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Sin City - Frank Miller interview



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. People tried to do these other adaptations?
Miller:
Well once you get used to saying no it gets easy. I said no to Hollywood all the way, I said yes to Austin. Robert had a whole different approach of how he wanted to make the movie, he had a vision for how he wanted to produce it. It became irresistible. Then he introduced me to actors and I got to work with them, and I was smitten.

Q. How easy was it dividing up the directing chores?
Miller:
We both jumped all over each other and drove each other crazy. At the beginning we had discussed breaking up the three stories between us. I said I’d kind of like to do Big Fat Kill because it’s such an absurd romp. And as we started working and preparing, Robert said ‘you’re going to be here every day, right?’ and I said ‘sure’.
So he said we should tag team the whole job. And it’s funny as he was editing the movie and I came to kibitz, we were going through it and we couldn’t remember who had suggested what shot. It was such a brotherhood between us as we were making the movie. It was impossible to separate us on this job.

Q. Would you work together again?
Rodriguez:
It’s very easy, we’re the same guy.

Q. Sin City contains a lot of noirish chivalry? Was this something you set out to achieve?
A:
I figure that chivalry, honour, friendship and, of course, romance are all part of film noir as is the inner darkness of the central character – usually – and certainly the villains. What people often get wrong about noir, and the reason so many noirs fall flat is that they ignore the inner darkness and just light it really dark. You end up with spookily lit innocent stories.
But the great noirs, the stuff with Richard Widmark and Robert Mitchum, was also lit dark but it was also that they got inside your head and drove you crazy. That to me is noir. But without sin there is no virtue, so Sin City is there to find virtue as much as sin.

Q. Is noir essentially Catholic then?
A:
No, as a matter of fact Catholicism ties into it but no more than Judaism.
Rodriguez: I was a big fan of noir, I almost re-made Kiss Me Deadly back in 1997, which Michael Mann was going to produce. I was afraid to be too nostalgic.
What I liked about Frank’s material was that although it is in that tradition of noir it was so updated, so savage and new that it wouldn’t feel like a nostalgia trip. That’s why I was really excited about this. That felt like the movie I should do.

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