Matt Rager is the co-writer, alongside James Franco, of Franco’s As I Lay Dying, an adaptation of the Faulkner novel. [Ed. note: you can read John D’Amico’s review of the film here.] He’s also the sole writer of the pair’s upcoming The Sound and the Fury, also based on the Faulkner book. Recently, we sat down over banana bread and talked about filmmaking:
Continue reading An Interview with Matt Rager, writer of ‘As I Lay Dying’ and the upcoming ‘The Sound and The Fury’
As I Lay Dying (2013)
Directed by James Franco
Screenplay by James Franco and Matt Rager
Based on the novel by William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying is James Franco’s seventh feature-length film as a director, but only his second to receive much of a release. The first was The Broken Tower, a biography of the poet Hart Crane, which was completed as his MFA thesis for NYU. Despite the fact that Focus picked it up and it starred Franco and Michael Shannon, that film felt like a student film through and through, and Franco received the critical berating he earned. Two years later, he’s back with another difficult work of American Modernism.
James Franco kind of stepped into a minefield with this one. The literary crowd is unimpressed with his famoused-my-way-into-a-book-deal poetry and prose, and his more mainstream fans are turned off by his occasional excursions into ‘pretentious shit’. Here, then, is a way to alienate two distinct fan bases at once.
I must just be a contrarian, because these are the sorts of films that interest me most.
Continue reading As I Lay Dying: Filming the ‘Unfilmable’