INDIEWIRE – Gregg Araki and Shailene Woodley sat down with Indiewire’s Nigel Smith as part of AOL Build’s interview series to discuss their upcoming film, “White Bird in a Blizzard.” The film, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, stars Woodley as Kat Connors, a 17 year old girl both discovering her sexuality and dealing with the mysterious disappearance of her hauntingly beautiful mother, Eve (Eva Green).
Also starring Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane, Dale Dickey, Mark Indelicato, Sheryl Lee and Angela Bassett, “White Bird in a Blizzard” will see a limited released in theaters on October 24.
Nils Larsen, Woodley’s manager, is good friends with Araki.
“It was at the Spirit Awards when Shailene won for ‘Descendants’ that I saw Nils again and [he said] Shailene is looking to do something, she’s been passing on everything, she’s being very particular and wants to follow up ‘Descendants’ with something super special and, you know, do you have anything? And I said I’m working on this book adaptation and Nils was like oh my god, send it and I hadn’t even finished it yet. But I finally finished it, sent it to Shailene and I guess she liked it because there she is.” – Gregg Araki
Woodley supports the film’s emphasis on teenage sexuality.
“I think it’s so refreshing to see a coming-of-age film that actually deals with sex and that has sexuality be a large theme in the film because it’s such a large part of so many adolescents’ lives right? It’s there, we just don’t really talk about and we really don’t talk about it in cinema too often with young people and you look at French films or European films and it’s not a big deal because sexuality is not something that’s sort of taboo over there. It’s more normal, it’s more accepted, it’s just a part of life and it’s part of all of our lives.”
“The image of life being so perfect with the lawn [in the film] and yet being so completely broken inside and projecting an image to others that isn’t actually the feeling that you exist within yourself I feel like is similar to sexuality in America in a lot of ways, you know, where it’s something that exists and you pretend that it doesn’t in everyday life. I thought it was really. neat. And it was truthful. It wasn’t exploitive or anything.”
But there was one element of sex was totally new for her.
“…I never had to do a sex scene looking into a camera before. That was a little bit interesting.”
Araki enjoyed the challenging of telling a story driven from the female perspective.
“…What it’s like to be a woman, what it’s like to be a young girl coming of age, what it’s like to be a mother and a wife who’s not happy and is sort of playing this role she really doesn’t want to play and the relationships between mothers and daughters…there were so many things going on in this story that I had never, even as a man, even thought about. I think that was something, as a filmmaker, that really, really excited me.”
“Divergent” pushed Woodley the most out of her comfort zone.
“It was such a big world. You know, there’s green screens and not only were you trying to act, you have to remember fight choreography and the timing of a bomb that’s going off in the corner and like make sure you don’t get hit but still be an actor. So that was probably the most challenging just in the sense that are so many elements that I had never worked with before.”
Araki loves the church of old-school cinema, but understands the wants of the generation.
“Now with VOD and Amazon and iTunes and everything, it’s incredibly cool to me that some kid in Alaska can read a tweet about ‘White Bird’ and push a button and watch it right now. The instantaneousness of that and the accessibility of that, is, as a filmmaker, super exciting.”
Just how beautiful is this? The official poster for White Bird in a Blizzard was unveiled earlier this week and has how been added to the gallery. Can’t wait to finally see this movie!
Great news! Many apologies for the lack of updates on the site recently, I have been swamped under with work and other commitments but hope to have everything back up-to-date within the next few days. You can also expect to see our beautiful new themes launched very soon. Stay tuned!
VARIETY – Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American distribution rights to the Shailene Woodley-starrer “White Bird in a Blizzard” and plans a theatrical release for later this year.
Gregg Araki directed from his own script, based on Laura Kasischke’s novel. The drama also stars Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane and Angela Bassett.
The film was produced by Pascal Caucheteux, Sebastien K. Lemercier, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Pavlina Hatoupis and Gregg Araki. Why Not Productions, Desperate Pictures, Orange Studio and Wild Bunch are the production companies on board.
Woodley stars as a college-bound teenager who is just discovering her sexuality when her mother (Green) disappears — an event that barely registers with Woodley’s character. But as time passes, she begins to come to grips with how deeply the disappearance has affected her life.
“White Bird” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in late January. Variety‘s Peter Debruge gave the film a mixed review, calling it “naughty, campy and wildly uneven.”
The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by Dori Begley and Peter Van Steemburg with CAA and Wild Bunch on behalf of the filmmakers.
I’ve added three new stills of Shailene in White Bird in a Blizzard, which will have its premiere screening at Sundance next week. I’m so glad we’re finally starting to see more from the film–hopefully there will be plenty more to come during the course of the festival. Enjoy!
It seems good things come to those who wait! After virtually no news or updates regarding White Bird in a Blizzard all year, in the past few weeks we have been treated to new stills and details of its upcoming premiere in January at Sundance. Now we have a teaser trailer for the film – which you can check out below. I can’t wait to see this one!
I’ve added two new stills of Shailene from White Bird in a Blizzard to the gallery. It was announced earlier this week that the film will indeed be headed to Sundance, which is very exciting news! To view the full lineup of premieres heading to the festival in January, click here.
White Bird in a Blizzard / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Gregg Araki) — Based on the acclaimed novel by Laura Kasischke, White Bird in a Blizzard tells the story of Kat Connors, a young woman whose life is turned upside down by the sudden disappearance of her beautiful, enigmatic mother. Cast: Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane.