Feature by: Jack Foley
ROBERT Rodriguez has long been considered one of the hippest
directors to hit Hollywood in a while, following the success of
films such as Desperado, From Dusk 'Til Dawn and the Spy Kids
Yet he is also fairly uncompromising and is willing to make some
difficult choices, career-wise, so that he wouldn't compromise
his artistic vision.
When he came to direct Sin City, he wished to do so with the
help of the man who created the graphic novels in the first place,
Frank Miller, but could have been prevented by the Directors'
Guild of America (DGA), whose rules objected to the idea of a
Unperturbed, Rodriguez quit the DGA and has never looked back
Speaking at a London press conference for the critically-acclaimed
box office smash, the Mexican director said: "I didn’t
know it was against the rule to have two directors.
"I thought I’d seen two directors on other movies
but they had a rule and their argument was that I was established
and Frank wasn’t.
"I told them he directed better than most directors in Hollywood,
because if you look at his books he was already a great filmmaker,
he was just using a paper instead of a camera.
"My argument was that I thought visual storytelling was
the same whether it was on the page or the screen. That’s
what I wanted to prove, by just translating it directly to the
"And I thought that what he
was doing in the books was so much bolder than anything we were
doing in cinema. I wanted to make that happen on screen.
"So rather than go through a long process of them trying
to change their rules it felt easier for me to leave at that time.
It wasn’t a real big deal."
The down side, for Rodriguez, is that he can not be nominated
for a directing Oscar, and won't get residuals or insurance.
But he remains remarkably upbeat: "Other than that, you’re
free to go and do the movies you want, so that’s nice. That’s
why I can make up my own directing title like ‘Special Guest
"According to the Rules of Rodriguez that means you have
to direct for at least one day, one sequence, for a dollar!"
Certainly, Rodriguez's decision did not harm the movie, or its
ability to attract a heavyweight cast.
A sequel (or two) is already being penned and actors like Clive
Owen, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis are lining up to heap praise
Rourke, especially, credits Rodriguez with being one of a kind,
stating simply: "He swims in water that no-one else has swum
in and I respect that."
While Owen maintains that 'it’s groundbreaking what’s
Commenting further on how long it took to be convinced to do
it, he continued: "Robert called me up and said he was going
to do this thing called Sin City. He sent me a bunch of Frank’s
graphic novels, and he showed me this five minute test he’d
done to show Frank how faithful he was going to be to that original
"He then told me he was currently shooting with Bruce Willis
and Mickey Rourke and that Benicio Del Toro was going to be in
it and Quentin Tarantino was going to pop in for a couple of days.
So I thought about it for a couple of days – and I jumped
at it of course."
Sin City opens in cinemas on June 3.