div id=””>"Why this piece? At this point in time? What were the psychological forces at work?"
These are the questions asked by David Harbor at the beginning of the Netflix campaign. Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein in reference to a 1970s (fictional) television show starring his father (fictional), David Harbor Jr.
But if you caught the 32-minute special at some point in the last few weeks, you probably asked yourself the same questions. With: "How on earth does this thing exist?" and why"?
In my own quest for answers, I called writer John Levenstein and director Daniel Gray Longino to get to the bottom of things.
Harbor's presence here may seem totally random. But according to Levenstein, it's Harbor that started the game first.
"I got a message from him on Twitter," Levenstein tells me. "He had just done the show Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, Oh hello at Broadway, and he'd send me a message just to say how much I liked Kroll Show (on which Levenstein was a writer and showrunner), and that it would be great to work together. "
At the time, Harbor had just completed the first season of Strange things, that Levenstein had not seen yet. But a quick catching look prompted Levenstein to bring out a different aspect of the actor. "It was before he did a lot of comedy, so I felt like I was buying David's stock by doing early comedy."
That said, Levenstein knows how much Harbor is involved in nature.
"All the while, until we launched this, and even once Netflix said yes, I had the feeling that at any time, David would have told his agents, his manager or Netflix: "Is it crazy? "They would have said yes," he said. "And all that would have fallen apart, but David never questioned it.
"The idea of doing Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein as a 70s TV show in which David was playing with both Dr. Frankenstein and then imitating the monster. He could thus transitions in both directions. It seems odd to say so, but I immediately thought about it, "says Levenstein.
The two men were chatting at that time for about six months to a year, getting to know each other and trying to determine if they could "do something funny together".
"I thought that he could play the monster and Dr. Frankenstein go back and forth without using makeup, or at least with the arrogance of think he could do it without the help of makeup, like Bradley Cooper in Elephant man or something. "
#tbt David Harbor in my little car, driving to Netflix to launch. It's like being in a dream. At the beginning of the process, I said, "I only have one condition. What he calls Frankenstein, the monster of Frankenstein's monster. According to his word, there would be no other conditions. pic.twitter.com/wjvXgJjpsB
– John Levenstein (@johnlevenstein) July 18, 2019
As for the title Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein, it was all port.
"At first, I launched this title, Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein. It may not have been a condition, but perhaps even a condition of his involvement in the project, "remembers Levenstein laughing. I think he may have said, "I only have one condition, the title is Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein. & # 39; "
The delicious WTFery of Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein stems from the fact that it is not a parody of a thing. According to Levenstein, he takes a "kitchen sink approach", inspiring a wide range of influences as well as Harbor's own theatrical experience.
Initially, the idea was simply to present Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein TV special – if you were really watching an old TV show from the 70s.
But Harbor felt that he could not play so freely when he was trying to play a version of himself, which brought him to the idea of playing his own father, this which led to the documentary framing device, which led to all the other cuts we see in the final film, as The crying detective. "You can not do one thing in archives because it looks naked," Levenstein insists.
The obvious inspiration of Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein is the TV part of the 60s and 70s. But there was also 1976 BBC production Me, Claudius; the series of the 70s Dark shadows; the documentary Orson Welles They will love me when I'm dead; Ian McKellen's one-man-show, in which he tells a story about how he entered Cambridge (nuances of "and that's how I got into Juilliard!"); and a British show about acting from the 70's (shades of The trunk of the actor).
It's hard to imagine Frankenstein's monster, monster to be an easy sell anywhere, since it is strange. "It's not the simplest field," Levenstein admits. "It's almost like you're saying it, plus it was confusing."
blockquote class=”pull-quotes” data-fragment=”its-not-the-simplest” data-description=””It’s not the simplest pitch. It’s almost like the more you say, the more confusing it is.”” data-micro=”1″>"It's not the easiest pitch, it's almost as if the more you said, the more confused it was."
But if you guessed that the answer basically comes down to Netflix, which allows Harbor to do what he wants … well, you're not wrong.
"Honestly, David said that he was a big star, he was paid a lot of money, and he said that he would do it without money, and I said the same thing," Levenstein says. "So at that time, they said," Well, if you're really willing to do it for this budget, we'll do just about anything and leave you alone. "
The actual shoot for Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein took place over three days only in late February and early March: a day for the play, a day for the "archival" sequence (as The trunk of the actor or the MTV style interview) and one for the "documentary".
To do this, however, we had to make the most of every minute and every dollar. The team was blocking the game while the sets were still under construction. Some sets were duplicated, while others, such as the MTV interview or The trunk of the actor were added at the last minute. At one point, Levenstein and Longino had to give up their intention of turning a hallway scene for the "documentary" film because they simply did not have enough money to put more money into the movie. posters on these walls.
Working under these constraints meant abandoning the idea of perfection – which, says Longino, was not entirely a bad thing.
"It seems a little lame to say that we took up the challenge, but it went hand in hand with what we were trying to do anyway," he says.
Small accidents, like a door that does not close properly, have become part of the fun of Harbor Jr.'s lost game. "Our philosophy was very similar to All that will go wrong will go wrongand to approach the room almost like a live performance. "
To tell you the truth, Levenstein seems almost as confused as me about how Alfred Molina, arguably the most recognizable actor of Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein, finished in all that.
"David wrote him a note and Alfred almost immediately replied that he wanted to do it, he was so great and enthusiastic that we just assumed that David was good friends with him or something," he said. Levenstein.
"While we were doing the thing, it turned out that, no, maybe he had met once or twice at a prize giving ceremony."
But all is well, it ends well: Levenstein describes working with Molina as "a dream". And the Spider-Man 2 The presence of the actor in the film feels bad exactly the right way, like another surreal detail of this dream of flavored fever in the 70s.
Well, it's between you and the deity of your choice. But a theory? Harbor Jr. and its co-theatrical stars never seem to be like they're trying to be terrible – on the contrary.
"It's not really bad – it's more an abuse of good action, or at least a craft abuse," Levenstein said. "Like sometimes, you look at actors where you feel like you're showing off their toolbox a bit, you know?"
In the same spirit, the Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein the actors and the technical team took care never to push things too far in the opposite direction, blinking to the public on the foolishness of all this.
"You do not want to show the public that you stick to your choice," Longino said. "The material John wrote is abstract and absurd, so if you agree to that, the result will be funny to me."
Sometimes it meant avoiding details that would make the play too jokey, such as a terrible wig that Harbor was supposed to wear on the first day of the shoot, but was abandoned after Longino deemed it too ridiculous .
"There are a lot of points along the way where Dan would avoid producing too stupid things," Levenstein said. "Use Cause in comedy, everyone trying their best can push things a little too far in all directions."
I spoke with Levenstein and Longino about a week later Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein had touched Netflix and, at that time, both said the reaction was "excellent". Well, especially.
They would say, "How did that happen? How did all these people make this mistake?"
"I notice a difference even a week after the publication of the publication," Levenstein said. "When it first appeared, the confused, almost angry reactions (…) represented a higher percentage of the reactions I was following on social networks than now, where it seems that now people are going with a little more from a sense of purpose. "
However, Levenstein and Longino expected the initial confusion – and, according to Levenstein, Harbor even hoped. "(David) wanted people to be very confused when things went down, he wanted people to be unaware that they were watching a comedy, he did not want people to know what was going to happen." He was looking for a surprise mind-boggling. "
Sometimes this perplexity was expressed in a negative light: "They would say, 'How was this done? How did all these people make this mistake? ", He says laughing.
But most often, these questions were asked with pleasure. "What I feel is the excitement it caused," he says. "Something like this is being done and going out on such a big platform, there is enthusiasm for that."
Levenstein hopes. Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein was originally conceived as an anthology, and Levenstein has several ideas in mind, including one on the character of the niece, which Natasha Lyonne would play in adulthood; a star with Nick Kroll, which he describes as "Laugh on the 23rd floor without laughing "and one on the older brother of Harbor Jr. in a psychosexual thriller of the 80s.
I will let Levenstein summarize for you:
There are really two questions. There is how it was done, which is purely David. Why was it created? I think it was a mix of jokes on the stage that David and I found funny. It's become a soup of fun things we've seen while watching theater.
Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein is streaming now on Netflix.
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They deliver muscular men, bold women, big explosions and marble rumors about the importance of the family. All they ask in return is that you straighten your feet and believe, for a moment, that it would be possible to drive a car through a skyscraper or a parachute out of a plane, or a run on a frozen lake.
Kirby gives Hobbs & Shaw a jolt of fresh energy just like Johnson and Statham did for the core Fast & Furious movies.
Hobbs & Shaw, the first and up to now the only spin-off of the series, also takes this promise into account, this time building the not-all-friendship pungency established between Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw ( Jason Statham) in The fate of the furious. But do not worry if you missed that – a first montage of their respective morning routines tells you everything you need to know about their likeness and difference, their spirit and their style.
They team up this time with a third lead, Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby), against a new villain, the technologically improved Brixton (Idris Elba), and … something about a virus threatening the world that they must contain, or get rid of, or something else? The fact is that everyone alternates between punches, fights and driving cars very fast, and it's very entertaining.
Of course, I have problems. Johnson and Statham have phenomenal chemistry, and yet Hobbs & Shaw always manages to overestimate how interesting it is to watch them go once again to another series of juvenile jokes. Elba is under-exploited by a role that forces him primarily to watch, though he takes an unexpected tragedy note at the end of the film.
The plot is confusing even by Fast & Furious standards, maybe because Hobbs & Shaw seems to be trying to come back to some things – although I can not tell you what, because the information is poorly presented. (I do not think there was #JusticeForHan, but I'll let my more experienced colleagues explain what's supposed to happen with Deckard's story here.)
But all the complaints or questions are supplanted by the sheer pleasure of watching these beautiful adorable people submit to bored guest stars, scenes of parental reprimand, increasingly ridiculous action sequences and, of course, to action sequences always more ridiculous. Director David Leitch captures fist fights and car chases cleanly and smoothly, without much confusion in computer graphics and with many moments worthy of joy. I have been almost joyfully convulsed several times during a particularly thrilling crossing through London.
And then there is Kirby, the star of the movie and his little secret weapon. The old star of The crown may not have the summary of his actresses for decades, nor his comfortable positioning in the franchise myth. But she (or her double stuntman) is stronger than ever in taboo defeats and what she misses in a bicep the size of a tree trunk, she more than makes up for her ferocious magnetism. Kirby gives Hobbs & Shaw a jolt of fresh energy just like Johnson and Statham did for the core Fast & Furious movies.
Also, as Deckard's sister, Hattie gives Hobbs & Shaw a path in naked sentimentality that has become the cornerstone of this series. Their fraternal relationship is really sweet, if not quite believable (backtracks indicate that they are supposed to be about the same age, which is lol), and his presence gives Hobbs some welcome opportunities to breathe between moments of outbidding with his brother.
Hobbs & Shaw seems unlikely to surprise anyone who is already in the Fast & Furious movies, or change the minds of those who are not. It's the same formula, modified for a slightly leaner team projecting a little more star power, and that has the same goal – and, annoying for Vin Diesel, manages to do it all without Dom Toretto. Maybe the family is not all there. But it turns out that extended family members also have a very good holiday.
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The film is premiered in the United States. On July 19, many critics praised the performances of the actors, while recognizing the similarities with their original performances.