Interrogate every beat


When you write, every word counts. No room for weak links. Why permit any half measures (as I’m sure Breaking Bad fans in particular will appreciate)? In writing – and indeed, in just about anything else you wish to do well – you need to interrogate every beat.

/“Interrogate every beat.” I came across these inspired three words in an interview with director Yann Demange on the DVD of his excellent thriller ‘71. Says Demange, on the topic of the differences between directing for TV and for film: 

“A film is more like a haiku. Every moment needs to earn its place. You’re constantly asking yourself: Why are people going to pay to come and see this film? […] What’s going to make them talk about this film and tell
people to come out and see the film? So I think every moment has to
really earn its place. You interrogate every beat and make sure you’re
making every moment as special as it can be.”

‘71 is a superb film. It’s about an English soldier stranded in the wrong part of town during the Troubles. I’d never heard of it until watching a recent Kermode Uncut episode on the apparently widespread influence of the maestro John Carpenter on modern cinema. Mark Kermode described ‘71 as almost a Belfast-set Escape From New York. I’m intrigued. Plus a soundtrack by David Holmes. Let’s go!

I share with you here said episode of Kermode Uncut – but I know he is an acquired taste for most, so no shame if you don’t fancy viewing it:

But while I wholeheartedly recommend ‘71, what I must really recommend above all else – if you’ve not yet seen it – is Escape From New York. A film in which every moment truly earns its place.

Whatever is next on your to-do list: Interrogate every beat.

  • Image via Wikimedia Commons (came up when I searched on the word “interrogation,” and was too striking not to use! One can only speculate as to what this particular Chicago vice squad interrogation was all about…

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