“A whole new UNIVERSE of ADVENTURE is about to open up for you!
Trailer for Robinson Crusoe on Mars
“Here’s my guilty secret, I have always loved the literature and the cinema of the fantastic. From earliest memory. The earliest movies I saw on television when I was a kid were Wolfman, Dracula, Frankenstein—the first movie I ever saw in a movie theater, my older brother took me took me when I was five years old to see to see Robinson Crusoe on Mars which was so cool….It goes back to Melies. ‘Here, here—look what we can do. This is impossible in real life.’ Of course, you can do a stage version I suppose, but film does the illusion better. I always loved black and white for that reason because that doesn’t exist in real life. It’s an artificial representation of something remarkable. Movies show you experiences you don’t necessarily have every day in life. And the more magical they get the more out of our experience they are, but they make me feel rather childlike when they work.
This is my favorite story about Tom Hanks. (One of my favorite stories.) When we were shooting The Green Mile —it was a long shoot— we spent lots of time on the set and I remember one day when I turned to him and I said, ‘What are you doing here? What made you want to be an actor? What brought you to this life?’ And he said, ‘When I was a kid…,’ eight years old or something like that he saw the skeleton fight in Jason and the Argonauts, and he said ‘I saw Jason, I saw guys fighting skeletons with swords and I said that’s what I want to do!’ That where Tim Hanks’ passion springs from. I love hearing where the passion comes from.”
Frank Darabont at Masterclass —Zurich Film Festival
P.S. The trailer for Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) states that Crusoe is “struggling for survival in a cruel environment.” That could said of many films—from Winter’s Bone (which I’ve written a little bit about) to Life of Pi (which I’ll write about on Monday.)