RT Interview: Director Baillie Walsh on Ziggy, Roxy and Daniel Craig in Flashbacks of a Fool

The first-time helmer sits down with RT.

Baillie Walsh - Jon Furniss/Wireimage.comSpike Jonze, Michel Gondry, David Fincher, Mark Romanek and Garth Jennings are feature film directors who've all spent time on the sets of music videos. Their films are creative and visual, much like their music videos have to be, and they've been responsible for features as diverse as Fight Club, Being John Malkovich and Son of Rambow. Baillie Walsh, best known for putting pictures to Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy and Kylie Minogue's Slow, hopes to join their ranks this week with his first feature, Flashbacks of a Fool, about an aging A-lister who remembers his sexual awakening in glam-era Britain when he learns that his best friend of the time has passed away.

The film stars Daniel Craig, Walsh's long-time friend, who lent the gravitas necessary to get the film off the ground, and spoke to RT earlier in the week. With the cast rounded out by Harry Eden, Eve, Olivia Williams, Helen McCrory and Claire Forlani, and a soundtrack featuring David Bowie and Roxy Music, it's an ambitious first film. Walsh sat down with us to tell us more.

Roxy Music's self-titled album and Bowie's Ziggy Stardust are very important in the movie - did you have similar albums that defined your childhood?

Baillie Walsh: It's those two albums for me. The Roxy Music track, If There Is Something, was the song I listened to constantly as a teenager. That song was a key to the writing of the script because the lyrics are so pertinent to the script. "Throw your precious gifts into the air and watch them fall down." All of that stuff seemed absolutely spot on. I always loved that song, and it was a little known song too.

Flashbacks of a Fool


Jean-Marc Vallee, who directed C.R.A.Z.Y. said that he had trouble getting the rights to the songs he wanted to use in the film and was angry because he felt that he owned them because they were part of who he was growing up - did you have the same trouble?

BW: I was really lucky that all the tracks I wanted, I got. We had to pay a bit more than I think people wanted to, but I think people understood how important they were. It worked out, I was really lucky, and I completely understand what he means.

Was the soundtrack the most important element for you, then?

BW: It was the key, I wrote the script with the music there. If I hadn't been given the rights to Jean Genie, what else could I have done? I don't know what T-Rex means. They were all key to me.

Does it help to have that musical backdrop when you come from directing music videos?

BW: I'm sure that it probably does. I love music and the reason I made music videos is because putting images to music is a great thing to do. I couldn't really ask for more, though making a feature film is really the best thing.

Flashbacks of a Fool


Music video directors who've made the transition to feature filmmaking have done very well in many cases - Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry - it must be exciting to be able to join that set.

BW: Steady on! I'm not sure I'm quite there yet! Those guys are absolutely fantastic and I've been wanting to make a feature film for some time and I've finally been able to make it. How people respond to it, let's see if it does well. I know that I had the best year of my life and I was given a lot of money to make the story I wrote and it really doesn't get much better than that. How it's perceived and where I'm put in that line-up, I can't even think about right now. I'm just very lucky to have had the opportunity.

How much has Daniel Craig's input helped the project?

BW: Honestly, without Daniel I would never have made it. I wrote it a long time ago, before Dan's success, and luckily his success made it possible, so the end result of that is always wish your friends big success!

Comments

dahluzz

joe shmo

OK, this has nothing whatsoever to do with this article, but I'm posting this open letter to the RT Staff because something feels really fishy about this whole News system now.

I was thinking about it last night and wondered 'how can jeff giles go from the most featured writer on the site to doing very little writing at all, basically over night?' all RT staffers ever said was 'jeff will still be contributing" or something.

answer this: did Jeff Giles get fired or demoted or whats the actual deal, because i find it really hard to believe that all of a sudden the entire News section changes and he's no longer featured much.

I do recall an article not long ago regarding the new oliver stone movie 'W' in which jeff made some slightly leftist remarks and then had to spend the rest of the thread defending himself (with some help from loyal RT readers). Now it could well be a stretch to think that this had something to do with Jeff not being allowed to do his daily stories, but at this point I'm looking for SOME explanation.

And I think we deserve more of an explanation then 'well we're trying some new stuff out and are continuously updating the site to make as good as possible for all of you.' whatever, that doesn't cut it.

Can you RT staffers see how much you've changed the core of the site? No one is commenting on the stupid external link stories and all that remains as far as RT material is an occasional story but mostly features like interviews, critical consensus, total recall, meet a critic, etc. etc. The features are fine, but the story threads were where people really got into the discussions. We had a strong core community of regular posters and now it just doesn't feel the same.

so RT, I really need you to explain why you've altered not only the aesthetic, but the entire dynamic of the site. It's less personal and frankly, less interesting. This is my go-to site and so i really am curious as why a lot of the fun has been sucked out of it in favor of redirecting us to outside pages.

What happened to Jeff and what are the chances that things will return to the good ole days of putting an RT spin on a specific story, making it humorous and palatable and letting us all sling mud over it?

thanks for your time.

-Dahluzz

Apr 18 - 10:47 AM

lexlinkroy

matthew rivers

i always thought there was something fishy with RT with there reviews and articles

Oct 10 - 08:13 AM

lexlinkroy

matthew rivers

i always thought there was something fishy with RT with there reviews and articles

Oct 10 - 08:13 AM

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