The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Julian Jarrold (HBO’s “The Girl”)

Given how much media attention has been drawn by the upcoming Alfred Hitchcock biopic starring Anthony Hopkins, it’s no wonder that some may see HBO’s upcoming movie, “The Girl,” which debuts on Oct. 20, to be a pretender to the throne. In fact, they’re both perfectly viable entities in their own right, each covering a different aspect of the director’s career. Hopkins will be playing Hitchcock as he’s in the throes of making “Psycho,” whereas “The Girl” finds Toby Jones’s version of Hitch as he’s obsessing over Tippi Hedren (played by Sienna Miller) during the filming of “The Birds” and “Marnie.” Bullz-Eye caught up with Julian Jarrold, director of “The Girl,” just before a panel for the film at the summer Television Critics Association press tour, during which time he chatted not only about his look into the darker side of Hitchcock but also some of the other films and television efforts he’s tackled in his career to date.

Bullz-Eye: How did “The Girl” land in your lap? Or did you go looking for “The Girl”?

Julian Jarrold: No, it was sent to me ages ago, and…it was a little bit more based around the making “The Birds” and “Marnie,” but obviously it was still an exploration of this relationship. The writer (Gwyneth Hughes) had done quite a lot of research and come over here and met Jim Brown, the assistant director, and Rita Riggs (wardrobe supervisor), and Tippi, obviously. So he’d kind of pieced together this sort of fascinating script, and I loved Hitchcock, but I didn’t know this at all, so it was a bit of a shock, actually, to read it. [Laughs.] I knew he was odd, but I didn’t know he was that odd. Yeah, it totally changed my view of Hitchcock. Actually, what was fascinating was…I knew “The Birds” and “Marnie” and “Vertigo,” and they’re strange films. You kind of wonder where they’re coming from. And then finding out about this story, you certainly go, “Ah, I see where he was coming from…and where his personal obsessions are and his attitude to women and everything.” So it sort of illuminated all that. Which was very interesting.

BE: Tippi Hedren is here at the TCA tour, so presumably she’s supportive of the film, but how interactive was she you were making it? Did you speak with her in advance?

JJ: Well, no. I mean, she obviously spoke at length with the writer, and Sienna met her. But she didn’t come on set. I think she read the script. It’s obviously difficult when someone’s making a film like this. How do you compute that? Because it’s 90 minutes revolving around her life. But she said she saw it recently, and she seemed to love it. She saw it with her kids, Melanie (Griffith) and everybody, and it seemed to go down okay. But it’s difficult. It must be a painful, difficult thing to look at. You know, she had such a complex relationship with Hitchcock. It was daunting, because you mustn’t judge that. I wanted to show the sunny side of the relationship, where there was a sort of optimism at the beginning and he was such a fantastic teacher, but then how it changed and darkened and was abusive, really.

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Friday Video – The Hours, “See the Light”

Any time we get a chance to bang the drum for this English duo/sextet (two official members, six touring members), we take it. Following their releases on this side of the pond can be a bit of a challenge; their (fab) 2009 album See the Light was available as a download on Amazon for about five minutes, and to the best of our knowledge, never saw an official US release on CD. The band’s “new” album, It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish, is a Franken-album, compiling the best songs from See the Light and 2006′s Narcissus Road plus two new songs. And even that album has gone through release date hell, getting bumped from early October to late November. Oh well, better late than never, as far as we’re concerned.

To promote the long-overdue US release of their music – you’ve heard these guys already, though; that’s them playing in the background of that Nike “human chain” ad – the band wisely decided to recut the video for “See the Light,” where director Tony Kate (“American History X”) shoots Sienna Miller in a hospital gown losing her mind. The problem with the original clip is that it included audio of Sienna’s ramblings, sending the song to the background. And you don’t put this song in the background. One of those slow-burning, two-chord monsters, “See the Light” grows and grows until it explodes. In a world where all people focus on is negativity and mistakes – we are officially sick to death of reading the word ‘fail’ on the internet – it’s nice to see a band look at the positive. We see the light, fellas.

The Hours – “See The Light” 2010 Edit from Adeline Records on Vimeo.

  

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