Alex Garland explains how Attack on Titan shaped the horror movie Men

In a Q&A after the world premiere of The amazing new horror movie menwriter and director Alex Garland (exterminationAnd ex machine) caused a slight uproar on social media when he said he drew some inspiration from the anime series The attack on the Giants, which he was still in the process of watching. Its post-apocalyptic sci-fi horror series He had a huge impact on the animation industryNo one would have expected the maker of such unique live-action American films to cite the show as affecting his work. After the movie premiere, Polygon spoke with Garland about how he’s coming to watch The attack on the Giants And what do you mean to him.

“I was watching it with my daughter, who brought me to her and said, ‘Dad, you really have to watch this,’” Garland tells us. “This show just blew me away. It’s very complex on so many levels, but in the Titans themselves, he’s done something really interesting – he takes human forms and makes subtle changes that take things to the brink of the absurd, but do it with real courage and confidence.

“So he’s hovering over this strange space between something silly and something really scary. I was really, really touched. And I thought, on some level, I’m too—too lazy, maybe. I don’t know what the right word is. But I’m not that good, and I should I’m getting better, so that made me re-investigate men And rethink it. Those are the nice things about doing well for others – it kind of elevates everyone, you know? “

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Garland is quick to point out that there is no definite image or idea in men It resonates directly The attack on the Giants – He says he started working on the script about 15 years ago, and has been steadily rewriting and revising it ever since. The film centers on a woman named Harper (Jessie Buckley) who takes a trip to the English countryside to escape a recent trauma and encounters a series of men who all want something from her, all of them have the same face, and they all appear ready. They attack it out of frustration if they don’t get what they want. Depicted male nudity plays a disturbing role in the film, but Garland says the inspiration from the anime wasn’t nearly as specific.

Photo: Kevin Baker/A24

“The truth is that any time you see something really good, it encourages you to try harder, think harder, and do better,” he says. “what The attack on the Giants Kan did, it kind of gave me a jolt. And when you’re traumatized, you get a chance to get out of what you’ve been working on and think about, sort of clear your mind and start over and not think about it. What was the idea that originally came to me? But What is appropriate for the movie?

Garland is a little concerned that people might be exaggerating how much the anime series has affected his work: “It would be a mistake to pay so much attention to it,” he says. “Because for me, film is a really flexible thing, and it takes all kinds of things from all kinds of places — and most importantly, people — all the way through.”

With this in mind, he avoids any specific question about his place in the writing or film-making process when he is the source of his inspiration. “there The attack on the GiantsLike the changes that kept happening during the filming process, or through the editing process.” Or it could have something to do with playing the piano, or using the poem, or whatever happens. It’s simply the entire movie in a steady, liquid state, in part because it’s the product of a group of people working together who play into a conversation. All I’m really saying is that at one point in time, he was one of the voices that emerged and contributed to one thing in a single moment The attack on the Giants. “

Ultimately, he says, the anime series was so impressive to him that it pushed him away from any complacency that might have crept into his film industry. “You know, it’s hard — when you see other people’s things and they’re really good, you kind of have two options,” he says. “The first is to frighten you and think, Should I do this at all? The other is to think, No, I have to run faster. And I tried to respond by running faster.”

men Opens in theaters May 20, 2022.

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