Alex Garland: "Annihilation" | Talks at Google

Alex Garland:

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You. Swapping. The giggle thanks. Very much yeah so, saw. It this phenomenal, comes, out on February 23rd. Globally. And so we're, super excited so. This, is based on a novel and. So by, jeff of and Aamir's of, trilogy, southern reach, so. I want to talk about a little bit about when was your first time when you discovered the book i read the book and what attracted it to it uh it, was sent to me by a. Producer. I just worked with him on this movie, ex machina and I. Was. In post-production, so. Editing, and so on of ex machina he, sent me a book and he said you. Should take a look at this and I. Read. It and. And. Sort. Of decided, as I, was, reading it that I'd like to give it a try. Adapting. It. It. Had two particular, things it's, it's, genuinely, original, as, a book and that. Is unusual. In itself, because. Most. Stories, that we encounter, in literature. And in cinema, and in television are. Actually, repeats. Of stories that we tell ourselves again, and again and again for whatever reason, it's, like a form of reassurance. Or a. Ritual. That we need, or enjoy or something and this wasn't like that it just stepped outside it completely, so first. Off it was original, and, it also had a very very powerful strange. Atmosphere, the. The, reading, of the book is a little bit like. Having, a dream and. That. Was also very unusual. It, presented, a lot of issues in terms of how you adapt, it I've worked on adaptations. Before, where. You have a, certain kind of narrative, that you're almost cutting, and pasting the. Narrative, and. This. I couldn't see how a function like that but the thing that it attracted. Me to it was true. Originality, and, this crazy. Trippy, atmosphere, right, and you. Know you wrote, your novel the beach back in the 1990s. And then long, time ago and, it was adapted into a, film so. What, was your experience like now kind of on the river so you had your book adapt it into a film and now you're adapting a book, well. I, mean. That. Was 20-something. Years a long, time ago and I've. Been working in film I basically stopped writing books and I started writing films, and working in film. Over. That period of time I'd, done I, think. Three adaptations. As. Films, that got made of anyway, one, was never let me go which.

Was A adaptation. Of a book one, was Dredd which is an adaptation of, a British, comic. Strip character called Judge Dredd from a sort of anthology, series called, 2000ad, and, then. There was this anihilation, that was the third one and in, each case it was different never. Let me go very or. Almost slavish, adaptation. Of the book. Dredd. Is. Like a set, in a big sci-fi world I work in a low-budget arena I can't really do that stuff so, I was faithful to, the character, it. Was an adaptation of, the character, and in this instance it was like an adaptation, of, the atmosphere, I would say broadly, that's. That's very broad what, was it like it was really, really hard I mean it was seriously, difficult, but. That's. Okay that's. That's. The job what about Jeff Vandermeer so the you know the original author, of the book did you work with him did you get any advice from him did you clear, out the clear anything with him or did he kind of say yeah do, what you definitely because, he's, having having. Written novels years ago and had them adapted. And. Really, what I am is a writer but that when, I think of what my job is I'd say I'm a writer and so. I I feel an affinity with, the writer of the book and a kind of duty to. Them and, what. I said to Jeff was I'm not gonna I was up front I said, I'm not going to be able to do a beat, by beat adaptation. This because I don't know how to do it somebody, else might be able to do it but it's not me and so. In a sense partly, what I needed from Jeff was his blessing, his permission and then. I wrote a screenplay and I showed it to him was. It yeah. Yep and it's, it's, crazy because it have how many of you guys read the book people yeah, I'm cool the book is I just, read it and I was, spread because the characters don't have names I just go, by kind of rocky that's right and biologists. Of a psychologist. Right and so and, do that in the film Wow it's so great yeah yeah you need character name especially you. Don't need them but what. I figured, was, if. You didn't have names. Because. We use names when we're talking to each other and. If you completely, avoided, that in a film it might feel arch you. Know it. Might feel like an affectation and, in a book it I, think. Because it's such a sort of internal, first-person, book it it, doesn't, matter and it's actually kind of cool but, in a film I didn't I didn't want it to feel mannered, in that way so, I just gave them names in.

So, Ex. Machina which. You worked on before this it was your first directorial debut. What. Did you take away or learn from that fellows director that you brought over to this film what was easier for everything or nothing. Basically. Anyway. The job never changes, I. Find. Myself repeating this again and again but it's because of I think it's the way we perceive film. Which. Is as a pyramid, structure and at the top of the pyramid is a director, and it's. It's, just not my personal, experience, of filmmaking. I. Don't. Really like pyramid, structures, anyway I have to say they're not they're not my scene but. I. I. Would see it more like a mountain, range a mountain. Range with, a kind of parallax, effect happening, so, sometimes. One mountain, feels more prevalent, than another, then you shift your perspective and everything's different, and. That. Has always been, the case at. Different times in the process in, development. Shooting. Post-production. The. Parallax, is shifting, that. Didn't change before, ex machina after. And. And. The, truest, way I can, say it is that it's a collective, I work, in a collective, and it's. A group of people some of them I've worked with for 20 years. Some, people come in new and then they have to learn the vibe of how, the collective. Works together. I'm, not saying this as lip service it's literally, true. It's. It's something, like a version, of anarchy. It's, but it's not Anarchy as chaos it's Anarchy, where you have a, collective. Of autonomous. Bodies who are all working towards, the same goal, and. That. That's the sort of methodology. So. I never, sort, of quote-unquote coax a performance, out of an actor the actor is responsible, for their performance, after. We do a lineup, rehearsal. And all the crew comes in to see what the blocking looks like I, then, turn to the DOP, and I don't say put a camera here but that lens on it and move it like this I say how do you want to shoot it and that. Is the whole process, the whole way through Wow, and so. You talk about you know working with a lot of same people and and and kind of building up your crew your without Oscar Isaac on ex machina yeah and you, brought him back for this so what was oh, well, I came back it gets bored what. Was when, did you guys meet and what kind of wanted you to recast. Him again this just a good partner we met in, ex machina, trying. To find the right cast and, Oscar. Is. A. Bunch, of things you. Know, part of what I'm saying part of what I just said before relies. On like-minded. People mm-hmm. Okay so if if you're not going to fit in to that vibe it's not going to work, and. Oscar. Fits, into that very naturally, because, he's a very self possessed actor. He, he, thinks about it on his own he comes to a conclusion he, arrives between. Takes, he varies, the takes, he. Says I want to try it like this and then he tries it like that so. It's partly that he's just a flat-out. Brilliant. Actor he's, very self possessed he's also a good guy to have around he's, very witty it's got a fantastic sense, of humor he's kind of relaxed. Like. What's not to like ya. Know he's. Phenomenal nice when I'm on this he's phenomenal. On ex machina you, have an incredible cast with Natalie Portman and who plays lead Gina Rodriguez Tessa Thompson, Jennifer. Jason Leigh and so what's also. Brilliant. Ya know and it's it's. A phenomenal, phenomenal cast so when you're casting your lead. And you're kind of looking at the characters in the book and then you're trying to adapt that to to what your vision is where'd you land on especially with Natalie being the lead how would you find her and and what. Qualities did she bring to that where you're like this is this is my Lena what. What natalie has. As, an actor is. She's. Got these two concurrent, things going, on at the same time one. Of them is an enormous amount of poise. She's. She's. Kind of a she is a powerful. Presence. In. Her. Behavior. In the way she looks in this sort of aura around her, and all that kind of stuff I'm, talking about. Primarily. Talked about in terms of performance, because. Obviously that's the thing that is on the screen and that's what you're looking for but, she also has something else, which. Is she has the ability to, demonstrate. Damage. Between. The cracks and, so. As well, as having all of these actually, rather intimidating features. There's. Something, she can tap into which, is broken and. Explosive. And. And, kind of wild, and. So. There's a sort of subversion. Inside. Her and that. Made her exactly.

Right For this particular character. Yeah. And she's, absolutely for the entire cast is just so well well Caston. And and so well chosen and phenomenal, and the movie is just it's crazy, we're we talked about this little confident where it's just it's really weird it's a mind-numbing. Thing and it's phenomenal. Like it's so so, so freakin good cool but. We're. Actually. Was. There any kind of no but was there any kind of like no, it's, it's no but like was. There any inspiration in terms of the story cuz a dick change from the novel where did you kind of pull from in terms of it was a story you're arresting on for a while or, to just kind of evolve, as you're right now there, was two things I think always when. I'm working there's something that's obsessing, me for some reason or another, and. In. This case it was about self destruction I, I. Had this kind of thing. That I'd become. Aware. Of, or. I believe I'd, become aware of which. Was that. Everyone. I know. And. I would speculate, everybody, in the room at, the moment is. Self-destructive. And. You. Meet some people and, their self-destruction is very apparent they almost offer it up to you. They're, an alcoholic, there are heroin addicts they keep. Committing. Crimes they recidivist, or whatever it is and and. You can see it's it's sort of demonstrated. And then you also meet people who, are. Very. Confident, comfortable. In their own skin they've. Got a great job they a lot of money they, have, a fantastic family and, you feel always. Slightly. On the backfoot because, those people are intimidating, and you also feel, that they have cracked life in some kind of way they've cracked it and then, if you become very close to one of those people you discover, odd fissures. Here, and there and you discover, very. Strange. Bits, of meaningless. Self-destructive. Behavior, and, it was the meaninglessness, of the self-destructive, behavior that I found interesting and. People. Are. The. You, know even, this sort of supernaturally. Prepossessed. Person is is, sort of dismantling their job or their dismantling, of or, they're dismantling their marriage and. And. And, so that, became, the kind of fixation, that, was overlaid, onto this film it is basically, a film about self-destruction, and it has a kind of thesis within, it about why we do that and. And. Before the various, forms, in which it takes, us opposed and. Then. In terms of overlaying, that onto Jeff's really beautiful. Novel, which. Is about another kind of destruction, more eco, the planet. I thought. Reading, this book is like a dream, so. So. What I'm gonna do is I'm going to adapt it like a dream, I'm. I'm, not going to reread the book I'm, gonna adapt, it from my memory of the book and. And. In, a way that was what Jeff gave me permission to do so in some places it will correlate, very closely in another, places it won't do, tap in that feeling that you got from the book versus just how, it's. A dream response, to a dream book very kind of and. And. It's an interesting thing as well because then it becomes about the nature of memory I think to an extent as well I and. Years ago I was, watching some TV show and there was a cop talking, about eyewitnesses. And he said eyewitness is a useless I forget, about everyone, thinks an eyewitness is the best thing you can have in solving a crime but it's like the worst and and, what you need is empirical, evidence, fingerprints, and DNA and, stuff like that and, he was saying someone, runs into, a, restaurant, and, there's. A violent, crime and someone's killed and one eyewitness will, say he had a gun shot, five times another. One will say shot once another won't say there wasn't a gun it was a knife and you. You, can't really rely on memory, and actually, in my life I've, often, observed, that's true and. So. It was sort of making, that application. Of that that, thing, about, subjectivity. Are supposed to to, this story and, so it's, it's a beautiful, film beautifully shot and the set design stuff so I want to talk a little bit about that in terms of where was it shot how, did you expand, upon using.

Practical Effects and practical set design first, CGT. Where, it was shot so so. One of the things about this movie was to make everything off, you. Know kind. Of it starts, in a suburban setting, and it ends in a psychedelic I'm setting this is suburbia, to psychedelia, story. And. So. The awfulness, how you get the quality of awfulness was was an important, part of it and. So. What we did was, we. Rather. Than shoot, it it's notionally. Set somewhere, on a coastal, part of north america Florida. Fish, right. And, we could have shot it in northern Florida we could have shot it in Louisiana, it's got a good tax break and all that kind of thing. But. We ended up shooting it in England just outside London and we, dressed, an English. Forest, to. Look, kind. Of like, a distorted. Version, of, a, North American bit, of southern southern. North American, coastline and. In. The hope it would give us some of the other. Night. Miss and a wrongness and I think it you know I kind of think it did yeah, no it's it's great when. You are, working. With scenes, like that and stuff because it's a very complicated film there's a lot going on there, are monsters. So I guess I could call animals, yeah, evoke my animals, and so. When you're working with that was there any what was the most I guess difficult, scene that you had to work with or get right. Birthing, the, film. Got progressively more, difficult because. There's a kind of contract, that is in, a way made with the audience at the beginning of the film which is that this is going to end in a strange place and creating. Strangeness, in a film is complicated. Partly. Because like Jeff's normal it has to be original and. So. We had to find out where we source that strangeness, and that that was part of the question and also, strangeness. Itself, has a kind of diminishing, return so. If you start a story strange and end it strange by the time you get to the end you, acclimatized, to the strangeness and it's, actually lost the quality, that you specifically, wanted at the end so. Hence. Suburbia, I'm, starting, in a suburban setting and and. Progressively. Giving, a film a nudge, forward, into. A more and more hopefully. Earned. Her. Loose men, hallucinogenic. Kind of state, okay. And, we're going to go into we're just a few minutes if you guys want to there's, a mic there if you want to stand there and just make sure you flip it on but. When, you are. When. You're obviously crap in the film and you're shooting it and again editorial, was there anything that you had it cut for timer for pacing that you wish that you could have kept in it or not, was everything was in there you wanted him the.

Part. Of the job is making sure that the end cut, the. End thing, is the thing that the collective, was working, towards, and being respectful, of that and. That. Can involve. Conflict. Sometimes but. But. You've got to stay true to the thing that you intended, to do and. So. Nothing is on the cutting room floor that should have been in there and nothing's in there that shouldn't be in there as a collective, we we. Are judged on the final product so, you, better respect the final product right and do it the way you meant to right in were, there any directors, or films kind, of when, you were growing up that helped, kind of inspired you to become the director that you are when. The writer that you are as well loads. Yeah. I mean. The. First film that ever made a really strong impact, on me was probably Apocalypse, Now. I, also. Loved the first alien, movie I think, it's just an incredibly, beautifully. Constructed, intelligent. Bit of filmmaking and, and. Subversive, as, well I think I like films that are subversive, yeah, you know I like, things that work within genre, and then. Yeah, in, some way yeah. You, mentioned, kind of the. Anarchic. Environment. That you work in when you make your films does, that, bleed. Into when you write or is writing, totally, solo and then, my second, question is, now. That you've done writing. Directing. And both. Do. You have a preference. No. Preference, I think it's the same job, basically. And in. Terms of the solo aspect, yeah, you start writing on your own you do. One. Of the first surprises. I had with writing actually I've been doing it about 25, years and, one. Of the first surprises. Is, the sound like a stupid thing to say but I realized you never get promoted like. Then, there's, no ladder you. Move up because it always begins, with a blank page and. That. Was sort of a shock bizarrely. You know I thought something would happen but. It doesn't so. You. You. Start on your own but. Then. It, then stops and it becomes part of the collective for various reasons one is that the, script is, effectively. Parceled. Out to different departments, production, design and wardrobe. And VFX. And special effects and all that kind of stuff and, all of those people are bringing their interpretation. To it. Also. What happens is actors. Get involved, and you. Are not the possessor, of the character, anymore, when, the actor becomes involved it's actually their character, and what. I found with good actors, and this, is true across the board, hence the collective, right, is that, they they make it better they, elevate, it they, they do things, you just didn't think of and the, first, movie. I ever worked, on before now the first one I ever wrote was a zombie movie 28, days later and there, was an actor in it Brendan Gleeson, and when. He, was doing, the lines I, kept. Hearing, things, that I had not intended or. Thought of, and I realized, right from the get-go what. What. A good actor can do you, know and so. So. Yes it begins on your own but it then really, becomes. Like everything, else in the film which is part of a big conversation, amongst. The autonomous, units. Did. You go. Into writing wanting, to be a director or did you just do. That just comment, like, happen, like. Yeah. I I didn't, I didn't start writing, wanting to be a writer like. None of it was intentional. I was. A backpacker, I started, writing about packing. That turned into a book the book got made into a film I thought, hang on a minute you don't have to sit in a room on your own the whole time you can be with a bunch of other people then. I was working on films and then, gradually. In. A funny way I actually became a director, to sort of get rid of the director, truth. Just. For the absence, of the director. I've. Noticed personally, that I tend to enjoy films. And TV. Shows where the writer and director are one in the same and some, curious your perspective, when you fill both roles what. What advantage does that give you or maybe inversely, if you're only doing one of the two what handicaps, and why, is it that a powerful combination in your mind I.

Think. I, mean. Immediately. My brain starts filling with directors, who are terrific you don't write but what. Your. Point then. I. Think. What it is is, that in. The end probably. The most useful thing, that. You. Can do on set is to, be able to answer a question so. Somebody, is puzzled, over why. This, bit of motivation is happening or why this thing should look like that or whatever happens to be which, happens to all of us right you, are confused, about why you're doing the thing doing and if. You are in the position of writing and directing you're, in a very good position to, offer your opinion an informed. Opinion now, that, doesn't have to get observed. But. It does mean you can say something from a position of some, personal. Knowledge and. And. I think the in in. And amongst the talents it's useful, to have someone, as a sounding, board and and. I think that often what my job is, on a day-to-day level is. Being someone you can have a conversation with, it it. May be that but, but then I'll, tell you another one just, there's. No cookie cutter right and one, thing I've learned is that you never know how a film is made whatever the credit say at the end you never know how a film is made unless you worked on that film and and. The, process is with one group and not the processes, with another and so you. Know different. Ball game with other people, that's. Just me. Hi. I'm. Gonna bring it back to annihilation for a second because I was introduced, to annihilation. And the southern reach trilogy, via, the. Trailer the teaser when I saw it and I just was blown away and it was like what is this thing and. So. I read all the books very sequentially. And there's a little bit of unresolved, Ness, not, only about the first one but about all of them in general and I love that you said the dream state and then your dream of that is what I was drawn into and. I'm curious to know, how. The other two either, play into this or don't at all it's, kind of they, don't touch it in any way that they really don't i mean it's partly because jeff was writing, the trilogy, he, was still actually, writing it while I was writing the screenplay, for the first but. It's not it's not just that I mean that's, just sort, of factually, the state of affairs but. It's also because, I, I. Don't, want to work on. Franchises. I. I. Have, no judgment for, people who do it it's a completely, personal. Position. And it. Doesn't stem from anything. About the nature of franchises. Or sequels, or any thing like that it's, because at the end of a three year process I, know of, myself, already I will not want to work on it again. That's. It thank you. You. Touched on this a little bit about the idea of having this thesis in. Your in your films. Especially, in this one you touched, on how. Early does that come out in your writing process do you start with a thesis or you sometimes discover it during, the process and if you could just maybe, take us through the beginnings, of a story, for yours how. You start with it starts. With a thesis. It'll. Be some particular, thing, that, I have started to get obsessed, with and, I'm thinking, about it, in a repetitive compulsive. Way it's. It's not really an intellectual, process it's a compulsive, process, and. In. In. The. Case of annihilation, it was. Self. Destruction and. This. The odd qualities, of self destruction and, the odd places in which you find it and, in. The thing I'm working on at the moment it. Was a principle called. Determinism. A sort, of product, of living. In a physical, universe of, cause and effect and. Some. Of the implications of that to do with free will and. And. What potentially, one could predict of actions, and, that. Kind of thing and so. I get interested, in that I started to read about it I start, to I. Start. To obsess and then. At, some point not intentionally. A narrative arrives, that. Inevitably. Is, dovetailed. To, the. Thing I'm obsessed, about at that moment and, it's another reason why I don't work on sequels, because, because. I want to be interested, in something else and I. Will be interested in something else because I've got a limited, capacity to be to. Know, much, about anything right, at a certain point so I feel okay I've learned this up to my ability or I've explored it up to my ability what's, next, kind, of it's, not quite as prosaic as that but it more. Or less. In. The last question. Nowadays. I know that original, content is so hard to come by and so. For. You being a writer and coming up with original ideas. And, stuff like that are you constantly. Thinking. About you. Know what the next original idea is gonna be or, is. It just one day something pops into your head and you just you know go for it well.

In. All honesty I'm not sure I think, this is one of the reasons I was interested in Jeff's book is I'm not sure I do come, up with original ideas I'm not sure that's what I do i I, think I often, work within existing, ideas, and, sometimes. Then. Use, the ability to subvert. Them or play, around with them. So. No I'm not thinking about what, is the next original idea I I wouldn't. Be able to think like that even if I wanted to if. I think back up the things I've written as spec scripts so. Say. A film like 28, days later or a film like X Mac you know I can point you towards a lot of zombie movies and I can point you towards a lot of movies that are concerned with artificial intelligence or, the nature of sentence, or objectification. Or, whatever, the, concern. Is within the thing in. A way that's partly why I found the book anihilation, so, interesting, is because maybe. I lack the capacity to do that and jeff has done that and that that's a that's. A that's like a honey, to, be nectar. They make honey. Sent. Some sort of appropriate, analogy. And. To. Wrap up as, a. Screenwriter. And novelist and. Director. What, piece, of advice have you received that, has been that's kind of stuck with you over the years. The. Only the. First bit of advice that came into my head was, my dad when I was a kid saying if you think someone's gonna hit you hit them first. It. Was more just a general life yes I got fair, enough. It. Doesn't apply. Okay. I. Cannot. Top that so thank you so much for. Go. Watch it phenomenal, thanks, so much. You.

2018-02-26 16:57

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Anyone who have read L'Étonnant voyage de Hareton Ironcastle (The Amazing Journey of Hareton Ironcastle) (1922) by J.-H. Rosny aîné? I don't read French, so I haven't read it, but the concept is apparently similar to the movie. Philip José Farmer translated it once, but he also rewrote it by doing so. Then there is Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky brothers, which has at least a few similarities in common. There could be other stories as well, but these are all I know about.

21:36 double man bun cringe

Finally a movie worth watching in theaters


Can you imagine Garland talking to De Niro? :D

This man would be perfect to write and direct a Black Mirror episode.

What an asshole lol. He looks so disinterested in this experience. I get it that the studio screwed you over. But as someone who read the Southern Reach Trilogy could you just fake it? Please pretend like you give a shit dude….sad.

I love how blunt he is on everything.

poxa..... vou ter que esperar pra chegar aqui no Brasil....só na Netflix, uma pena =/

This guy made Dredd?!, Dredd was awesome!

He wrote it

Love how he doesn't give a fuck about anything, and he always comes off like an asshole who hates you. You do whatever you have to do, to keep making awesome films.

Wtf is southern north American???

Hmm, thanks guys

The southern region of the North American continent.

By North America, he means United States.

Florida, Amigo.

Alex can come off really smug, but I kinda love him. He’s becoming a favorite of mine.

I know there are people who love Stalker, but personally I can't stand it. Some of the shooting and scenery is beautiful, so it would work great as an art movie. But I have never met anyone who can say what was so great about the story and dialogue. Roadside Picnic was better, even if I was not too excited about the ending.

Tim Hansen b

Tim Hansen Though I have to say that the film stalker is nothing like the roadside picnic.

Dirt - He didn’t direct Dredd.

I feel like he would be so bored with that

Actma Yode Are you saying of 2018 or...

Cool dude.. I have to say I absolutely love the girl at 24.20.. Who is she?

This director has the special sauce. Like Ridley Scott

Alex has vaulted himself to one of the best directors out there.

Anyway fucking genious

Tuva Novotny is swedish thank you very much and I should know

Very insightful. Great questions from the audience

his accent reminds me of Terrence stamp

Did they put him next to a Pyramid on purpose???

Good shit, Google. Loved this interview

Some of the visuals, moods and settings in Annihilation reminds me of the comic artist MOEBIUS's surrealistic illustrations ... I love Moebius's artworks, I think I'm going to love this movie too ...

“We’re super excited”. Yeah you sound it.

If your range of descriptive vocabulary does not go past 'weird', maybe you're the not the person who should be interviewing such a director about this quite complex, highly conceptual film.

Thank goodness Alex Garland is such a thought monster and easily starts his own fires; because the sack of soggy bagels "interviewing" him seems like he's just waking up with each passing moment.

I enjoyed Annihilation and will probably see it again while it is still in theaters.

"Genius".. sorry man, it was set up too good.

Definitely, Alex Garland's style has an elegance similar to Ridley Scott's ...

I don't understand why people call him smug or arrogant. Many act like they're the king of the world, while he keeps saying he's not the boss, it's a group effort. He seems really humble and collaborative. But people are so used to hollywoodians putting on a smiling salesman face. So him not trying hard to be likable makes him a dick apparently.

I think Annihilation it's a very faulty film, credit to him to take it far and have it on the screen.

“I didn’t start writing wanting to be a writer.” “I became a director to sort of get rid of the director.” What a fascinating outlook this guy has.

He does come off as smug, but he's a cut above as a filmmaker

He seems intimidating and yet accessible at the same time. Seems like a great talent to work with.

I don't understand why people call him smug or arrogant. Many directors act like they're the king of the world, while he keeps saying he's not the boss, it's a group effort. He seems really humble and collaborative. But people are so used to hollywoodians putting on a smiling salesman face. So him not trying hard to be likable makes him a dick apparently.

MachuwReviews GENIUS. Black Mirror + Garland would be a perfect match of an episode.

Feel ya on the attempted wit-bombbbbbb. WOOOSHHH. (bomb hits water)... That said, ummm, yeah, he'd be a perfect match for a Black Mirror episode. It's a compliment. Not saying that it has to be a relevant business decision. Not saying he'd even be interested. But to contribute/align with that franchise doesn't seem to be anything to sneeze at. I would say the same thing for someone like Jon Hamm. Loved that he came on board. Silly discussion here, I'm simply a hugeeee Garland guy since 28 Days, and Black Mirror is sci-fi glory. (Although this season was decent in comparison to the previous)

Ah, the pinnacle for which every Sci-Fi director craves to achieve: directing an episode of a Netflix anthology.

Ex Machina was very similar to a Black Mirror episode. It was remarked upon at the time.

”Its some kind of Dark Matter based life form that unintentionally affected our environment by crashing on Earth and trying to survive. Until it found a way to mimic, blend in, coexist and survive to become the next Evolutionary Step of Humankind” The Echo of Life.

How is this movie not a copy of Stalker or Solaris?

I just can't take people seriously when they use the word super. WTF happened to very, really and incredibly?

As long as he keeps making great movies, he is exactly who he needs to be. Besides, most directors are dicks

schm00b0 It would be like talking to a mirror. It's crazy.

I agree. He leaves no room for misinterpretation about what he says.

He seems intimidating yet accessible at the same time. Seems like a great talent to work with.

23:58 ...he would know wouldnt he? Karl Urban just came out and said Garland is the true director of Dredd, not just the writer.

Hard work pays off. This film effected me like no other has in years.

I didn't think of that at first, but yeah I can definitely see some Moebius, especially during her walk from the beach to the lighthouse. When she entered the cave, I saw a heavy influence of H.R. Giger.

#Annihilation movie avaiIabIe here:

+Harry SK Giger is known for his dark body mutation images while Moebius has some of that but not to Giger's extreme .. what I like about Moebius's artworks is the sense of airy atmosphere and mood which I can see in some of the open space sceneries in the movie ..

He has had a hand in some of my favourite films (this one included) "He rose to prominence as a novelist in the late 1990s with his novel The Beach, which led some critics to call Garland a key voice of Generation X.[4] He subsequently received praise for the screenplays of the films 28 Days Later (2002), Sunshine (2007), Never Let Me Go (2011) and Dredd (2012)."

he looks so uncomfortable...


Interesting how now he's made back to back films whose themes solely rely on making the human experience feel as foreign and sinister as possible

Love the movie really good

the interviewer is a rookie, not ready to step up apparently


first of all, because Stalker and Solaris are completely different movies. how could it be a copy of both? it was obviously influenced by both, but far from copying.

Black Goat of Qohor It is very similiar. So maybe its not as original as he says, but its still a good movie.

+John Dombroski From what I'm seen, Ridley's movies ranges from good to great, its hard to find a bad movie from him .. Maybe there is a single bad one, I am perhaps least impressed with his Gladiator (which feels too cringingly melodramatic and cheesy having Russell Crowe acting such a self-dignified always having that one-note intense expression).

Good Ridley Scott at least

I get what you mean, but he's one of those people who's annoyingly qualified to be. His confidence is admirable.

he is doing a tech thriller on fx!

Chris J I like the way you brought up my favorite actor

Yeah and Daniel Day-Lewis would be great in Coronation Street

@Jose, he actually directed it as well. Karl Urban, who played Dredd, came out a few days ago in an interview and said that Garland actually directed the movie. There were reportedly allot of issues between the credited director Pete Travis and the studio, they didnt like the direction he was taking the movie. As far as I can tell it looks like Garland came in during post production and lead the editing of the movie but Urban clearly says "directed" in the quote from his interview with JoBlo "A huge part of the success of ‘Dredd’ is in fact due to Alex Garland and what a lot of people don’t realize is that Alex Garland actually directed that movie"

Dredd was dope

Alex Garland is great, so underrated, he's done great projects 28 Days Later (one of my favourite films) Sunshine, The Beach novel, Dredd etc so many good things!!

This is maybe one of the worst interviewers ever

what a TERRIBLE introduction! The host didn't introduce the movie or the directors name.

This guy deserves more recognition on his career. Give him a big budget sci-fi movie

"Say collective again. SAY COLLECTIVE again! And I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker! Say collective one more time."

Drinking game: Take a shot every time this interviewer says 'phenomenal'.

This guy, without a doubt, studied psychology some time in his life.

I think his mother was one.

Yea I loved the movie, my favorite Garland movie to date and one of the few movies that is actually better than it's book counterpart.

Yeah I agree, I don't see him as arrogant or smug, he is just very serious talking about his passion for writing and film like everyone should honestly. Seems like a nice dude to me.

luciddreams Who says he's smug or arrogant? Americans, I'm guessing. He doesn't come off as arrogant at all. This is just how Brits act.

+John Dombroski Prometheus plot holes ? What are the major plot holes ? I don't count superficial things like "there was a cup here the next scene its gone" type of error as plotholes ... (I know many people are disappointed that Scott decided not to elaborate on what happened between David and Shaw, but you should blame it on the group of fans who griped about having not having the xenomorph origin story, so he skipped the part about David and Shaw to get to the xenomorph origin first. Anyway I enjoyed the philosophical direction he took about god complex vs AI through David, fans who want action won't appreciate such thoughtful topics..)

88feji Prometheus made no sense and had a bunch of awful plotholes, and covenant has such an awful tone shift halfway in its essentially as if Ridley Scott gave up and rewrote the whole thing.

+Lucan Reynolds I love Prometheus and Alien Covenant, we don't have serious horror sci fi like these movies anymore these days ... they are way better than Arrival, one of most the overrated sci fi in my opinion...

Lucan Reynolds Martians not bad, it just could have been better, and the first half of covenant is good it just completely botches the landing. Other then blade runner and the first alien film there aren't any other Ridley Scott films I would call objectively great. The rest all range from good to terrible.

88feji The Martian and Alien: Covenant are both terrible, and I haven't seen many of his films.

This guy is one of my favorite new directors. He’s knocking it out of the park. Love his attitude in these interviews as well. Like him even more after this video.

What a lame interviewer. Well-meaning but gushing, mediocre millennial

Ivan Lopez Barrera I’m sure it’ll come but he has integrity which will put sionistwood off

JoeCamp44 Pyramids are very important - it’s just Si on ists and masons that have corrupted the beauty and meanings of ancient Egypt. History is a lie and about to be rewritten. Watch this :-

leapsplashafrog - No.

Scott Sullivan Yes he did (by proxy)

NikstSWE was about to say the same. Came out recently he actually directed it, which was a rumor for years.

NikstSWE He’s very dedicated to the integrity of the story. Integrity is something to greatly admire in a person

I hate these boring ass existentialist movies.

Mind-numbing? Oh, no! And I heard it was good!

Please make all of them, It's Horrifically Beautiful ...... if that even make sense ....

This guy is a director my god last two films?! Amazing work.

I fucking hate black mirror. I'm so sick of hearing that show.

He sort of talks like Idris Elba.

Such a cool dude!

This movie is amazing! I've just watched it and bought the book.

Can you imagine a film with Garland and Nolan as directors? Human kind would never be the same again. #Inceptlation

Im glad i know this guys name, i will never watch another movie with his name on it. just like another bullshit jaqouin phoneix or whatever the creepy ficking dudes name is weird. waster of time

hes the white Idris Elba

This is as big as the industry can handle with an artist like him, at this point in hollywoods climate... The next level is a sellout for someone like him.

I think those critics universally aren't looking at his disposition, but are instead reacting to the fact that they cannot truly understand the movies he makes. Those critics are trying to say that he's smart but can't bring themselves to admit it.

Haaaa perfect description LOL


Let him make his films

you can consider "Annihilation" as a black mirror movie

Chris J

It's bizarre, right? He's not rude or impolite, but he's not ingratiating or endearing either. He seems sullen and miserable, but he's fully engaged, and giving thoughtful responses.

Lol Sunshine, Dredd, Ex Machina and now this movie. This guy is damn underrrated.

"... Asymmetric pulsed fields are applied for continuous-flow operation, which sorts DNA molecules in different directions according to their molecular masses, much as a prism deflects light of different wavelengths at different angles. ... "

categorification/fractionation device

This guy should try something bigger

Alex is such an Alpha. Calm. Collected. To the point. I think with 4 - 5 more projects under his direction he might become our generations Tarkovsky. I know, it is dumb to compare different films and people, but what I simply mean by that is being a leading force in artsy sci-fi flicks.

If you compare him to Damien Chazelle or Denis Villeneve or Inarritu...those behave like artists that smoke weed, drink expensive red wine and have abstract paintings in their living rooms. Alex looks like a Premiere League coach that would go drink a pint of beer after the match with his boys.

I don't think so, I think both directors have dense and accessible pieces. Nolan has Interstellar (quite dense), Garland Ex-Machina which is accessible in terms of narrative. I agree they're good at their work though.

Lalaris Portela garland has more substance to his content. Nolan is more of a mainstream director with more accessible themes. Both the best at what they do though

Correct. He's closer to Kubrik.

No, don’t turn him into another Neill Blomkamp or Duncan Jones

I agree. I wish Villeneuve wasn't set on Dune. I think that belongs to someone else. It seems like villeneuve only wants to be remembered as a director, which is sad and should not a reason to do anything within cinema or elsewhere.

I haven't seen enough from Alex to make that kind of judgement.

+Aaron Sanders Villeneuve's 2049 is a terribly disappointing movie for me ... Villeneuve is way overrated, I won't even put him near the level of Spielberg .. Spielberg's sci fi movie may be more kid friendly than intellectual but at least he has a great sense of aesthetics and is able to come up with a fully realised and engaging world ... Villeneuve's sense of aesthetic is always a one-note gray/misty/empty space kind of thing .. there is a lack of imaginative variations and a sense of completeness about his works ..and 2049 simply lacks any brilliant originality, suspiciously derivative of other sci fi movies like The Matrix and HER ... its basically rehashing the same topics already dealt with in the first movie and retracing plot lines already done in The MAtrix and HER .. way too much weak plot and badly shot scenes, uninteresting cinematography and unimpressive music .. overall is a shame that its a sequel to the great masterpiece of Ridley Scott .. I don't really hate Arrival as much as 2049 .. I like Arrival to a limited extent but Arrival do have pretty glaring flaws too. Firstly the female lead is portrayed waay too unrealistically idealtistic, its like every crisis depends on her every action and words to be resolved and she is always right while the rest of the government officials are stereotypically always too impatient/belligerent/wrong etc.. And they made her into some sort of great sage with lots of cringy soft filters in the end ... it feels phoney and preachy ... And the so-called plot twist in the movie is basically an illogical rubbish .. it may fool people who are not observant or not thoughtful but to me its rather silly ... Vileneuve's best movie is probably Sicario, its a decent movie where I do not have to look at stereotypically overly-ideal prototype humans ... its one of the better drug cartel movies, not among the best but a pretty sophisticated one ...

it's great that you enjoy Ridley Scott's films so much. He's like a Steven Spielberg for Sci-Fi and he's a very influential Sci-Fi director, but like with most of Spielberg's films, I personally don't like his films all that much. I even see his late-brother Tony Scott as a better director than him. Even Villeneuve makes better Ridley Scott movies than Ridley Scott. I do think Annihilation is better than Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival, but all three 3 films are some of the best instances of existentially resonate films in recent memory. To me, Annihilation did top Blade Runner. But that's the thing, all film is subjective so it's great that you disagree with me

+John Dombroski I disagree with both your criticisms for Prometheus : 1) the crew taking off their protective helmets You are forgetting that the premise of Prometheus is set in a future where humans have already made hundreds of interplanetary expeditions to other planets .. outerspace planets is almost like our own backyard in that regards. They are well equipped with tried and test sophisticated equipments that is able to analyse the air quality of the planet and it shows the air to be non-toxic and breathable .. so it should not be a big deal for them to remove their helmets .. 2) the scientists trying to touch the alien "snake" Firstly, the story of Prometheus takes place before the time period of the first Alien movie, which means that humans has not seen any creatures as powerful and deadly as the xenomorphs at that point in time .. You are also forgetting that the guy who tries to touch the snake is a biologist and he's wearing a high tech protective space suit. Like I said, the space suit is a tried and tested piece of technology that has been through countless interplanetary expeditions. REmember that this is the exact same protective suit they were wearing which withstood the metallic storm ... Since no one has ever met any alien creatures of this small size with an ability to penetrate the space suit, it would not be surprising for a biologist to try to touch it with confidence .. Even in our current reality, scientist have to depend on tried and tested protective hi tech suits when they investigate new unknown deadly viruses and outbreaks or simply to handle a new species of snake ... nobody laughs at them for being silly to "risk it" because these protective suit are tried and test against thousands of germs and virus .. Its just that unluckily for that scientist in Prometheus, this alien snake is unlike anything humans have ever seen, its that rare creature that is so small but yet possess bone-crushing muscles .. but thats down to a very low possibility coming true .. its luck.. I think what I said above debunks your criticisms as flawed thinking .. is there any other problems you have with Prometheus ?

+Aaron Sanders I think Alex Garland is a more intellectual and sophisticated director than Denis Villeneuve (who I think is grossly overrated), and he has a wonderful sense of aesthetics similar to that of Ridley Scott .. but I won't go that far to say that he has made any movies that has matched or surpassed the best masterpieces of Ridley Scott.. Ex Machina and Annihilation although being really great intelligent movies still have some way to go to match up with the brilliance of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (not the Denis Vill one) ... even Alien has a much more fully realised sci fi universe than the 2 Garland movies but I must say that Annihilation comes rather close to matching Ridley Scott's aesthetics in Alien .. but at the peak of the mountain Blade Runner stands alone as the ultimate filmic monument .. Still, Annihilation is a lovely masterpiece from Alex Garland .. who knows, maybe he'll go on to make something that tops Ridley Scott's Blade Runner .. we'll just have to wait and see ..

88feji for starters you had scientists who were acting completely out of character in taking off their masks and touching the wildlife on a strange and dangerous planet without researching it first..

Mattack this guy is better than Ridley Scott

Thorge Falk Yup. Very underrated.

Is this coming to Australia?????

But was it phenomenal?

sunshine was aweomse. this guy is pretty good.

22:10 It's actually happened on Dredd ! Alex Garland is a real director of Dredd. Not Pete Travis.

There are​ no bullshit answers here. Just pure honesty. I love his work.

I love the ending of this interview lmao!!


why ?

Everyone should study psychology because most of us don't understand ourselves. The human​ mind is fascinating

interesting what made you feel like that ?

I was thinking the same thing, but there is another movie, that is visually very similar, the Japanese scifi cult movie Matango, Attack of the Mushroom People (not kidding). Plus the ending and the beginning are almost identical.

Joke went straight over your heads

JoeCamp44 So first off, a pyramid is a four sided three dimensional structure. This graphic is neither three dimensional, nor does it represent any other sides besides its one flat surface. We can now safely conclude that this is triangle. And I do agree with JoeCamp44 with regards to the corruption of the shape. The triangle is the strongest structure and we can see why a secret cult would want to adopt it. Hope I didn’t come off as rude. Just informative :)

He seemed to warm up towards the end though.

I'm not too keen on how blunt he is. However, I think he's a great director.

Dredd WAS awesome! I want a sequel.

You said it Thorge, everybody's making videos about people like JJ Abrams who are barely worth mentioning outside of their big franchise affiliations, meanwhile AG who makes original solid sci-fi gets often overlooked. He should be up there with Denis Villeneuve as a filmmaker. Imagine if they worked together! :O

No, Netflix only in AU. I was really looking forward to seeing in in Cinema's also.

What is it exactly you don't like about Alex Garland?

I'm a huge fan of this and Stalker and didn't see too much connection between the films, can't speak for Solaris though because I haven't seen it in years but the last two books I read were Roadside Picnic and Annihilation, I feel there is very little in common aside from there being an unknown "area". I suppose if you want to reduce it to "some people go into a strange no-go zone" then yeah I can see the connection.

Body Language.

Thats a shame people see it that way, he seems happy to give people credit for their work throughout and doesn't really say if what he does is good but more just explains his thought process and hopes it does.

But how can anything be south if it's in the northern hemisphere?

He's probably referring to Karl Urban's statement in where he says that Garland basically directed Dredd without getting credited because the studio wasn't liking what the original director was doing so as I understand it he sort of slowly took over the proyect without firing the other guy.

Mark I was about to say the same thing, they both seem to have a great deal of respect to what makes what they work with so appealing to that films audience and commits to it. I think Denis Villeneuve is the better director but that is in no way to put this guy down and seems to be getting better with every film he puts out there and I think if he keeps that up his next film whatever it may be will be his Bladerunner: 2049. And yeah while I wouldn't say Abrams is a bad director he is very overrated, he's good at building intrigue but crap at any kind of payoff, both at providing it at all or making that payoff worth seeing after the buildup. And I think the only reason he gets any real attention at this point is his involvement with Star Trek and star Wars.

@ 19:10, really interested dude in the back. What a waste of a seat.

Why would he say it's a completely original story without acknowledging Stalker or Roadside Picnic?

Alex is genius to say the least

This interviewer is phenomenal.

hey Alex, why are you remaking old horror films , Ex Machina was Frankenstein and this Annihilation is the Body Snatchers , you only to know basic chemistry to know what an utter shit Annihilation is , it is a fucking tale for children , not to mention how at the end the "danger" takes human form ......... like every fucking time in every fucking story written by a fucking human , like becoming human is the goal for every fucking thing in this universe, alien or robot , fuck off already with this childish shit

it is out on Netflix already in every developed country

+Jimmy Grey Because aliens

He was the executive producer and screenwriter. And he directed parts of the movie and made decisions about the final cut, so yeah, I guess you can say he actually "made" Dredd.

Garland + Salisbury + Barrow = Cinematic awe

smart guy

I think it's cider?

He basically created the walking dead. Very similar story except the dead run not walk.

I'm curious if anyone who is a fan of the book is equally as enthusiastic in regards to the film. To me, Garland totally missed the point with his adaptation - his version is like the pseudo-intellectual, hollywood version with unnecessary gore and action. The novel is so beautifully written with a gripping plot that I was super disappointed with Garland. It could've been much better.


Seriously douchebags?  on your phones while this guest is there to talk to you?  and Fuck this world.


I really liked the movie but how can he say this is an original concept did he ever heard about Stalker or Solaris? smh...

the thing with studying psychology is that you end up viewing every interaction through the prism of that limited scope, and if you really want to understand yourself the best way to do that is to just live a life worth living and challenge yourself to new experiences. and psychology is really a tool for examining others, there's even an old saying in psychology, something to the effect of 'never try to analyze yourself'

Yeah, he clearly found the audience members questions much more engaging than this doofus

He's reacting to the knowledge that he has joined the club of plagiarists or perhaps that he will have to face that accusation at some point. You're reading it here first.

The movie is an allegory of immigration, they come, they mimic you, they change the environment until you are replaced with total annihilation. They also take over corporation abusing Europeans tolerance like cancer.

Elements of Alien, JC's The Thing, Inv of Body Snatchers, Mimic; serving Islamo Migration/Invasion parable where western women are faced with their freedom and license and potential loss of? Just a surmise...

Yeah I'm British too and was surprised when you said people call him smug or arrogant. The USA must be a strange place!

Yes there is some similarities. I wouldn't not be surprised if he or his artistic team his familiar with the work of gimenez

He gives nothing to the interviewer. #awkward #blunt He's like the grumpy uncle you had to tip toe around when you were a kid... or don't want to say the wrong thing to if he was your boss....hard to read...sure this adds to his brilliance as a writer/director

28 Days Later was utter shite. I could hardly believe how bad it was. Dredd was gross and soulless. I failed to see Dredd's character, which he said was central to his adaptation, as particularly worthwhile or even interesting i.e. it was just like a weak version of the tough-guy protagonist played by Stallone. Sunshine was interesting but ultimately empty. With Annihilation however (despite having Portman in it) I think he's made something genuinely interesting and worth viewing if only for the art direction. Is he really a director, though? His method of working, as described, seems like he's handing over authorial control to the different departments. It makes me wonder if he's being dishonest. I mean, how can there be many "autonomous" units working on the same film? NB. Whoever did the subtitles for this made a bit of an embarrassing mistake at 12:22. The word he uses is meant to be 'fissures' as in 'cracks' not 'fishes' as in aquatic animals with gills and fins!

Of course he knows about Tarkovsky. He was talking about the book being original.

audrey lemond He asked Jeff Vandermeer for his blessing, and he got it. The movie was good.

If he's not capable of creating it, then he shouldn't have done it. It'd be better to have nothing, rather than this piece of work that totally disregards the integrity and complexity of the books.

He literally told you what he set out to do with this adaptation, and that he's not capable of doing a completely faithful one for this novel.

He and Denis Villeneuve know what good sci-fi has to look like

Who are the people in this room who are looking at their phones whilst this guy is giving up his time to talk to them? It’s incredibly rude.

jedaaa Are you a genius? Haha. Amazing reply and amazing conversation.

Choco, oh sure, i think psychology has it's uses, as a tool, but as a way of life...... nah!! we only find out what we're truly made of by living life and succeeding where we thought we'd fail and failing where we thought we'd succeed, being intellectually aware of how our thoughts and actions materialize themselves can be a good guide but it's only through fulfillment that we feel a sense of achievement and self worth that we can positively reflect upon ourselves 100% as you pointed out, it's important to understand the nature of suffering but to truly resolve that suffering we have to 'live' through it and replace it with meaningful life experiences :) a psychologist can always tell us to reflect on the woe's of yesterday but they can't tell us what to do tomorrow :)

jedaaa That really hits home with me. Ive always felt that trying to fix ones suffering with intellectual analysis is futile. But in saying that, analysis could help understanding the cause of suffering and then one could better understand what they could do to get out of suffering from there.

That's the perfect mix of strong personal vision and honesty.

So refreshing to see this clear thinking man talk. He's not there to deceive the crowd, or himself. Ernest in his answers and probably not giving a damn about others opinions. Can't wait for the next project.

jedaaa Agreed agreed agreed agreed. It is a HUGE shame where Hollywood is at now, and yeah, I am getting into foreign films at the moment. Completely agree on this film being a rarity these days. It's in my top 3 sci fi films of the century, along with Children of Men and Blade Runner 2049. The likes of Arrival, Her, Inception, Ex Machina and Mad Max: Fury Road would be in the top 10. Incredibly thought-provoking and intelligent film that, like you said, shouldn't be this much of a rarity to us. ...and if dyslexic means an incredibly written essay, making perfectly good points, then I guess you could be right ;)

Lucan, haha no my friend, not by a long shot, we don't need to be geniuses to figure this life, and ourselves out. it's almost painfully simple yet we all are prone to self destruction and thwarting ourselves, that's what this film tries to tap into and tries to get us to reflect upon ourselves. i think we can all agree films like this are too much of a rarity these days. i was so surprised this film even got made when we consider hollywood only seems to care about giving studio time to 500 million£ comic book films these days. i remember in the 90s when there were dozens and dozens and dozens of mind blowing films EACH YEAR!! now we feel greatful for a select handful of interesting films each year like 'Arrival' for example. and even then, even the studios admit they are 'beyond the intelligence' of the average moviegoer , (i don't believe that, even in this TRUMP age) so they relegate them to netflix :/.... i think if film makers respect the intelligence of their audience we'd have a thousand great films each year. that's why i pretty much stick to foreign films these days, they're not afflicted with the cancer of big money hollywood corperations. (sorry for the dyxlexic essay) hehe ;p


Lucan Reynolds and 'so'.

He's pretty chill. Plays video games and the like.

is it me .. or the interviewer is a bit uptight or hates Alex

Genuinely original as a book, but a derivative as a film.

This guy's IQ is thru the roof! Man... I will not miss his next film.

Why do I have to watch the Google interviewer keep stroking the director?

Also directors reserve the right to smug and arrogant. They are kings (and queens) of the world!

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