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Equilibrium Commentary
Kurt Wimmer

13. Contacting The Resistance

Transcription by Walldude

This is Brian Connely.  He's a very popular comedian in England.  He uh, I believe he had a talk show over there.  Yeah he did. He was kind enough to come over and help us out for a day.

This set is interesting, uh, an interesting example of Wolf's talent. I walked on and was ready to walk out. It was a parking garage. An open air parking garage, but Wolf said no.  He said we'll just put up some flimsy walls here and there and bang. Based on that ceiling right there, the strength of that low ceiling he saw it as, what's, you know, a pretty good set I think, and that was his true talent.  He could walk into a space and see it's potential like no one else, very impressive.

Brian did quite a good job, considering he's a comedian, at playing this essentially dramatic role here.

You can see the scoring on the back of the plywood there.  I was so worried people would see that.  That's how we broke through the wall.

Rather interesting here, on the other end of this shot, here.  Essentially, there was a scene that I took out, that I excised, and I, if we ever have a special edition of the DVD, I'll definitely put in.  You'll notice his gun disappears here, and I was able to do it because I approach uh, coverage with a certain amount of formalism.  A certain thematic consistency, the way I cover similar scenes, so that I was able to um, you know it was an added bonus that I hadn't foreseen that I was able to cut two unrelated scenes together relatively seamlessly.

This is um, the great William Fitchner.  I was also incredibly fortunate to get him. William is one of the few American actors I've had the privilege of working with who actually meets or exceeds the abilities of his English counterparts.

Not only that I have to say but he may be the best most spot on post-syncher in the world. The man is a machine when it comes to re-recording.

(Preston and Jurgen enter the underground)

For first time filmmakers out there, often you will um, shoot a master essentially and you see the master coming up in this next shot right here, that's it.   Where a wide shot indicates, and uh, it's framed, you frame that. But generally you're tempted to move that master during the course of the scene so that you have some variations and some variety and uh, it goes someplace but the thing that catches you out is that wide shots like that are generally only good for entering or exiting a scene.  Though I frequently see a director ill advisedly pop out to a wide shot in the middle of the scene thereby dissipating the attention that they might have achieved through editing. But in any case if you start the master, and it's perfectly framed, well what you think is perfectly framed, and then you start moving it, by the time you get to the end of the frame, the composition has clearly falling apart. And that's what happened to me here, uh, that wide shot would have been most effective had it been used at the exit of the scene however by the time uh, that point in the scene had been reached the composition had fallen apart and it just wasn't a picture I liked so I was forced to shoehorn it in at the top of the scene there. I didn't actually have to use it but I like the shot so I did shoehorn it in.

This is the definition of a great actor.  This is someone who will take dialog in a fictitious world and a fictitious philosophy and commits to it totally, and I think if this movie works on any level it's because all of these actors and all of the technicians on the film committed to the reality of this film which is what you had to do. A couple critics described the film as unapologetic as though on some level you should apologize for making certain kinds of films. I think committing is the essence to making good films, much like Spielberg committed to the concept of E.T. which on the surface is an absurd concept but yet he and everyone on that film committed to it in such a way that you bought into the reality.

This is the um, part of the uh, Reichsfelt Sports stadium, the German Olympics stadium, um, a tremendous amount of production value out of it.

Look at this, (Preston running down a giant outdoor corridor) you can't build that.

This truck that's about to pull up, is a Mancat IA1 I think which is a German firefighting machine originally developed for NATO I think. This is an amazing machine.  It's a thousand horsepower automatic transmission, top speed of 140 clicks. Does zero to a hundred in 25 seconds. That by the way is loaded with forty tons of water. So when they talk about German engineering you know they're not really kidding.

There are people who were bothered I think, by the fact that Dupont expresses what could be construed as emotion in this scene, and certainly does and by the end we find out he is in fact feeling. I don't think that's a surprise to anybody because it was always my approach or my assumption that uh, we as a society believe that one of the fundamental tenants of any dictatorship is hypocrisy so it shouldn't be any surprise that Stalin is not living according to his own needs and it should also not be a surprise, I don't think, to the audience that the people who are beneath the dictator don't, while perhaps being observant of his behavior don't speak up about it, because that's one good way of being lined up against a wall and being shot.

Anyway that's why I felt it was perfectly alright for Dupont to express his hypocrisy because that's what we expect. Not only that but the irony of this movie I think is that the only true believer in the system is Grammaton Cleric John Preston. And it is that fact that he, in the beginning of the film, truly believes in the Dogma of the society that makes him noble. He is not doing what he is doing knowing that it is fundamentally hypocritical. That's what makes him good, and it's the fact that the other people like Taye and Angus here are um, perpetrating the tenants of the society while being conscious of the fact that they're being hypocritical that makes them evil.