I wasn’t ready [right after Hunger and Shame] to delve into this [Small Axe] narrative, because I had to mature, I had to still understand who I was and where I was, and where I wanted to go to achieve these films. — Steve McQueen
In conjunction with the Amazon Prime streaming release of McQueen’s five Small Axe films—Mangrove; Lovers Rock; Red, White and Blue; Alex Wheatle; and Education—the AmericanCinematheque presents an online discussion with the writer-director.
My feeling is that, regardless of how we grew up socioeconomically, most of us grew up sort of siloed. We grew up within these constructions that we couldn’t really see were constructions—they seemed like the whole world. I guess I leaned into the righteousness that arises when we’re siloed in that way. There’s a nasty, villainous, slightly evil righteousness to this particular family [in KAJILLIONAIRE], but I think even the most well-meaning righteousness ultimately fails children. I mean, your parents will have misinformed you because they can only speak about life as they knew it, and you will betray them because you will not continue to live the way that you once lived as a child in that family. The inherent betrayal in that, and the resulting heartbreak, is what I was writing from. I tore through the first draft of the script never once thinking about my own family. They’re not literal, but for me they’re more resonant because of that. There’s this kind of ache. — Miranda July*
Join Miranda July and Spike Jonze in virtual conversation as they discuss July’s new film KAJILLIONAIRE.
To r.s.v.p. for this event—presented by the American Cinematheque—see link below.