|Joss Whedon at the Glasgow Film Festival|
|To the audience|
|Working without colour|
|Playing the jokers|
Audience question - If you could do another Shakespeare, which -
JW - Hamlet. And I don’t think I have to explain. This is the man who really encapsulates the human condition and never gets the job done or really complete. There’s also mother issues, but we won’t talk about that.
AQ - You’re responsible for so many characters that everyone knows and loves, and I just wondered what’s the formula, what’s the key for creating a loveable character?
JW - Hire Amy Acker. If there’s a formula, please don’t tell anyone, because then I won’t matter at all. The only thing I can say is, you’re always writing yourself and you’re always looking at your own experience, and my interpretation of this play is based on the fact that I’m wildly cynical and sort of pathetically romantic at the same time. And if you’re not drawing from that, and I’ve done at times, I’ve absolutely had no idea what I was doing, but if you need a guy who just fits a slot, then there’s no life there. If you don’t know why somebody is doing something, then nobody else will actually care why. And so it’s just be incredibly solipsistic. Just care about yourself and put that on the page. Apparently I must be loveable because I’m several loveable characters.
AQ - As someone who is very pop culture literate, is there anything in recent years that has blown you away in the way that Night of the Comet did when you were creating Buffy?
JW - I don’t know. I can’t look at anything and go, “well, there it is.” The last time I said I gotta stop and put down my pen and re-learn how to write was when I saw The Matrix. And then I saw the other ones.
The things that intrigue me are like Paul Thomas Anderson, where I have no idea how you do that, no idea how you accomplish that, but it’s not like that inspires me to go and do something like him, it just makes me go someone out there has a secret that I will never formulate, that I will never mix, and that’s what upsets me.
AQ - Congratulations on such a warm, romantic version. It was lovely, thank you. As a filmmaker, you start from a scriptwriting standpoint, and this week I saw Terence Malick’s To The Wonder. It works, but it doesn’t have a clear script, and I wondered if you would had any aspirations to make a movie that depended on the cast’s performances and what you can do visually as a director rather than starting from the script which is the fundamental strength of your process.
AH - I think the question is, would you make a film that people don’t understand? Something abstract that doesn’t have script and structure and meaning…
JW - It’s my weakest link, I think. I am very pedantic. I like to know exactly what I’m trying to make people feel at all times, which is useful, but the play is about twice as long as what we shot, so I’m not the only one who goes on too much. But when you’re trying to be very certain about meaning it’s very easy to shave away any moment that isn’t somebody explaining the meaning.
More and more I’ve started to want to work without any of the support, and I’ve done it in small increments when I did an episode of TV without so much dialogue, without so much music, I tried to take the crutches away. But on a grander scale I would like to evolve as a visual artist to the point where nobody has to say anything.