruth is really serious about calling it quits with cinema, it is at least heartening to hear that he has instead taken on the role of a mentor for up-and-coming filmmakers who need his support and guidance. This news comes from IndieWire.