“Song to Song,” a film that explores the themes of young love, art and making your way in a career-driven world, will be released in theaters Friday. The movie features many well-known actors and actresses such as Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett.
Michael Fassbender, who plays Cook in the film, and Terrence Malick, director and writer, met with Richard Linklater, director, producer and writer, at South By Southwest in Austin to discuss the production of the movie and what it was like behind the scenes.
The trio said they chose Austin as the location for the film because of the city’s large musical influence.
“There’s something distinctive about Austin,” Malick said. “You can’t avoid the music industry.”
Austin provided the crew with many locations where the visual aspect of the film could flourish, which Malick was specifically interested in. He said he enjoyed filming things that haven’t been seen before to keep viewers intrigued. Fassbender said that many times, he would catch Malik filming random pieces of nature while the actors were acting.
“I’ll be acting my socks off over here and the next thing I know, I look over and Terry is filming a beetle,” Fassbender said.
Linklater commented that this use of nature and the world around us brings a new aspect to film that shows how truly beautiful the world is.
“When you turn the camera on the modern world, it’s stunning,” Linklater said.
Malik said the script wasn’t set in stone while filming because he wanted to liberate the actors by putting them in the moment and really getting them into character. He said this gave them the possibility to explore and search for screen-worthy moments together.
“They’re in it with you and you don’t know if you’re going to find those moments together,” Malik said. “It’s like feeling around in the dark trying not to bump into furniture.”
Fassbender said that this use of directing, while it takes a while to get used to, creates an environment where the actors eventually feel comfortable trying new things, even if they fail.
“We don’t know what we’re going to find,” Fassbender said, “but we’re going to find it together.”