Writer/Director Oren Moverman with actor/producer Richard Gere on the set of “Time Out of Mind.” Moverman shares with Road to Cinema how he created an immersive cinematic approach with Gere’s homeless character on the busy streets of New York City.
Filmmaking at its best is an immersive experience. Sight and sound can create a reality for an audience like no other artistic medium. The reality of being homeless in New York City, or for that matter any city in the world, can never truly be understood without actually experiencing it firsthand. Writer/Director Oren Moverman’s nuanced, subtle depiction of the life of a homeless man living out a Manhattan winter allows us to share empathy inside this subculture without relying on any form of melodrama or sympathetic pandering. There is no music score of violins to indicate our pity for Richard Gere and his plight. Nor is there a heroic figure who steps up to the plate to help Gere and his fellow homeless comrades live out better days. Instead, through long focal length anamorphic lenses and a layered sound design, we are inside the head of a down-and-out man whose only goal is to find a temporary shelter and hope for the slightest bit of acknowledgement from his daughter played by Jena Malone.
It might be difficult at first to imagine matinée idol Richard Gere, the tycoon who saved Julia Roberts from the perils of prostitution in “Pretty Woman”, to be a struggling homeless man in Manhattan who can not find a meal or shelter and whose own encounter with a prostitute in Moverman’s film, played by Kyra Sedgwick, is far from strawberries and champagne in a posh Beverly Hills hotel. However, because of Moverman’s voyeuristic cinematic execution and Gere’s understated performance we get lost and immersed in Gere’s reality. Instead of looking at Gere’s character from the outside in, we look at him from the inside out becoming more and more frustrated for his troubled experience inside the social services system and for how the everyday civilians either ignore or denigrate the homeless population.
Watch the trailer for Writer/Director Oren Moverman’s new film “Time Out of Mind” featuring a nuanced performance from Richard Gere who has been shepherding the script for over a decade as a producer.
Oren Moverman’s film “Time Out of Mind” immediately recalled three films to my attention. Two are Jerry Schatzberg’s “The Panic in Needle Park” and “Scarecrow” which similar to “Time Out of Mind” give us a no-holds-barred look at heroin addiction and homelessness in metropolitan environments. Both films rely purely on sound design and not music score as well as subtle performances from Al Pacino and Gene Hackman. The other film that comes to mind is “Umberto D.” Directed by Vittorio De Sica who brought to life “The Bicycle Thief” at the height of Italy’s neorealism movement in the late 1940s after World War Two; the film takes us into the immediate reality of an old man who suddenly finds himself evicted from his home upon retirement from his longstanding government employment. Watch the trailers below.
Check out our interview with Oscar nominated screenwriter and director Oren Moverman who recently wrote the screenplay for the superb Brian Wilson bio pic “Love & Mercy.” “Time Out of Mind” opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, September 11th.
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Check out Oren Moverman and Richard Gere’s Q&A for “Time Out of Mind” at last year’s New York Film Festival.