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“The whole idea that someone stops eating in order to be heard was very strange,” he says.
“They have no food going in, but they’re getting louder.” (2007).
The conversation, between Sands (Michael Fassbender) and a priest (Liam Cunningham) who’s challenging his decision to starve himself, goes on for more than 20 minutes.
It opens with a single, 17-minute take, a continuous shot with no cuts, close-ups or camera movements—virtually unheard of in a commercial release..
Later he spent three miserable months at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts film program before quitting because of its emphasis on technique over substance. “A lot of rich kids with no talent.”James Rondeau, a curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, recalls meeting Mc Queen a few years after his stint at NYU.
But the execs were particularly panicky about one scene that depicted two men sitting at a table, talking.
The fact that it was me who was in control of that violence—it f---ing got me.” He adds, “It’s this whole conundrum of art: You’re trying to make the piece, but at the same time it’s what you have to inflict on these actors.
It just looked real, and in fact it was real.”The many parallels between and Mc Queen’s formally controlled yet emotionally untidy art pieces are plain to see.
(2007) depicts an elegant but motionless horse lying dead—or asleep? Nothing really happens, but as the light shifts subtly and the 11-minute film loops back on itself, it makes all sorts of statements about stillness and action, life and death. Like his films, Mc Queen exudes an unlikely combination of supreme confidence and delicate inscrutability.
Tall and burly, with a booming voice that carries across the hotel bar, he has a hesitant, choppy way of speaking, leading you to believe he’s sharing only a fraction of his thoughts.