Todd Haynes is best known for tackling adult themes in films including “Velvet Goldmine,” “Far from Heaven,” and “Carol,” so it’s a bit of a departure for him to take on a family film. His PG-rated film “Wonderstruck” premiered on October 7 as the Centerpiece selection at the 2017 New York Film Festival. He discussed the film with press and industry that morning. Watch him above.
“I just thought, what a unique film in every conceivable way, and something that could be so special for an audience I never really addressed in my work — young people,” said Haynes about his reaction to reading the screenplay by Brian Selznick, based on his own book. “It ultimately made me think about how much movies meant to me as a young person, the films that entered my bloodstream and changed the way I saw things. They were films that were always a little beyond my reach, and that’s what you want to show kids. You want to expose them to complex, sophisticated, cool stuff that they make their own.”
“Wonderstruck” takes place in two time periods, 1927 and 1977, when a deaf girl and a boy who lost his hearing in a lightning strike have parallel journeys of discovery in New York City. And this isn’t the first time a Selznick book has been adapted by a filmmaker making an uncharacteristic turn towards children’s stories. He also penned the book that was the basis for the 2011 film “Hugo” by Martin Scorsese, which won five Oscars.
Do you think “Wonderstruck” will have just as much luck at the Academy Awards? It’s scheduled for limited release on October 20.
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