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Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

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Date: 3:18 PM, 06/26/11

The Region 1 Vampire's Kiss DVD has a splendid Audio Commentary with Nicolas Cage and director, Robert Bergman.

I am doing this transcript in parts, as it is very very long!


Vampire's Kiss Audio Commentary PART 1


R.B. I'm Robert Bierman the director of Vampire's Kiss

N.C. I'm Nicolas Cage and I play Peter Loew in Vampire's Kiss

R.B. Well Nic and I haven't met really properly since we made this movie which is getting on for 11 years ago now and one thing I want to ask you is number one, when we first met do you remember?

N.C. Uh, It was a while back, we met, didn't we have lunch or something, was it the Polo lounge

R.B. that's right we met at the polo lounge for drinks and we got on great and the next week you were off the picture [laughs]

N.C. I don't remember that, oh yeah yeah, wait a minute, yes, I was getting alot of outside pressure from my agent and people representing me that this was not a good a good move after 'Moonstruck' to make a movie of this nature with the vampire fangs and going off like that. So I responded to the pressure and I broke, but then I realised it was a mistake and I called you and I said would you have me back, after Judd Nelson, and then he didn't do it.. 
R.B. so we had everything, we had the script, we had the budget, we had the star and then we had nothing. And we spent a month going insane. Judd Neilson, I'm glad you remembered Judd, the guy was terrific but he got a different offer. And you rang up, and I remember the night you rang up and I said, "oh hi Nic" and the producers were looking at me going [whispers] ''who is it who is it'' and i said ''it's Nic'' and you said ''will you have me back'' and  I said ''I'll tell you what Nic, I'll call you tomorrow and let you know''....

N.C [laughs]

R.B. And they said to me, ''why did you do that?'' and I said ''we've just got to have Nic on this picture without any shadow of doubt, and tomorrow he'll really want to do it even more.''   

N.C. well I can also understand you might be a little miffed at me as well because that was not the greatest thing to do, to say I was in and then not be in, but it was a brave role to play and it was scary, you know, to dive into something like that, but I'm glad I did it, and it emerges as one of my favourite performances.

R.B. well  I've got to tell you that phonecall from you was the best news we ever had and once you came back on board, I think we got the film together in two weeks

N.C. Yes

R.B So we just hung around then we cast the film and we got this wonderful cast and everybody with it when you said ok let's go    
[First scene in the therapist's office]

R.B. so do you remember being in this office with Elizabeth Ashley here?

N.C. Yes [laughs] I do, uh, I really loved working with her and she's from Baton Rouge and has this tremendous voice and I felt like she got it, she got what we were trying to do, together. She was very responsive to the scenes we were playing and I think she had alot of faith in us.

R.B. You had to understand what this movie was about to really be part of it, I think most of the people who were in it really did understand the movie. I'm not sure that Hemdale, the people that made it, really understood what we were doing

N.C. Well that's true, and I think part of the way I figured that out was because they cut it down dramatically, I felt like some of my best work had just been lost forever, which is why I really wanted us to have an opportunity to put it back and see the movie in an extended version. I don't think they got it the way we did, but when I look at the picture now I genuinely feel that it was ahead of it's time, it was unique and if it had come out today, it would be more of the norm of what people are accustomed to seeing, but back then it was new and shocking and I don't know how people responded to it.

R.B. it was a mixture of very dark comedy and  using obviously a vampire theme and you know a story of people living in a city and this was '87 and New York was still a pretty riotous, dangerous city and just in fact when we were shooting this bit, i don't know if you remember, this was a non union picture and there were some union film guys trying to stop us making the picture and they were just out of shot with fog horns trying to shut the picture down and we got through that by sending out some cops to stop them.  

N.C. I remember, we were talking earlier about my wardrobe here which I'm noticing now for the first time, I haven't seen this movie in many many years, and it was your idea to dress me in Paul Smith suits, and we were discussing earlier it makes the movie not seem dated because they are classic suits and they would still be cogent today. The movie holds up in terms of not being dated.
And I think that people might wonder what that voice is I am using, and I suppose I should just, I'm glad to, normally I don't like to let the secrets out,  but I want to here because I want people to see this movie and rediscover it, but the voice was like, in some ways it was my father,  because he is a professor of comparative literature and he made a decision at some point to speak with distinction, and to me it always sounded absurd although now I understand, but it used to be like this very continental sound which I thought a literary agent you adopt to try to be impressive to people.

R.B. Which Peter Loew uses and if you look at it he turns it off and he turns it on when he thinks he needs to be, as it were, 'more continental'.

N.C. [laughs]

R.B.  I remember the first day of rushes the producers came up to me and said ''Rob it looks great but what's Nic doing, why's he talking like that.."

N.C. [laughs]

R.B ..what's wrong with him?' i said ''No, no, this is cool'' actually I didn't even notice there was an accent to be honest with you. And then as he went on, the accent changed with the scenes and the performance in the film is really extraordinary, I hadn't watched this for... I know you haven't watched this since we made it..I watched it last week, and I was struck by how entertaining the performance is, because it's a really tough movie to keep going and it really is an interesting performance.

Do you know who this girl is?

N.C. Kasi Lemmons who is now a fine director

R.B. She's a wonderful director and she was a lovely lady, she really went for it in a big way, she got it

N.C. yeah,   i suppose we should talk about..

R.B. the famous bat?

N.C.  how we, we got into an altercation one day because it was very important to me that the bat was a real bat and I didn't want this remote control bat, I kind of went off my rocker a little bit, I guess at this time I was still very much a method actor and I would like to live my parts, so I wasn't the most pleasant person to be around while shooting this film, and I thought if the bat didn't come off real then that would reduce the level of believability of this man was actually going insane.  But the bat looks fabulous.

R.B. Well the guy who made the bat actually made all the stuff for Star Wars he did all the models for Star Wars, so we did get the best guy

N.C. yeah

R.B. but the bat did break on the way over from England, I don't know if you know, it was an injured bat, it had to have some plaster work done to it to keep it together. He got it out of the box and it was all shattered because on the plane for some reason they'd broke it.
And I remember you'd sent your assistant out the Central Park to find a bat one night..

N.C.  yeah, I was pretty nuts about getting a bat which of course was going to cause all sorts of problems with the animal rights people, which later became a problem with the..well we'll talk a bit later about that, the bug, but um..

R.B. but they were also, I think I managed to pursuade you that if you got bitten by a bat you'd die
Forgetting It would have been impossible to shoot  the whole thing, but I just wanted to get a simple logical thing, and I think when I said well one bite from that and you're a dead man you kind of backed off from it

N.C. yeah well there was no way to control a bat, I don't know what was the matter with me, I mean I was, I don't know how old I was here, it was 87, so I was just really in my very early twenties and very much, very very serious about the craft and willing to, at all costs, try to create a, i guess in my own mind i thought that there could be a new expression in acting. And I was weaned, oddly enough on Vampire, German expressionistic film like Nosferatu and Cabinet of Doctor Caligeri, and I wanted to use that kind of silent film style of acting which shockingly enough you allowed me to do, and allowed me to go there, you never held me back, which was kind of amazing, I don't think any other director would have let his actor go there. I don't even know if I could do it now or again, it seems like a preserved moment in time, in both our careers, where I don't know if I could ever duplicate it.

R.B. you know this film, when I think about this film, it was so naive the way we made it, i think both of us have learnt so much and shot so many movies we could never make a movie like this with this incredible naivety, because to be honest with you Nic, when we made this film it was complete chaos, from beginning to end.

N.C. yeah

R.B. But the chaos was incredibly creative and when you look at the movie it looks very controlled and it looks as if it's all incredibly  beautifully worked out, but here it was, in New York, with a bunch of people, who had never, I mean I'd never made a movie before, a feature length movie, my producers had never made a feature length movie before, you'd made a few, the only person who'd made a movie, and he'd never made it as a D.O.P,  and this was his first movie as well, Stefan Czapsky who went on to do Edward Scissorhands

N.C. and he worked with Burton on Batman as well

R.B. we only had one guy who actually knew how to make a movie

N.C yeah..

R.B and er, I think that visually he did a great job with me. But just talking about your performance, what I hope I did here, I did let you do the things you wanted to do, but I also tried to keep it subtle at the same time

N.C. yes

R.B so you got this mixture of subtlety and naturalism mixed with the other stuff, which is as you said the expressionistic and I like those things to move together and when you watch the movie you see there is this wonderful complexity in the character which keeps it going.

N.C. yes

[therapy scene]

R.B. also nobody really understands what this movie is about
[both laugh]

N.C. Which is probably good

R.B it's good, because I understand most of what it's about and I've got interpretations of what i think some of the things are about, but I wonder if we ever, i don't know if we ever discussed it. We didn't.

N.C. well, I mean, I'm a big believer in the ambiguous, and letting it be about whatever people want it to be about, but I always saw the movie as a story of a man whose loneliness and inability to find love literally drives him insane. We know that he's in therapy, he's got some problems, he's obviously an eccentric he's got a sadistic streak in him at work and he's got problems ..

[Peter Loew sitting in therapist's office in front of window with New York behind him]

 R.B. but also what's interesting there was it was of the time and place, i very much wanted to get the place of New York, i thought it was part of his phobias and of his problems, and if you look at the movie I tried to place it so you are always seeing New York everywhere, there's the depth of the streets..

N.C. I remember that

R.B. and I wanted it to be like it was an extension of his mind i know that all sounds a bit kind of airy fairy but it does help to extend the movie beyond just a one dimension plane.

N.C. I think that comes through, and I remember you very specifically telling me about that when we were shooting it and I thought what an inspiring idea, because if you, you're right, the city's always behind him, you always see the city through the window..

R.B. It's always with him, you see she doesn't have the city, but he's always there, and there's many many many layers and later on when we see him going more insane, I use the city more and more and when we come to some scenes where he goes a bit crazy in the office - you see here where he is less crazy, the background is soft..

N.C. Right..

R.B ..and as he goes more crazy I bring the background in and it's sort of like the city is driving him crazy, it's part of the craziness.      

N.C well That's a very cool idea...

R.B. so let's hope that that, I mean I think I did it consciously, or maybe I'm making it making it up now to make it seem like..

N.C. No, no, I remember you said that, I remember when you gave me that idea on the set, you were telling me that you were thinking about that.
The thing that I was going to say was that I get, I always thought that he was imagining he was a vampire and he lost his mind..

R.B. Absolutely, i mean I think that it was more of a metaphor than a reality

N.C. yeah..

R.B. all the elements were metaphorical which is why I wanted you to keep some sort of realism in it

N.C. right

R.B. and not make it all fantasy so there was an ambiguity between what was really going on..does he really think he's a real vampire? Or is it just an expression of his craziness. Hope that comes across

[scene at the office with Peter and Alva]

What's very interesting is that this stuff between you and Maria Conchita Alonso, who is wonderful isn't she...

N.C. yes, absolutely

R.B. ...was it's so entertaining, even though it's the most horrible horrible thing that a man does to a woman, there's some strange entertainment value, I remember when we got all the cards back from the first viewing, everybody loved you being wicked to her,

N.C. well there's a strange..i mean that's really where the comedy aspect comes in I think, the dark comedy aspect in this sort of sadistic wickedness in the way her treats his secretary, it's so.. extreme that you can't help but laugh. [laughs] and you know that it's out there though, i mean there are people that behave that way

R.B. Absolutely

N.C. with people they work with. And this whole thing was like the arrogance wanting to show his arrogance, you know like dressing and wearing the tie and making that absurd expression while looking in the mirror [laughs] he just thinks he's hot [pause] shit, you know...

[cuts to scene of New York streets and Peter Loew in the bar]

R.B. i think what was interesting was that New York was a very edgy city, there was a lot of crime, there was a lot of bad stuff going down there, and when we were shooting this particular scene, there was a dead body in this place and they had to cart out a dead body before we went into this place.

N.C. It's true, this is pre-Giuliani and the city is completely different now. When I was doing 'Bringing Out The Dead' I couldn't find anything out there, I kept riding the ambulance and there was no crime, there's more crime here in L.A. But in those days, this was really a tough town.

There's my brother..

R.B. we couldn't afford alot of actors..

Now here we are with Jennifer, now do you remember anything about Jennifer?

[scenes with Jennifer Beale]

N.C. Oh yeah, I remember her being very interested in photography and I remember I went to a museum with her and we looked at photographs together, very very intelligent woman, gorgeous and very much in love with her husband.

R.B. I cast her on Monday, and she started shooting on Tuesday.

N.C wow.

R.B. did you know that?

N.C I did not know that

R.B. ok, what had happened was that we had cast this up and coming actress who was the hot new actress, i actually can't remember who she was, and on Friday, when we were about to shoot on Monday, she pulled out. She was about the get married and her husband to be said, 'I'm not having you in bed with Nic Cage' and that was it and she was out.

N.C. Oh man..

R.B. we started shooting Monday and on Monday night I met Jennifer, I asked her if she wanted to do the movie, she said yes, and on Tuesday morning she was on set

N.C. Wow..I did not know about that

R.B. that was a close call, but I do remember having a nightmare before that day  

N.C. You had a lot of trials by fire on this movie

R.B. do you remember what my nightmare was?

N.C ah..on this day?

R.B on the day she came on set, it wasn't this particular scene we're doing now

N.C. what was it?

R.B. well I said to you, ''Nic, I've cast someone and I have a feeling that it's not going to be 100% great with you, it's Jennifer Beals'' and you went 'oh!' and I said, ''I had a dream about this and I dreamt I told you and in my dream you stuck two needles in both my eyes [loud laughter from Nic] and you weren't happy about the casting.'' And you went, ''No no, it's really not that bad at all''

N.C. yeah..

R.B. In a funny way, I think there was a real kind of thing between you two..

N.C. yeah

R.B. ..because there was a kind of love / hate relationship on set if I remember rightly

[morning after scene in Peter Loew's apartment]

N.C. Probably..I mean, again, i really don't know where my head was at when I was making this movie. I know that I had just done 'Moonstruck', which at the time I was not that happy with, now I love the movie I'm mature enough to understand it now, but at the time I thought it was a little too uh, too soft, and I was like into punk rock even though I'm singing Stravinsky here ..

R.B. by the way, do you know how much that cost?

N.C.  It wasn't public domain..

R.B. It wasn' was the most expensive piece of post production in the whole film    

N.C I am sorry, I thought it was public domain

R.B. No no, we nearly got sued by the Stravinsky estate on that

N.C. i tried recently to get a Stravinsky piece and I discovered it's not public domain but

R.B. It sounds good the trouble was you did it so well it's recognisable we couldn't fake it, and they wanted to listen to it, and checked it and they said no, no, this is definitely Stravinski, was it Firebird or something..

N.C. It was Petrushka..          R.B. Petrushka yeah and that was it for us and as you know this was the cheapest movie ever made in the history of movies    

[scene in the art gallery]

N.C. Here we go..I always thought it was interesting that Casey and Jennifer had a similar look which you did intentionally

R.B. absolutely......not..

N.C. No?

R.B. Just pure luck

N.C. really...

R.B. Well, i don't know if you remember, I said I'm talking to Jennifer Jason Leigh about this part

N.C really?

R.B. Yeah, and things didn't work out with her, she was you know about half your size, it wouldn't have been, it wouldn't have worked out,
[back at Peter loew's apartment after he escapes from exhibition and girlfriend leaves answer machine message]
So he dumps on this girl big time, it's another sort of, another  wonderful quality about Peter Loew he's got so many disgusting qualities [laughter] that they're just like.....

N.C. that is a face of disgust [laughs]

R.B. It's also very modern, look at him

N.C. Well I love his response to this, I mean like every guy has felt like this at some point or another..

R.B. There guys walking here are just regular people, they didn't know what was going on, bet they thought what's this girl doing, this is very odd.

N.C. This is my favourite line

[Peter Loew: "yeah..well fuck you too.."]


N.C. You know ..[laughing]... I just...

[scene back in therapist's office ]

R.B. this scene here, for some reason the studio cut this scene out, and it's a great scene in the movie  

N.C. Oh I have to watch this

R.B. Funny as well

[Peter Loew: I just cut myself shaving
Therapist: well, Peter, why don't we begin where we left off last week, you started to tell me about this strange feeling you had when this bat flew through the window of your apartment
Peter Loew: um
Therapist: This feeling of exhultation]

R.B. [laughter] See he doesn't have a funny accent when he's talking to her does he

N.C. his mode

[Peter Loew: I don't really know what you're talking about..I don't remember]

N.C and R.B. [Laughter]
R.B. I don't know why they cut the scene, I think sometimes producers or exec producers just need to cut..and I was shooting another picture when this was ready to go out and they were sendo me video tapes into my hotel where I was filming..and I kept fighting and fighting and fighting and I fought for a week to keep this in and in the end they just said 'we want it out and it's out' and that was, what could I do? I was on the other side of the world fighting ..but I kept much more in than they wanted out

N.C. I'm really happy to see this restored. For me this was exactly what I needed to do, was to blow it out really. I mean some people have referred to this as a sort of punk rock movie because it just it isn't trying to be

[scene in the office ]

 [interrupting] I love this scene

N.C. Yeah  

[both laugh loudly]

R.B. what was that?

N.C. Well it was this I guess like a tick that he had when he got alarmed

R.B. This is so mean this scene isn't it. And she is just so devastated by him

N.C. Is this the, "Am I getting through to you Alva?"

R.B. This is the last part of the scene 'am I getting through'  which has got this mad shot in it

N.C. Well that was my high school teacher named Andy Grinear, in acting class one day, was just like putting me down in front of everybody one day and I got up and I left, I mean he's a good guy and all but at the time I was something of a hot head and I got up and I left and he looked at me and he went, "Coppola," and he put his head back like that and he went, "you're not big enough or bad enough to pull that crap with me!" and it just left this indelible impression in my mind, and so that became "Alva! Am I getting through to you Alva" you know with the finger and the looking away

R.B. And somehow just the way the camera was, because I don't think we rehearsed this and I didn't know what you were actually gonna do, i just kind of put the camera there and set up the shot, I thought well I 'll catch whatever you do. And it wasn't quite lit properly, so when you turn your head 'round, which we'll see, it goes a little bit over exposed and it makes you look even crazier.
[both laugh] because this is all beautifully, everything here is nicely done, but as he gets nuttier, by sheer default, he puts his head into an over exposed lighting position

N.C. [laughter]

R.B. And looks a bit wilder

N.C. What's funny about it is like on the telephone, the guy's obviously o.k with everything and he's like, "well alright I'm sorry" and he's like this is really a problem.

R.B. here it comes

[Peter Loew: Am I getting through to you Alva?]

R.B. See how you've got too much light on you and wor face is ever exposed and your nose is over exposed, it's like weird. And then all of a sudden it becomes normal again

N.C. Yeah [laughing]

R.B. And that was just a strange strange fluke.

N.C. Well it works. I love the way also you designed the set, that lamp, you're right, the movie isn't dated.

[c] Cagealot Castle





Status: Offline
Posts: 6722
Date: 11:57 PM, 06/26/11

This is great, Lula, so interesting! I don't own this movie, I hope when I do get a copy it has the audio commentary in mine. So cool to read this, thank you so much!



Nic Warrior

Status: Offline
Posts: 308
Date: 6:54 AM, 06/27/11

This is so cool indeed,and so interesting,so many new things about the movie I didn't know before.Thank you for your effort,Lula!


" Nothing is worth more than this day.Goethe

Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

Status: Offline
Posts: 8403
Date: 1:27 PM, 06/27/11

You are both so very welcome Lady Trueheart and Voodoo Child starry

It is utterly fascinating to listen to, so i would first and foremost recommend getting the dvd. But reading ti also has it's place i think!

Of course, I should say that if you prefer not to see what is behind the wizard's curtain, you may want to give it a miss. But, if you are curious about the film making process, gaining unique insights, the director' and Nic's vision and experiences during making the film and also retrospectively (because the commentary was done years later) then you will love this!

this next part took two and a half hours to transcribe, so pleae bear with me as i work my way through it!

Vampire's Kiss Audio Commentary Transcript Part 2

R.B. You know, everybody who worked on this movie wanted to do this movie for more than a reason of just doing a movie, they were all new, they were all fresh         

[scene with Peter Loew in the diner]

R.B. i want to point out to you..see that guy there?
That's the writer, that's Jo Minion the writer

N.C. Yeah..

R.B. And just sitting behind in a purple, you'll see in a purple..thing on the right, that's one of the producers

N.C. Is that Barbara?

R.B. Barbara, not the girl in the pink, sitting next to the prop man. This is how cheap it was.

N.C. Wow

R.B. Here she is overacting, the produces overacts, turns look that's terrible, awful

N.C [laughter]

R.B. Sorry Barbara, but uh, I love you, this little guy here, it's weird, we've got everybody in this, this little guy I cast, I cast lots of little weird characters but each one is a nugget,
Now this scene coming up next I think this is where he goes into the hotel and these people are dancing? I don't know what it's about I don't know what I was doing, I haven't got a clue

N.C. [Laughs]

[scene with the mime artists]

N.C. I love that though..

R.B. There was alot of street theatre in New York

N.C. Yeah   

R.B. This whole scene there's weird stuff going on, there's all these people, I think decided this was a brothel and these were all hookers and guys coming out here

N.C. i remember I...

R.B [interrupts]I love it, it's weird, this is such a weird shot of this guy reading, i don't know what it's about

N.C. i love it too, and the angle is as you say it is bizarre and there's something tonally about it that reminds me of The Tenant by Polanski a little bit,

R.B. Yeah, yeah

N.C. and I was so excited about it, I was talking to him at one point and I sent this movie to him to watch, but I never heard anything back

R.B. [laughs]
He shot a vampire movie remember years and years ago
N.C. 'The Fearless Vampire Killers'?

R.B. No it was a comedy called 'Dance Of The vampires'

N.C. Oh, I remember one that was very theatrical with like the garlic ..who was in it?

R.B. Alfie Bass was in it who was an english actor, a long time ago. But it wasn't ..he didn't do such a good job as us

N.C. i'm very, I don't, i've not seen anything quite like this....

[scene where Peter Loew sings]

R.B. See Kasi had hardly done anything

N.C. Yeah

R.B. Elizabeth was probably the most experienced actress

N.C. definitely

R.B. And Maria Conchita Alonso had just been in a film called 'Colours' she was pretty experience as well..but most of us, we were fresh

N.C. yeah, I'd done 'Birdy', I'd done 'Valley Girl' and I'd done 'Moonstruck', and uh

R.B. [interrupts] but sometimes when you make a movie, the more you know, the less instinctive it is..I think this was done completely on instinct

N.C. Yeah, I think so too and

R.B. [Interrupts] and very ambitious, I mean shooting in New York in those days was very very difficult, I was used to shooting in big cities because I'd shot alot in London, so it didn't phase me at all , but alot of people had trouble shooting and hated doing it, but I loved it

[scene with Peter Loew adjusting his collar and tie in mirror]

N.C. there's more of that arrogance

R.B. arrogance and eating a pistachio nut thing

N.C. Well it was sort of like this idea of going up the food chain

R.B. [laughs]       

N.C. The pistachio, from nut, to cockroach, to pigeon.. to... human

R.B. [laughs]
See I also wanted you to look kind of glamorous and you do, and it's a great mixture because later on you become insane and very unglamorous and I like the two different Peter Loews

N.C. Yes

R.B. And quite, you know, a seductive looking guy here

N.C. Yeah, and then he becomes grotesque

R.B. Absolutely
But you need this look, because it's very much the yuppy 80's look

N.C. Yes

R.B. A very successful, you know, young guy living in New York

N.C. Exactly

[shadows up the staircase scene!]

R.B. This was a great location do you remember? Everything in this film was a location there were no sets

N.C. Yeah, I love this location. I love the score too, I remember I asked for a copy of the score, this person is very talented, have you worked with him since?

R.B. Yes, he did my first ever film, he's done nearly everything I've done, a guy called Colin Towns. And in fact we scored this, we did this in the Czech Republic. Not the Czech Republic, we did it in.... yeah we did it in the Czech Republic when it was still communist, it's a communist orchestra.   
But it adds, there are effects, you know, there are musical effects, he uses the strings to give effects

N.C. Yes

R.B. And adds a certain level to it..which i think er.. again we did it all with real instruments, it's a 75 piece orchestra we have on this,

N.C. Wow..

R.B. Which we got very cheap  

N.C. You can hear it

R.B. They are the official state orchestra, but in those days communist orchestras were like a dollar a day for a player

N.C. Wow

Some of these moves, without mentioning names, are direct rip offs from my certain family members

R.B. [laughs]  

N.C. Which goes to show you where I came from..but in any event, I put alot of that in there.

[focus back on scene, Peter Loew descending the staircase]

This is interesting...

R.B. This is the very surreal situation and when I look at it it harps back.... i always think that when you're making a movie you tend to make the movie that influenced you the most when you wanted to make movies

N.C. Yeah

R.B. And the movie that influenced me the most was a film, a Cocteau film, I don't know he you know any of his films

N.C. Oh I love Jean Cocteau

R.B. Well Jean Cocteau made a marvelous film called 'Orphee'  

N.C. Oh yeah

R.B you know, I'm just remaking Orphee [here]

N.C yeah! That was an amazing film, it was very bizarre, going through the radio
R.B. That's right yeah

N.C. Now this expression on my face is just absurd..

I remember at this time being very influenced by Marlon Brando's performance Reflections In a Golden Eye, and uh do you remember us ever talking about that?

R.B. No!

N.C. I would often go off on one of my tangents and just start quoting lines from that film, I believe that was a Carson McCullers John Houston movie I'm not totally sure, but, in any event, he freaks out in that movie in 2 places where I think I directly borrowed or stole some of his moves  

[scene with Rachel and Peter in bed]

R.B. Now this is interesting because the way I did this, I don't know if you ever thoughs the same thing, when he's having sex, making love, having sex with her, she's not really there, it's all a fantasy, that's why he's like in his T-shirt

N.C. Yeah...  

R.B. Um you know it's just happening in his head and she's.....

[scene in Peter Loew's office in darkness, Peter staring at the desk, shouting 'Alva']

This I love this I love this
This idea of him Looking at this empty desk

N.C. Yeah, I remember you were excited about that when we were doing it, you were like, "you're looking in the blotter just staring at it"

R.B. i remember seeing this with an audience, this scene plays very well because this is where we go to the other extreme  

N.C. Yeah, this is where..i was wondering what you must have thought on that day when I, did, you were the one who said, "jump up on the desk"

R.B. I think I did


R.B And it's like so unexpected


N.C. [Laughing]I mean it's like Spiderman all of a sudden

R.B. And then it goes, kind of without me really saying it, but it goes kind of John Cleese here with the walk and stuff it's so i

N.C. I love John Cleese..yeah..he's one of my favourites

[scene chasing Alva into the ladies restroom]

R.B. But it's quite a physical stuff going on here  

N.C. i remember all of the supporting players are just top notch, she cracks me up that woman in there!

R.B. She's just brilliant...she says "fuck" better than anybody I've ever known

N.C. Oh yeah!

R.B. And this is where Peter's going, I mean I had to make a point where he's going nuts, that beginning of that scene with the blotter that's when he's beginning..and the appearance changes, you see from the slick guy, all of a sudden the appearance, you see because we shot this out of order

N.C. Yes

R.B. i had to tell the makeup people when you're going nuts and when you're not going nuts, so they could make you slick and handsome and then allow you ..see how your hair's all changed

N.C. Yeah

R.B. So it was very important for them, for us, to try and get a point of him cracking

N.C yeah i think that comes through really well

R.B. But for you it must have been very complicated, we shot it so much out of order, I mean where to be in your head

N.C. i always thought of film acting as puzzle making, you know it's always going to be out of sequence, so it's putting pieces of the puzzle together and trying to figure out how to gradate your performance, which you helped me with immensely.

[scene in the boardroom]

but this is dark...

R.B. And also what is so interesting about this performance, because you are doing there different levels, there's a danger you can repeat yourself,

N.C. Right

R.B. and you can keep doing the same tricks, what is great when i looked at it again it's always different, there's never the same thing happening, particularly with a dark comedy performance it's very important to keep it fresh

N.C. Yes..i mean this is a study in over compensating...
You know how people do that, when they just laugh a little too hard you know..

R.B. Yes, that's right. Yes, or they're too friendly   

N.C. Yeah..they got something to hide...

[scene where Peter reads the note o the napkin]

R.B now this was a very interesting day here, I don't know he you remember this day with the note

N.C. Well no, I don't remember what transpired on this day, but I remember this, this was one of those things where I was doing this 'Reflections in A Golden Eye' freakout..

R.B. That's right,  i think what happened was that I had a lot of trouble doing this shot, I needed some help from you and you refused to help me on the shot,

N.C. What did I do?

R.B. You wouldn't do anything


[scene where Peter tears up the note]
N.C. It's one of my favourite moments

R.B. So it took me ten times longer to shoot it, because all I said was, "do you mind just stepping a half a pace to the left as you read the note?" you said, "i'm not moving, this, i have to keep still" so that was the day afford the cockroach which i'll come to

[scene where Peter trashes his apartment]   

N.C. [laughter]

R.B. See this, that's all real, none of this is special effects

N.C. Right

R.B. All the furniture is real, all the glass in the furniture is real, how I let you do this, I do not know

N.C. You couldn't do it again

R.B. No

N.C. It's weird

R.B. And do you know what happened, we had two cameras on this and the second camera broke, we only had one shot, look at this, that's plate glass it's all real, i mean actors throwing around real plate glass

N.C. [laughter]

R.B. This is how naive we were when we made this

N.C. Yeah but you see you can't duplicate that and it shows you..

[peter trying to smash the bathroom mirror]

R.B. [Interrupts] even that was real glass it's hard to break this glass

N.C. Yeah, I was, I was off my rocker

R.B. Um well i think we, we were doing a job and we thought we were doing it the right way, we just let and go and were doing it for real. That's a real subway train we hired, er, it's hard to get on a subway train

N.C. I feel the fact that all that furniture was real just helped me so much as an actor to feel connected, you know. I knew I had to freak out that day so whenever I had like big scenes I guess I would get more tense.       

['alphabet scene' back in therapist's office ]

R.B. Do you remember I was talking to you about the New York in the background

N.C. Yeah

R.B. this scene is where we obviously start seeing you go a bit crazy and you see the difference in the look now, that the city has become part of you, it's within the frame with you the two things are together, in fact I used the Empire State Building as a symbol

N.C yah and the city is a major character of the film

R.B. This is a great scene, I don't know if we, i think we rehearsed it, but i said, "look i don't want to do it much, cause I'm going to do it in one shot "... and I don't even think you rehearsed this     

N.C. no I don't recall that we did rehearse it..I rememb....

R.B. [interrupts] i think i knew the moves, I said let's do the, we got the moves but we never rehearsed it as a scene

N.C . i would just like rehearse alone in my hotel room,

R.B. [laughs] do you remember your hotel room?

N.C. Yeah, was it the Mayflower?

R.B. That's right. Do you remember you brought your cat?

N.C oh yes, yes my cat Louis,

R.B. Which wrecked the whole place

N.C. I guess so yeah..

R.B. I remember going up there and I thought jeez what is Nic doing? Because it was completely wrecked! But it was the cat who had pulled everything apart and you wouldn't allow room services to clean up

N.C. i know, I, I er, I was very attached to my cat,

R.B. You also had a vampire bat there, do you remember you had a skeleton of a vampire bat?

N.C. Oh yeah

R.B. Which was great I was very impressed with that

N.C. Oh yeah I had that, I think I gave that to somebody, later ...

This whole alphabet sequence, i guess, i don't know how Mick Jagger figures into this but..

R.B. Yes there is a pose

N.C. There's a pose that's very Jaggeresque and it all culminated up to that I guess

R.B. This is like, you know, we do this scene and we're not even half way through the film, but how do you top this? It's about the sequences going further and further

N.C. If we were to do this again today, people would say well you can't go that extreme that early in the film, where do you go from there as you say, but here we go..

[Peter Loew: A,B,C,D etc...]

R.B. Look at this, wonderful hands there

N.C well it actually is extremely choreographed, I mean every one of those moves was thought out in my hotel room with my cat     

R.B. [laughs]

N.C. Here we go, here comes Jagger, not that, wait a minute...



R.B. When Elizabeth was doing this shot with you, she didn't know what you were gonna do,

N.C. She did not know. And you liked it that way because she was more like shocked.

R.B. She was, she was a wild thing like you, so she was cool about this

N.C. She... yeah, she could take anything and give it right back


[Peter Loew: kind of bright in here isn't it]

[cuts to scene in office, Peter in sun glasses ]

R.B. i love this scene

N.C. [laughs] total, just, prick!

R.B. Also his politics are a great form of entertainment, and this little bubble of an office and all there people looking at this crazy..... you have crazy guys like this in offices

N.C. [laughing while speaking] dropping the rubber duck off her desk and into the trash can I mean.....

R.B. Do you remember the whole thing with those dark glasses

N.C. i love those glasses I wish I had them now..

R.B.  We had a scene to shoot where you buy those glasses, and we had the scene and we never shot it so they carried the props around everywhere with the tray and everything, we had an actor standing by to sell them to you

N.C. ah..

R.B. And it wasn't until I left the movie and went to catch my plane I was sitting in the airport and i was being bugged by people in the airport, coming up and trying to sell me stuff, and someone tried to sell me dark glasses, that was my whole crew come to say goodbye and they were dressed up in dark glasses

N.C. That's hilarious!
This is the first thing we shot wasn't it? It was our first day?

R.B. Um was pretty near the first day, you're absolutely right, we went into it really in a big scene

N.C. Yeah

R.B. But I believe in that, I don't like messing around I like to get into something

N.C. yeah I agree, I do to,o I think you get right into it and you know where you're at

R.B. So you look at the first days' rushes and you really do know whether you're doing the right movie or not.

N.C. Yeah, I remember we did that, I went to the first day of rushes, I didn't go back very often, or did I?   
R.B. You didn't, I think one you were exhausted..

N.C. i remember once I sat, i went to rushes with you and sat right next to you and you looked at me and went, "you have to sit right next to me?"


R.B. It's a very interesting thing, actors in England never come to rushes. And my experience of working in America is that I've had alot of actors at rushes and I don't think it's a great thing to do, just personally, actors think it's good for them but one of the things that is always hard to explain is that half or three quarters of  what you're gonna watch is not gonna be in the film.

N.C. Well I understand that and  I don't really go to dailies that much, usually I'll look at it on the monitor when you can really get an idea and the Director can help you, point something out, that's where it helps, ah, but I can understand what you're saying.

[scene with Peter and Alva]

This is, I don't know, my whole motivation here is to try to see how big I could get my eyes, just to freak her out

R.B. It's just amazing how they work, those eyes, just amazing

N.C. [laughs]

R.B. Also see your hair has gone a bit weird as well

N.C [laughing]

R.B. all big on the side, so the whole profile, the whole look of it is just extraordinary
N.C. It really almost looks like Dwight Fry in the original Dracula

R.B. But as we were talking, you know this is way ahead of it's time, this kind of look, because it's, we were talking about Tim Burton, that kind of dark humour came in years after this

N.C. Yes I think so and I..

R.B. Look at that hair and the eyes and the whole thing

N.C. And then it goes back to normal again

R.B. And look at her reaction, she was very good

N.C. Oh she was amazing, she was like genuinely terrified there   

[Pause to watch scene]


Oh man, we made a twisted movie, Robert

R.B. We did, I think we were just, we were just young

N.C. Yeah we were young and we both just, it's like we just didn't care we just went ahead, we cared about doing good work, but it was like we just didn't care what people thought

R.B. No, also because it was such a cheap movie and I mean cheap..this movie cost under 2 million dollars,

N.C. wow...

R.B. For everything..and you know it doesn''s beautifully made, it's beautifully lit, you know there's not one penny, my producers were just fantastic

N.C. i love that I love shot

[peter Loew under the neon cross]

sorry to interrupt

R.B. My producer gave me everything, if i needed cherry picker to get up early they got me a cherry picker, how my producers got everything for the money i do not know

N.C. It's amazing, have you worked with them again?

R.B. I haven't worked with them again, I'd really love to we haven't had the opportunity, but every item that is in this movie they got me and including you, and you did it for an amazing fee

N.C. Well you know what I did it for 40 thousand dollars and i took that money and i bought my first sports car with it and I still have it

R.B. Oh really!

N.C. Yeah and now I...

R.B. What did you buy?

N.C. I bought a 1967 Ford 27 Stingray Corvette

R.B. Oh fantastic

N.C. Yeah and I still have it and the car is still worth the same amount it was then [laughs]so I overpaid for it but I'll never sell that car, it's my Vampire's Kiss car  

[scene in Peter's apartment with Rachel]
N.C. Jennifer's performance is really unique too, it gives people that, first of all it's a very unique looking vampire, i've never seen a vampire..

R.B. She is a vampire, she's fantastic isn't she

N.C. Yeah, it's really kind of sexy and urban....

R.B.  But she's a bit animal she's got a very animal look about her, her body, her face,

N.C. And it provides for those very many people in the audience who want to see a vampire film in a more classic sense, they get to enjoy her as that you know, the vampire with the fangs, and she, you're right, right there was pretty animalistic

R.B. But you see the way her shoulders are moving, you know, she's got incredible muscle tone, I remember looking at her body and thinking

[ the shot of Nosferatu on the tv ]
Wow and there it is..

N.C. Yeah, and we put Shrek in , together we decided to, this, having Peter Loew observe this would later inform his moves and mannerisms. We didn't want to go with the Belle Lugosi thing we wanted this, and later I brought it back with Willem Defoe in 'Shadow Of The Vampire'

R.B. Which i've seen and I remember thinking, "God, there it is in the movie"

N.C. Yeah

R.B. You see this is interesting, this is like this sad guy sitting by himself in a bedroom whose just had a sexual fantasy and this embodies that wonderful sexual fantasy which loads of movies are about, about young guys having sexual fantasies, so it does embody alot of the usual themes that young people have

N.C. In this shot you really start to see how disturbed this character is, without doing much, you can see obviously he's hallucinating and he's just not well

R.B. What's interesting is the set up of this comes when they're in the disco later on, there's a marvelous scene where you're never really sure if she's been there or not, it works really well because they're in a very real public place where he tries to expose her

N.C. Yeah
And she could have been just someone that he met and just he went off on some hallucination fantasy

R.B.   Fantasy, as people do, they fantasize about stars and they fantasize about people in the public eye

N.C. Yes

[Peter in the shower]

Here was Beethoven's ninth right?

R.B. Thank god he's out of copyright [laughs]

N.C. I guess I had this idea that Peter would be a person who appreciated classical music to give him a little bit more, you know, the sadness of the fact that he's obviously an intelligent man.

[Peter looking in the mirror]

R.B. So i think we're coming up to one of our classic scenes here which the cockroach scene    

N.C  yeah, that's coming up..the mirror burning the hand where does that come from?

R.B. That's right, well vampires you see can't see themselves in mirrors so

N.C. But the idea of the mirror actually burning him was like something from ...
Oh here we go...
[cockroach scene]
Yes so this, we were touching on this before, I was originally gonna eat raw eggs or something, then I thought no we should make it a cockroach because I really wanna do something that would shock the audience and something you would never forget, and I saw it as like a business decision, because I've seen this movie in the theatre and when people see that cockroach go in my mouth it's like the bus blowing up in 'Speed', I mean it's like people go, really react, it's worth 2 million dollars and a special effect and all I do is eat a bug, so it's good business, but, YOU [laughter] you got the shot in the first take but because of my 'not moving', right, you know the scene where I'm ripping up the napkin you've just explained, you made me do it again, so I ate 2 bugs but you used the first take!

R.B. There is a bit of a subtext there, I always believe in making sure we've really got it [laughs] but i remember there was a payback for the day before

N.C. Yeah, you got me


 [c] Cagealot Castle





Status: Offline
Posts: 6722
Date: 6:40 PM, 06/27/11

This is awesome! Thanks for doing this Lula, a lot of work, and I really appreciate it!

Nic's brother was in VK?

Love all the little tidbits about the scenes and how they approached and did them.



Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

Status: Offline
Posts: 8403
Date: 1:27 AM, 06/28/11

You are welcome Meg, it is my pleasure! I love this film with a passion as you know and it is thrillling to hear how passionate they were when they made it and years later too.

In my opnion Vampire's Kiss is unique, timeless and unforgettable....a little like Nic himself! starry

More to come soon, almost half way now. action




Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

Status: Offline
Posts: 8403
Date: 12:04 AM, 07/01/11

Vampire's Kiss Audio Commentary Transcript Part 3


[scene at Alva's house]

R.B So this is the only reality of the movie, is this, this house, which we had real trouble with, both myself and the producers were allergic to cats, so when I came up to your hotel room I really was suffering,

N.C. I seem to recall that actually..

R.B. Well this, this house was full of cats, they had hundreds of cats for some reason and i could hardly breathe when I was shooting these scenes here, that's, you know, all part of the mystery of it

N.C. [laughs] 

This is very real you're right, and I feel like I'm not really a part of this, it's another through line in the film

R.B. Well I think to gain sympathy with her, which the audience really do, they really hate you for messing around, it's fantastic I love the audience siding with Maria against you

N.C. yeahhh... 

R.B. 'cause you're the demon... and look once you get this...


N.C Did you ever see a movie called, well Nicholson then went on to make a movie called Wolf, where he played a man who was turning into a werewolf?

R.B. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...

N.C. i swear they must have watched this movie, those film makers

R.B. must have done..must have done...

N.C. Because he's also in literature or something and he starts having this...

R.B. [Interrupts] See your whole position there it's gone to Shrek, your back has gone up

N.C. Yeah

R.B. It's definitely got that look about it

N.C. So I become more Shrek like..
[scene where Peter arrives at Alva's house]

R.B. i love this, this is so, so scary..this woman seeing this mad man at the window

N.C. yeah in her brassiere..

'soup' [laughs]

'I'm hear to call a truce, MAN' [laughs]

R.B. And N.C. [laughter]

R.B. Soup..what, is this a cure..a vampire cure for a cold?

N.C. Yeah. Just, you know, what a thoughtful gesture to give her some soup!

R.B. We ..when we're talking about Shrek, people may think we're talking about the cartoon, but we're talking about of course Nosferatu and Shrek, the character

N.C. Yes,

R.B. The guy who played Nosferatu

N.C. Yes, Max Shrek, the german actor..

R.B. Who used his whole body to make this strange person

N.C. Yes and I was, I am a fan of his acting, and then I discovered Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the silent version of that film and I believe it was John Barrymore and that was earlier than Nosferatu and it occurred to me that actually Shrek was borrowing from Barrymore    



[Peter Loew at Alva's door]

R.B. I remember we discussed this ad nauseum about these sun glasses

N.C yeah

R.B. Because I was always concerned that you were shutting out the audience, but you insisted on wearing them, you were absolutely right, it was right for this and I think I hadn't got the full picture of the character sorted out and I was concerned that we'd lose you, but we don't... and it's, you know, you've gone past the point of no return here

N.C. I think that's always a good idea to have the eyes do the acting whenever possible, so I do understand what your point is at the time

R.B. Yeah he couldn't take the sun

N.C. No

R.B. in his mind he's turning into a vampire and it's light and ..the way her walks into the car, what is, this is actually, look at him, "go on, go!" he's so obnoxious

N.C. So full of himself and....

[scene with Peter and Alva in the taxi cab]

R.B. and the music here is all kind of euphoric and wonderful

N.C. Yes

R.B. And we all think, 'oh great, they're going to get on here, it's..'
He's really really two faced and quite..this is really nasty this scene isn't it

N.C.'s pretty nasty..and one of my favourite lines, another of my favourite lines is, "the work's not going to go away Alva, it just never goes away"     

R.B. Yes

N.C. I know I've felt like that from time to time

R.B. This is great, here he goes

N.C. [laughter]

R.B. Her face is brilliant, see I kept it in a two shot because it's important to see both of you at the same time

N.C. Absolutely...
I don't know why, where the nausea came from

R.B. [laughter]

N.C. You know, where I start...

R.B. Yeah

N.C. That was just some idea that came out of, like..

R.B. Well it adds another level to the scene

[Peter Loew shouting: That goddam contract is somewhere in the fucking.. fuck!!]

R.B and N.C. [Laughing]

N.C see this stuff was like, i don't know, like you say it adds another level

R.B. But again you see, when you've got someone crazy, what he's doing, and I see, and I remember saying to you when we were shooting this they'd just let all the crazy people out of the asylum in New York, New York had this huge problem having loads of crazy people wandering around and I was watching these people in the streets and they just did random stuff like this

N.C, yeah

R.B. And I thought that using that was part of his character, it was very helpful because it was very realistic at the time

N.C. Yeah

R.B. And it was a great shock to New Yorkers because they had all these crazy people in the streets, which later on we see is just part of..

Here's the wonderful, this all gets very surreal later on..this

N.C. I love that when you put the two of them in this, hallucination

R.B. I remember later on, the next scene where I, I got you to do it twice, I did two sets of dialogue and you'll see it coming..'cause i was terrified I'd have to post synch out some of the dialogue here, but we never did  

N.C. Mmm

That's another terrific casting choice

R.B. This guy, wonderful, again all the different ethnic people of New York, I loved to get that across

[Alva with her brother]

R.B. The gun..

N.C. Yeah

R.B. Yeah this is the bit coming up, which is quite, on the nose

[Peter Loew: Where is that little c**t]

N.C [laughs]

R.B. I don't think we could ever do that today could we?

N.C. I don't know that we could and it comes back again later

R.B. I know and I said 'listen we'v got to try, work at something else', we did something else but I never used the alternative, I just thought, we've gotta go all the way

N.C. Yuh, I...

R.B. And I find it offensive personally

N.C. Yeah, it is, but I think it shows..

R.B. but he is offensive you have to allow him to be an offensive character

N.C. Yeah I think so, in order for the movie to get truly disturbing and scary at this point, i mean she's got a gun now, the fact that he uses that word I think makes the threat, the danger of it more real

R.B.  I love this city.

N.C. Yeah you do

R.B. But I love it because I think it's beautiful and ugly at the same time and I wanted to get across those two things. When it's going for you it's the best place to be, when it's not going for you it's a dark city to be in

N.C. Well it can be tremendously lonely, which is what he's suffering from

R.B. Yeah. And I think a huge number of young people have this problem

N.C. Yeah

R.B. Of wanting to be successful, wanting to get their lives together, but being very very lonely. And being by yourself can cause terrible problems

N.C. Yeah i was rather alone while shooting this movie in New York



[scene with Peter and Alva in the office]


He's just getting progressively worse and worse of a person

R.B. people found this wonderfully offensive and I think it's just terrific because it's very entertaining

N.C. Yeah

R.B. But it was offensive, it was considered, again in the late 80's, very offensive to women, which we weren't trying to do at all, I think we were accused of doing all sorts of horrible things

N.C. Yeah  

R.B. But we weren't, we didn't want to

N.C. Yeah

[scene with Peter in the bathroom at his work]

R.B. I love this, this is where, again I got the angle so you kind of see a reflection in the mirror

N.C. I love this too

R.B. And all of a sudden there is a reflection and the guy's completely crazy

N.C. Yeah [laughs]

[Peter: Where am I, oh christ, where am I,  I've become one, a Vampire]

And once again this is again my family, some people in my family

R.B. [laughs] do they know this?

N.C. No, and I won't mention names

R.B. I think there's mainstream comedy here as well

N.C. Well this is almost like Chaplin now, with the wipe out, I mean it get's almost like slapstick

R.B. In fact this coming up, this is the first thing we shot, this is the first day with Jennifer as well, she just turned up, she didn't know, I didn't know what would happen..I love this

N.C. Oh man..


R.B. That's a great line, "I'm in a meeting"


N.C. i don't know what that was

R.B. This was a first great day here, I don't know how we knew what we were doing here?

N.C. Was this our first day?

R.B. The first day, maybe it was the second, first or second, I know we started in this office and it was the first or second day shooting, and so we were doing wild stuff with you, you know eating pistachios, hiding, um, doing the eyes, so we really started big

N.C. Yeah we did

R.B. And this is great, I love this, that she actually finds this contract, it is so, again the other film that I'm always shooting is The Trial, so

N.C. right  It's interesting that we have Frank Kafka's portrait there

R.B.  Oh I especially had that put in there, I wondered, people have told me they noticed his picture in the background.

[scene with Rachel]

Yeah, this is Jennifer this is the first thing that she did, so you can see she got into it big time. So she came in "oh hi, I'm Jennifer Beals" "hi, I'm Nicolas Cage" right, and she was straight on top of you biting you

N.C. [laughs] Drinking my blood right off the bat

R.B. Yeah

N.C. And of course this uh

R.B. That was her first line "uh"   

N.C. [laughs] that's more of that animalism you were talking about [makes animal noise ]

R.B. This of course here, we were talking about the Max Shrek, this is where he does the first real look when he opens the door on her

N.C. And I don't know where the sort of head moves came from

R.B [interrupts] this, wonderful, you know,these people I couldn't do this in a movie again, let's put in people we met, you know..

N.C. It's brilliant, I love it

R.B. And the music all goes here

N.C. [laughs] I love all that  

R.B. And then all of a sudden, again all I wanted to do was lighten the tone, because the next scene is gonna be so horrific

N.C. Yeah

[Peter Loew: It's just. Too. Late. Alva]

[laughs] I don't know where the cuckoo clock head moves came from on "too late"  it just..

R.B. But the hair is gone, the back is up it is a kind of transformation

N.C. Like that. What is that?

R.B. [Laughs] I dunno! It's good though it's.. This is the John Cleese, yeah this is where it's sort of gotta

N.C. Yeah right that's what I was talking about Chaplin, it's like, er, it just sort of happened accidentally..

R.B. That didn't.. have you just 

N.C. No i

R.B. Was it because your shoes were slippery

N.C. Yeah, but it became like slapstick almost

[Peter chasing Alva down the stairs into the basement]

R.B. I don't know if you remember what happened here, I'd arranged to shoot this scene coming up somewhere completely different, we went down and I didn't like what was there, so I started looking for a new location which is the most terrible thing to do when you're filming, and I picked this literally five minutes later, i said, "we're gonna do it in the basement" and we shot this through the night

N.C. That's true

R.B. Until 4 in the morning

N.C. I remember that

R.B. And shooting late it starts to make you go a bit kind of strange

N.C. Yes

R.B. And I think it really helps this scene. It's all interior at night, there's no need to shoot it at night, but we were doing it at night because the original location was outside which I'd scrapped. But I think it added something to the strange quality of the scene

N.C well night shoots

R.B. [Interrupting] All that licking was horrendous wasn't it [laughs]

N.C. Yah, it's so horrendous that it's almost funny


I was so frustrated with that gun on that day

R.B. Wasn't it electronic and it didn't go off or something 

N.C. And I kept, 'cause I was trying to..

R.B. [interrupting] 'cause you can't use real blanks cause you can actually kill yourself with the wadding when it comes out I think I was trying to explain to you, it was the same problem with the bat

N.C. Right [laughs]

R.B. That you were trying to kill yourself before I'd finished the movie

N.C. [laughing]

R.B. I just wanted you alive until the end

N.C. [laughing] yeah, right

R.B. At the end of the movie you could do what you liked

N.C. Yeah well, that's always the case, right?

R.B. And this weird thing when we put her in it kind of worked, I don't know if that was in the script, it was kind of an idea, it was, wasn't it?

We shot that close up oh, a month later, do you remember?

N.C. I vaguely remember doing that.

R.B. Yeah..and you did a really weird thing there, to get that look you stuck your fingers down your mouth to make yourself sick

N.C. Oh yeah well that's an old trick so you can get your eyes to water and flush your face so you get more colour and you look more look more emotional


[Peter Loew puts gun in his mouth]

R.B. Was this, the gun wouldn't go off or something

N.C. Yeah the gun wouldn't go off here and also this is, again....

R.B. [interrupting] but when it did it was great, because look at all the smoke that came out, it looked like your head was smoking

N.C. Yah

R.B. I know they had huge problems because they couldn't use real anything in it

N.C. And this ..

R.B. Look at your hair it's all smoking

N.C The crying here, I wanted to say "boohoo" in a way that worked emotionally. I was always trying to challenge myself, like can you get away with actually saying boohoo

R.B [laughs] yeah, without it sounding childish

N.C. [laughing] yeah!

R.B. He's, what he's done is so extraordinary that you can, it's always about the counterpoint isn't it

N.C. Yah

R.B. These only work with counterpoint, I don't know if they all worked, but I was always trying to counterpoint them to take the edge off them so they weren't

N.C. Well yeah, I agree with that, counterpoint was always..

R.B. And sometimes it's funny and sometimes people don't get the joke,

N.C. Yeah

R.B. I don't think many people got the joke in this scene 'cause they just thought it was a rape, but I made it very you know there's not flesh really it's not real you know what I mean it's not a real rape

[Peter Loew running: I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire ! I'm a vampire!]

N.C. Yeah I got a lot of bad criticism for that
R.B. [laughing]that was the last shot of the day

N.C. [laughing]    

R.B. Do you remember what happened there?

N.C. Well you were running too fast and I couldn't catch up with you, and I asked you to run slowly and you said (puts on voice) "Well if you want me to run slower I'm going to run like this"

N.C. [laughing]

R.B. that's what you did, you kind of ran like..
And we were strobing through the bars, you said, "don't shoot through the bars shoot somewhere else" and you said well you know i'll run like this then. So you

N.C. I had heard some story about a kid on his bicycle who, holding his hands around his neck, screaming "there are vampires, there are vampires" and running down the street and that as a child that always stayed with my mind and that's what I  got me to do that "I'm a vampire, I'm a vampire", you know.. 
R.B. I like it but you got a lot of stick about it for what reason?

N.C.  Ah well, you know, because people thought it was over the top

R.B. What, and the rest of the movie was so subtle!

N.C. Right! I'm not really, see "over the top" doesn't work with me, because I don't believe in such a thing, because I believe it's just stylistic choices and this was obviously a choice to use grand gesture and go bigger, you know

R.B. Also the day will come when naturalism will die

N.C. Well yeah, naturalism will die and come back, people will be open to the idea that naturalism is a style just as this is a style 

R.B. yeah, this is, I think it's terribly limiting naturalism, because the best you can get is as close to reality as possible and so many movies are really just trying to mirror reality. My feeling is there's nowhere to go, there's no creative expression beyond it looking like a news real

I have always thought that acting, in the very nature that it is in fact an artform, therefore if you look at other artforms like painting you have photorealism and surrealism, and you have abstract, why can't you do the same with film acting. When we worked together you caught me at that period when I was experimenting with that idea. Um, I've since not done that but

But what is interesting is that particular style hadn't been seen in the cinemas before, i mean it obviously had in the past, but not in terms of where we were, and after the movie came out, movie's started to go into that big dark humour, i remember Batman  when Tim made that was very dark and also very funny and very extreme, and I think we, you know, we tried it out a little earlier.   

(c) Cagealot Castle





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Date: 4:03 AM, 07/01/11

Ah, that was good, saved it for before I go to bed tonight! Thank you, Lula, really enjoying these so much.

Do you see the clips they are talking about as they discuss them, Lula?



Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

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Date: 1:36 PM, 07/02/11

You are welcome Meg!

Generally with audio commentaries on a dvd it is the same as watching the film but with the commentary happening over the top. So the scenes that are bracketed in my transcript are just my way of indicating whereabouts they are in the film and which part of it they are giving the commentary to! starry




Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

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Date: 12:26 AM, 07/05/11

Vampire's Kiss Audio Commentary Transcript Part 4




[scene with Peter in his bed biting the cushion]

R.B. This is another strange scene

N.C. [laughs]

R.B. What, is he testing his teeth isn't he..?

N.C. [laughs]

R.B. I mean some of these scenes were just, like, scenes, and we just did them and they, they're kind of random but they're interesting

N.C. Yeah, I remember it being in the script and always finding it kind of humorous

R.B. Yeah

N.C. that he's biting into his pillow

R.B. And pillow biting, I don't know if it means the same here as it does in England?

N.C. I don't know, what does it mean in England?

R.B. 'Pillow biter' I think it's a term for a homosexual

N.C. Oh [laughs] O.K [laughs] well, so there's some other underlying, uh

R.B. No I don't think so, I don't no, but I'm sure..again what I think often is people can make what they like out of it

N.C. Mmm [agrees]

R.B. I love this when he's, the light is too hot [laughs]

N.C. Yeah that falls into the random thing you're talking about, like here is this guy just testing the light with his hand...I mean this is really, he's now at his worst..

R.B. Oh he's just cracked up. Now I want to go back here, right at the beginning, I don't know if you remember, we did a little test, or makeup test, do you remember what you had on?

N.C. Uh, makeup test, no I don't, I...

R.B. I think you'd been either working with or talking to Tom Waites?

N.C. Yeah, Tom was a friend of mine, still is       
R.B. And he has this little pencil moustache

N.C Oh yeah [laughing]

R.B. And on the first day, it was actually the first day of shooting, you arrived on set with a pencil moustache, do you remember that?

N.C. Uh, uh, no..but that sounds very very uncomfortable, what was I doing

R.B. Well you wanted the character to have a pencil moustache

N.C. Throughout the whole movie?

R.B. Throughout the whole movie, it was one of those moments when everyone looks at you, and they all look at me and everyone is silent, and they go, you can see in their heads they go, "oh my god, what's Nic Cage done?"    
N.C [laughing] oh god..

R.B. so I came up to you and I said "Nic, the um moustache, I've not seen that, what's that about" and you said, "well I think that should be the character" and it was all that acting stuff and I thought god, I'm gonna have to get, you know, and I knew if I was head on it wouldn' I said, "Well you know when you put the teeth in later on, there's gonna be a confusion with the moustache and the teeth and you're gonna kind of have trouble there" and you went, "thank you for that, it's a very good point" and wiped off the moustache and that was, so that was the end of the moustache.  

N.C. Unbelievable, I don't, was it it pencil? Like was it drawn on?

R.B. Yeah, Tom Waites ....

[scene where Peter puts in the plastic fangs for the first time and crawls along ground]

See those are the teeth that er    

N.C. [laughs]

R.B. Crawling along, what is that all about

N.C. [laughing] I don't know..This is where we really, we really went off the deep end here, I don't know what..

R.B. But the point is that, because he jumps on the desk in the first 20 minutes of the movie

N.C. Yeah

R.B. You have to keep moving forwards, these things are becoming more and more extreme, the way he's looking at himself..there's a great line here where he starts talking and she says, "have you got a cold Peter?"

N.C. Yeah ...I think the crawling off the park bench, there was almost like this sexual.... he was so orgasmic about having the plastic fangs in his mouth that he was sort of like reduced to an infantile stage

R.B. I mean just going back to the shop where he's got the choice of the really good looking fangs, which he obviously could have had, you could have bought the good looking fangs that were all kind of brown and...but he buys the cheap fangs, 'cause he's kind of mean as well, so he doesn't even want to look that good as a vampire, he kind of looks like a cheap vampire, it's a conscious character decision

N.C. Well, he, he didn't have the money too, right, he couldn't afford the more..

R.B. That's right, in fact there was a scene where he goes to the check.. money counter and he can't get any more money out

N.C. Yeah

R.B. but I dropped the scene

N.C. But even in the scene that you have, he's looking through his wallet

R.B. And there's nothing there, yeah

N.C. And he doesn't have enough money to buy the, he has to take the plastic, the 'cheapie'
R.B. The 'cheapie' [laughs]

N.C. The cheapie [laughing]      
R.B. I love this chinese guy, cause again that was all part of the mystical

N.C. I like what you did there with the, her and and the young buck, you know..

R.B. It's just like, she's got a life hasn't she

N.C. Yeah

R.B. But she's a very....

[scene with Peter chasing a pigeon]

This was you remember what we did here?

N.C. Yeah, he actually caught a pigeon

R.B. I had to drug the can't catch pigeons, I mean if you run around pigeons just fly away, these pigeons are drugged

N.C. I didn't know that

R.B. Well how else do you think you caught it, did you think, "Hey I'm a really great actor I can catch pigeons"!

N.C. [laughs]I don't know what I thought

R.B. Then we had the, they were all humanely drugged

N.C. Ohh..

R.B. They were looked after and had happy lives after this

N.C. What were they drugged with?

R.B. Just some sort of..people, I remember, people, the reaction they were really upset about this, they thought that you really did eat a pigeon

N.C. [laughs]

R.B. And there were just some sort of um

N.C. It is disturbing, because there's like that weird belch or something  ... There  

R.B. There it is

N.C. Yeah

R.B. But I think again it's not a real dead pigeon there, it's just a fake one, but people, I think from what you'd done in the past, people in their minds had seen you eat the pigeon

N.C. What because of eating the cockroach..

R.B. Yeah, people have said to me "he bites a pigeons head off doesn't he in that film" and I said "no no, he never bites the head off a pigeon"

N.C. Well I have to say that, it's at this point I should probably say that Ozzy Osbourne was an influence, because I heard the story about him biting the doves head off, and so that like created shock waves in the entertainment industry and I thought if I ate a cockroach, it could do the same thing.

R.B. [laughs]

[scene where Peter lays under the upturned sofa]

And here is this pathetic man now, getting under the couch and going to sleep

N.C. Yeah

R.B. Just um..

N.C. This was a great idea

R.B, yeah, I don't know if it was in the script, I think we just made it up, I can't remember

N.C. I'm not sure..

R.B. I realised when I'd made the movie, or just when I was shooting it, I realised him going to sleep, it was like a really bad cut to him waking up, so one morning we just went out and shot all this stuff, er, of New York, and it came out so well, that's why we used it at the beginning of the movie, and this is sort of my Gershwin thing in the middle

N.C. Yeah

R.B. I did it actually purely to make sense of him falling asleep, but it's interesting how, you know a little dedication to a city I love so much        

N.C. And also, you know, alot of the movie takes place indoors in different smaller spaces so it's nice to get outside and see the city

R.B. You've shot there before?

N.C. Yes, I've made actually quite a few films there, which is strange because I'm really from Los Angeles, but uh, I've made five or six

R.B. I mean things like this helicopter coming through the sun, it just had to be there, it looks like 'Apocalypse Now' doesn't it?

N.C. Yeah it's beautiful..I think what you see here is a director that's really devoted to making the best possible movie he can make, I mean really taking the time and care to get what he needs, that's what I get from that, especially with your budget

R.B. You know it's interesting, money doesn't often get you what you want, I think it's about a determination on everybody's point of view to get it, and it never seemed like we didn't have any money

N.C. Yeah

R.B. We never seemed..I mean I know we were short of money for everything, but I think because everybody took the right attitude, I remember you didn't have a trailer on this,

N.C. Right..

R.B. Um having that attitude, nobody was expecting anything, so,  you know, I remember we did our own catering

N.C. Yes, yeah I recall that

R.B. The operator, the camera operator did the catering

[scenes with Peter emerging from his sofa coffin, going to the nightclub]

N.C. Do you remember this scene coming up, the boy and the bouncer, or someone trying... he wouldn't let me in and you said, "well just slug him in the stomach"? i was in a very strange mood this night, I don't know if you remember

R.B. I like it, I like it   

N.C. But I remember you just , you said, "can you take a punch?" and.. that guy! You said "can you take a punch? Then go ahead and take it" you know I really hit him

R.B. [laughs]That does look pretty nasty

N.C. Yeah, 'cause you, we wanted to make it look real and I didn't want to hit him and you said, just ahead and hit him!

R.B. [laughing]

N.C. It was the most.. interesting direction I think I've ever had

[scene with Peter in nightclub]
Now this of course is, you know, orgasmic where he's there with all these necks and....
R.B. You know this is extraordinary because what I wanted to do was create a place where he wouldn't look out of place, and everyone is, you know, it's the wild party 80's and this club was, I looked at every club in New York it was actually a subway station that was turned into a club, it's got a great atmosphere

N.C. It's called 'The Tunnel'  and I think it's now been reopened, which I was very excited about.
My brother saw this movie and he said that "that was really a scary moment, you look like a white shark there"

R.B. [laughing]

N.C. With those teeth, he actually thought it was really creepy    
R.B. What was, again, for a movie that didn't have any money, we got 300 extras here, for free, they all loved being in the movie and each person is hand picked

N.C. Yuh

R.B. Um I had a, I had 300 polaroids, and my team did such a great job

N.C. They did

R.B. Well they all look, you know, again, they look a bit dated, a bit 80's,  but later on we used them to great ext... And yeah, there we are, it's a real club

I love this shot the one coming up, for some reason he just looks so out of it, you know when you see crazy people in clubs?

N.C. [laughing] yeah

R.B. He is that man.

N.C. Yeah he's the guy you don't wanna sit...  

R.B. You don't want to go near him

N.C. And this scene coming up is so theatrical, I love that

R.B. Do you know who that girl is? It's a guy called Larry Cohen

N.C. Larry Cohen

R.B. he's the director of 'Return to Salem's Lot' , so that's his daughter

N.C. I remember

R.B. She knew the scene and she was really game for it wasn't she

N.C. Yes she was...
But this whole banter between us, it's almost like
[Peter bows ]
Look at that

R.B. It's a mime show

N.C. It's like silent film acting and

R.B. But she's, she's drugged out of her mind, so she doesn't care what's going on and he's nuts

N.C. Yeah, perfect

R.B. So the two of them are a perfect match

It's a very, very disturbing and odd little scene this

N.C. Yeah it is, because then it all goes terribly wrong

R.B. I can't remember what the motivations were, I think it was just like, touch her, feel her, try and get her breasts, and then it gets real, she really hates that. She says like, I'll play the game ....

N.C.  Yeah, and this is so sinister the idea the plastic fangs come out of the mouth?

R.B. Yeah..but what's interesting when we set this up, I got the effects guy, he said, "I hope you're not one of those directors who keeps saying 'more blood, more blood'" but I said, "no no, I'm subtle, I'm from London". So as soon as we're shooting it and you come away, the first thing I yell is, I'm screaming, I scream, "more blood, more blood"[laughs]

N.C. [laughs]     

R.B. And you'll see here...I'm shouting, "I want more blood"! so I fell into the trap of more blood

N.C. Well this really disturbed people didn't it?

R.B. Yeah, she did a great job, it's the intercutting with the people dancing, the young lovers, you know, with this kiss, we were just lucky we got these shots, i must say my editor did a marvelous job of it. Look there you are, more blood, more blood, I'm screaming..... it's pumping, they've got a little pump, they're pumping it out there.... and you put the teeth back in, it's just horrendous

N.C. Yeah

R.B. It's beautiful, look at the way it's set as well, I wanted to make it very beautiful and horrendous at the same time      

N.C. You did, and it's sort of a very strange mixture of comedy and horror

R.B. Have you been into this place with the where the drunk comes in about the throw up, all these people want to leave the room

N.C. Yeah

R.B. Because they see this awful person

N.C yeah and this now is interesting

R.B. [Interrupts] the scene becomes more extreme now doesn't it

N.C. yeah

[scene with Peter and Rachel in the club]

R.B. Again we're moving up a level, how could we move a level, but we do

N.C. Yeah

R.B. And also it becomes more surreal, the imagery of what he's seeing is more surreal, and then there are realities

N.C. That's right

R.B. It really does start...I wanted it to really start flipping from one reality to surreal moments

N.C. Well i think you did that and

R.B. She's good in this, again I think an interesting performance

N.C. Yeah she's really kind of creepy in the next scene where's she's in denial, well not, whatever it is that you want it to be, but she acts like she doesn't know him, or in fact she doesn't know him, but then there's this weird little smile in her eye

R.B. Yeah, see I think that is very interesting what is coming...and I think she said to me, I really want to hate this guy, I'm going to spit all over him, I don't think she told you she was going to spit at you did she?

N.C. [laughs] it's sad though

R.B. Works quite nice though

N.C yeah it does work nice

R.B. Because she is now taking complete control of him

[Rachel: Don't touch me!
Peter: You. Are. With. Me!
Rachel: Well it doesn't look like it, does it, Donald]        

R.B. Donald, this guy, this Mr Smoothie, I love him. I remember we talked about this heart thing alot, when you start pumping your heart
N.C. Yeah

R.B. It was the one time when I said, "I don't know if it's a bit over the top that Nic"

N.C. [laughs]

R.B. And you said, "why? Why is it over the top?" I said, "well, I dunno, it just maybe it's a bit, a bit"


Then you kind of throw yourself down with more convulsions

N.C. I don't know what it is Robert, it's just

R.B. Well this is interesting, you've had all this and all of a sudden you're in a real club and there's this mad guy who comes in and all these people are dancing, you see people like this and they start screaming mad things, and he says look this girl's a vampire and all these people dancing, "who is this mad person?"!  And i like the reality of it all of a sudden.

N.C. That's just so whacked


R.B. "How are you"?    

N.C. He's a little exorcist like there

R.B. definitely

See this is great, I love this, this guy could be completely mad, then you start swearing and

N.C. Yeah

R.B. More obscenities

N.C. [laughter]

R.B. And I love this with the strobe and it's all so mad

N.C. Yeah, there she goes,

R.B. yeah

N.C. What's going on

R.B. She does a great..see the way she looks at everyone, again you know you start to think as a viewer are the filmmakers trying to tell me she is a vampire? is she? And they don't know, and we don't know

N.C. Right ... and I like that   

R.B. This is all very odd....the

N.C. Yeah, see that could happen, someone could just in completely..

R.B. Yeah..but do you see this guy, a bit of the old eastern europe, "getta back into the coffin"

N.C. Yeah [laughs]

R.B. This again using more obscenities, it's wonderful how you

N.C. Yeah

R.B. This was great how we got the sun, this was terrific, I think I did time it so it would be there, but it does look like it just happened doesn't it

N.C. Yeah it really does, right in his face

R.B. Again it's still kind of comical, the way you're running around there, so it's very disturbing this mixture

N.C. It's, er, the whole movie has that going on.





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Date: 4:53 PM, 07/05/11

They both sound extremely excited to be viewing and discussing the film. Cool that  they both appreciate it as much so many years later.



Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

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Date: 1:04 AM, 07/15/11

Finally! The last part of the Transcript for your reading pleasure!



Vampire's Kiss Audio Commentary Transcript Part 5


[scene with Alva and her brother in bedroom]

R.B. and then we go straight into very naturalistic, you know, reality, of lower middle class

N.C. Yes

R.B. Um, first generation South americans, it's like a whole other tone here

N.C. And did you, I mean did you have that all thought out?

R.B. Oh very much so, I really wanted this to be as different to the stuff I did with you, so that again everybody sympathizes with her and the brother, and they just want rid of you

N.C. Yeah

R.B. They want you off the picture  

N.C. [laughs] yeah, at this point..

R.B. But that's the fascination, how long can the audience last with you and they've got more to go, because you become, you start getting crazier from here on

N.C. Yeah..they want him put down at this point

R.B. It is, it's like a rabid dog doing tricks still

N.C. Yeah..the trick was also to try to find a way to take this sort of hideous man and very sadistic man and also trying to find some way of making him sympathetic

R.B. I think that's the real trick, whether we did it or not who knows, but there is a certain sympathy for him because now he's..

[scene with Peter losing it in the street kicking a wooden pallet]
N.C and R.B. [laughter]

R.B. ... again it's funny but there are people in New York doing this  

N.C. Oh yeah

R.B. I mean there were people, I watched alot of mad people, and everything you did was happening on the streets

[Peter trying to stab himself with the broken piece of wooden pallet]

N.C. Ah this, I can tell you this is..

R.B. These two are real, um, hobos, those were two real hobos on the street

N.C yeah, this really really.. [illegible]

R.B. [Interrupts] They were really, they didn't  know what was going..I shot that on a long lens they didn't know we were filming, they just

N.C. That's, genuinely mad behaviour there,

R.B.  Yah

N.C. All that weird body movement

R.B. [laughs]And of course this is all that church stuff

N.C. [laughs] Yeah

R.B. Which gives a strange little sequence which has no relevance to anything

N.C.  This was a Ukrainian church?

R.B. Yeah, again always using the eastern furorgam influence of the vampire 'theme'
But again people on the streets just have mad people coming up to them

N.C. Oh, god yeah..

[church bells ringing, Peter wailing in the street]

I mean as far out as this seems, people do this on the streets all the time,

R.B. Absolutely

N.C. Especially in that city, as you were saying, at that time.      

R.B. Yeah i don't know if this is a little capsule of time, I don't know if it's still like that in New York, I haven't worked there for a few years, whether it's like that but this was down on the Lower East Side, which was very rough, I think it's all been cleaned up, but this is, uh, again, the way it looked

[Peter wailing in the traffic dragging the wooden 'stake']

N.C. This is new now right?

R.B. What do you mean?

N.C. This wasn't in the other cut

R.B. I don't know I can't remember if it was or wasn't [laughs]

N.C. I really like that, I've not seen that before
[laughs] talk about the tortures of the damned! [laughing]

R.B. But you know there are plenty of people walking around stopping the traffic, don't know if you've ever seen it

N.C. Yeah

R.B. "Disco Death" we had to come up with a New York Post headline

N.C. [laughs] yeah...
I love the uh, the talking to the wall, which that really is..that pretty much says it all when a man ..

R.B. [interrupts] do you know it was the hardest location in the whole movie to find, the wall that you bump into because it's nothing

N.C. Yeah

R.B. To try and actually make it something I looked at 200, 300 walls before I could find the right wall, I wanted it in the right setting, 'cause it's got character this wall, it's got a little..thing on it, 'cause you're talking to a..

N.C. Yeah

R.B. A character here
N.C. But the wall..when you start talking to walls you know you're really

[Peter walks into the wall]

Oohh... [laughs] you had to put a little foam pad there

R.B. Yeah because you really hit it, big time

N.C. Yeah

R.B. But I like this surreal quality that is going on now

[scene now flicks back and forth between Peter talking to the wall and in Therapists office]

This is..this is great

N.C. You see the old look, you know..

R.B. And I said to you, "stand up on the sill behind, you know, in front of..and you didn't question or say why, you just said, "sure, that's a good idea." I couldn't get actors to do that today, they'd say, "well, what's the motivation?"

N.C. [laughing]

R.B.  "the motivation is just, it's interesting"

N.C. Yeah [laughing]
Now you really get to see the transformation between the early Peter and the later..

R.B. Well that's it, that's what's so lovely about these intercuts here. But you see this is the reason I wanted you up there was to get the depth of the city which was, I thought was like you mind

N.C. Yeah

R.B. That was kind of the depth of the mind
This intercut here works very well the way you're talking and then there's the surreal reply that you think you're getting

N.C. Yeah

R.B. It almost looks like a back projection doesn't it

N.C. It really does

R.B. It's uh extraordinarily strange, but I wanted it to be a little stranger than when you were normally in the psychiatrist's room

N.C. It's like he's almost floating

R.B. Yah, yah it is. And this is the big confession and she's just laughing at him

N.C. Yeah  [laughs]

R.B. But I think it's serious stuff, I mean that's the real serious stuff, that's the movie

N.C. Yeah

R.B. What he's saying there is the movie, what it's all about

N.C. Wanting the love, to have love..

R.B. Yeah it's just about love,

N.C.  and the lack of, the lack of love and loneliness

R.B. And you see, you know you read about these guys going nuts doing horrendous things, shooting up the..i think he's like one of those characters except the way he's taken it out is through this fantasy character

N.C. Yeah which I think, could happen

R.B.   Oh well people use, I mean let's uh be straight here, i think lot of those things that happen are fantasy characters that people have seen in movies and they've seen people doing shoot outs and they recreate it for real,

N.C. Yeah

R.B. There is a great dark side to what we do sometimes. But I think laced with the humous here it takes the edge off the darkness

N.C. [laughs] This was interesting

[psychiatrist opens door to let a female client into the room]

R.B. I love this, here she is now

N.C., this character that you cast here, where did she come from?

R.B. What do you mean come from?

N.C. Sharon, how did you find her? The actress

R.B. How did I find her? I dunno, I just saw a load of girls and i just thought she was the most kind of sweet, charming..totally the opposite to Jennifer

N.C. Right
Yeah..sort of...I'm just curious because like the fantasy idea of the girl perfect for Peter, you know?

[Peter quoting Wordsworth to her]

N.C. Yeah, I remember you wanted a little Wordsworth  but it was like the most like [laughing]

R.B. [laughs]

N.C. The most banal line from a Wordsworth poem, but appropriate because of the vampire

R.B. But also what I think is great is when you start to, uh, tell her that you murdered people and that, she goes "oh that's ok"

N.C. [laughs]

R.B. i think people found that quite offensive as well
[Peter confesses to the rape]

N.C. Yeah

R.B. But again I think it's about being able to take the humour to edge

N.C. But it is offensive and that's..we wouldn't want to make it not offensive because then it would be glamourising it, you know

R.B. Absolutely

This is the darkest part

[Peter confesses to murder]

Her reaction as well i wanted to keep her in the background

N.C. [laughing] it's really good..she's really..funny there

R.B. This is great the line..

N.C. You know it's like a dream

R.B. It is

N.C. A bad dream..

R.B. It is
And he's, look at his face, it's so kind of hurt, but, "oh well, ok well thanks for helping me"

N.C. Yeah

R.B. And the dream, the psychiatrist can just sort all this out and you just meet a love and you..

N.C. Yeah... Everything's fine

R.B. But I suppose really just in the structure of it is to build it up so that, things are gonna get so bad for him that you needed that kind of a little bit of an upbeat scene

N.C. This is scary..

[Peter wandering in the street talking out loud]

R.B. It is, you're talking to nobody

N.C. You can see someone doing that in New York, don't you think, Robert?

R.B. I think I based it on somebody I'd seen, that week, doing this, and I'd seen so many people talking to themselves in the street

N.C. Yeah
And then when he gets angry here

R.B. Yes

N.C. I've walked away when I've seen that, you know

R.B. Yeah..there are lots of guys who are shouting at mythical people aren't there

N.C. Yeah

R.B. And it all..they're shouting at the government, or somebody's done bad things to them

N.C. Yes

R.B. Again all these people walking past had no idea what was happening

N.C. I'm really glad you put this all back in

R.B. See all these people are real, we just shot this without anybody knowing you were... They take no notice of you, that's what's interesting

N.C. It is interesting

R.B. No notice whatsoever

[laughs] this is terrific, where you're actually arguing with her

N.C. Yeah..this is really kinda, for me it was kinda creepy..see you could see somebody doing that, you know

R.B. Yeah

[Peter shouting on steps of his apartment, Alva and her brother waiting in car]  
N.C. She doesn't like it

R.B. Now, what was interesting we tried to rewrite the end about a hundred times so we could come up with a..'cause they all kept saying to me, "the ending is so dark, we can't have this end" so

N.C. I remember that

R.B. You remember? And we had a thousand scenes and none of them worked did they

N.C. No, we had to go with this

[final scene, Peter Loew in his apartment]

R.B. This is.. really out there

N.C. [laughing] yeah, there we go, the 'Jagger' move

R.B. [laughing]

N.C. I don't know what that's like, very, very out there

R.B. But again, to keep it up, to keep the whole thing going, it needs all that otherwise how else would you have kept it going?

N.C. No, I mean exactly, and I love all this stuff's all..

R.B. What's that thing with the hand?

N.C. I don't know, it's like one of my moves I designed

R.B. But it's great..

N.C. I , I choreographed all that in my hotel room, I thought I was going to do this, do that, all this stuff, we rehearsed it the night before

R.B. Yeah I just said, "this is great, just do it"   

N.C. I did this thing with the plank

R.B. Well yeah

N.C. where it became like an extension of my, er, you know

R.B.  your penis

N.C. Yeah

R.B. Which, which works

N.C. Yeah, because, because that's what it was really, wasn't it

R.B. But also everybody's gotta hate you for what this

[Alva's brother breaking in to Peter's apartment]

He does this pretty convincing this guy doesn't he

N.C. Yeah, he does, and I remember thinking to myself that, that I ...

[both laughing]

R.B. When he comes in "leave me the f*** alone"

N.C. Yeah [laughing]

You know I remember thinking we go with the vomiting

R.B. Yes

N.C. This is so extreme

R.B. This vomit is not vomit which is great [laughs]

N.C. Yeah

R.B. It's ectoplasm that's never there

N.C. Yeah
I remember when I decided, you know, I've got to die, how do you die, you know, it's one of the biggest moments for any film actor  to make a decision, I knew I did just not want to die.. quietly, I was sick of quiet little deaths, natural quiet little deaths are such bullshit, so I thought to myself well yeah, you scream! [laughs] If know and he obviously wants to die  

R.B. But people shriek when they see this, it looks so real ..and..I think it was you.. and the blood is quite good..but your your screaming makes everyone really think it's, i mean it's a bit of acting, it's a terrible piece of cheap effects we did

N.C yeah, but it worked

R.B. But your acting is so good that people really do think you're getting killed there

N.C. Well it..Because of the loud screaming you know and

R.B. Yeah, it's a beautiful mixture of the two things

N.C. And I love the hands here, it's sort of... I don't know it was sort of accidental but it does seem like his spirit with the cameras leaving the room now

R.B. Yeah

N.C. maybe he's finally free

R.B. I think actually we did it many times  and I said to you do different hand movements, 'cause I said it will give it..there's nothing worse than a dead body that's still

N.C. Right

R.B. It's got, there's no emotion there

N.C. And and with the camera rising and the hands opening it comes across that it's like a release

R.B. Yeah

N.C. But with Jennifer coming back at the end, I'm not so sure he's been freed or released, you know it's kinda scary.

R.B. Yeah I don't know quite why I put this in, I just sort of thought it gave it another edge, I don't know whether it does or not, what do you think?

N.C. Personally I think that once he dies and the hands open that I think that was it, you know that he was free from everything

R.B. I think you could be right     

N.C. Anyway, well that was alot of fun, I'm glad we had a chance to talk about this after like, what, eleven years?

R.B. Yeah, and you know what's strange is I don't know how all the other movies and things I've shot inbetween, I don't remember them as well as this

N.C. Yeah

R.B. I can remember every day of shooting this and I remember my agent coming to see me while we were shooting, we were on the streets of New York and he was a very very hardened agent and he'd seen alot and he walked up to me and he said, "I don't know how you are doing this, this is the most chaotic thing I've ever seen in my life, how do you get anything shot?" and I said, "well what are you talking about? It's going really well", he said, "this shoot is a nightmare"

N.C. I remember I was under so much pressure to try to get it right, to make it a good performance, and I wasn't, and I wasn't much of a drinker but I remember one night I had a martini and I just, it was a gimlet, and everything just relaxed and I felt just so much better, because I was so wound up to try to deliver you know, I don't know it was ..I think I cared more about this performance than any other performance in my career, to get it right, and that's just where my heads was at the time      

R.B. Well it's there and it's there forever

N.C. Yeah

R.B seeing it again I love it and I don't think and I don't think I could ever do that again

N.C. Mmm

R.B. With anybody

N.C. I don't think I could either [laughs] I think, I think we're too old for that now [laughs]

R.B. Yeah, definitely    

N.C. Took alot of energy out of both of us.
Well anyway uh, Well, I'll just sign off, I'm Nic Cage and thanks for watching and hearing us

R.B. Robert Bierman and thanks again and thanks Nic for getting together with me, it's been, as I said we hadn't met for, or talked about this film since we made it, so it's been great

N.C well we'll talk more at dinner tonight

R.B. Yeah







Status: Offline
Posts: 6722
Date: 1:19 AM, 07/15/11

Thank you, Lula, I am looking forward to reading this before I go to bed!! chickendance




Status: Offline
Posts: 6722
Date: 3:27 AM, 07/15/11

Well, that was really great, I just wish R.B. didn't interrupt Nic so often, seems like he often stopped Nic from continuing a thought he was working on. I really need to borrow this again, there's a lot of things I have forgotten, it seems. When I get this movie to own I definitely want it to have the commentary. Thanks, Lula, awesome stuff there.



Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

Status: Offline
Posts: 8403
Date: 1:14 PM, 07/15/11

You are so welcome Lady trueheaert, my pleasure! A very enjoyable way to wile away the hours!

I do agree about Robert Bierman actually, I found myself becoming quite irritated, it seemed to be something other than enthusoasm that kept him interrupting, he was very focussed on what he wanted to get across and just as Nic was getting into his stride on a subject it seemed to be steered off in another direction. But, it has to be very difficult and high pressure to get a recording down, so I should imagine he felt a responsibility to get some thngs he wanted to get across, across adn to me it seemed asif Nic was very conscious of that!

Nic did a stellar job though at remaining pateint and not affeced by the interruptions he was incredibly gracious an unassuming throughout, i admire him greaatly i think i would have flared up after the nth interruption! Lol, perhaps he was using hand signals and facial expressions which we couldn't see!

I just felt though that Nic's appreciation of the film they made together kind of oozed without words, he was rightly, taken by the expressionistic nature of his performane. My feeling of just how  incredible this is just increases over time, and this film is now pretty old in years, but still pioneering, and completely unique, in my view.

Obviously always noticed his physicality in this movie, indeed it is the unique aspect of the movie his homage to expressionism. But, on listening to this commentary again alongside the movie i'm completely awestruck by Nic's, as he calls it, 'choreography'. That takes massive talent..i mean to be able to access, and convey that, at such a young age, at any age, is sublime.  

there seemed to be a need on RB's part to emphasize that there were, to use Robert Bierman's word, 'mad' people on the streets of New York. As if the realism is important to them. I think the realism comes across potently anyway, alongside the surrealism, which is a very clever mix, just as the tragic, dark / humour mix is.  

I loved hearing about the city being a character in the movie and how he used it relation to Peter's increasing decline or ascent into his psychosis. there is some stunning cinematography in the film, the commentary made me apprectiate this more.

But what i am left with most of all is the same feeling i was left with after i watched the film the first time, and every subsequent time ( it is probably out of all Nic films still the one that leaves me with a powerful feeling the longest after the movie ) and that is how utterly tragic this man's fate is because of his acute sense of lack of love and yearning for it. within all the darkness and humour is this real heartbreaking foundation under it all. Nic mentions this in the audio commentary and for me that was the most powerful and insightful part of this dialogue.





Status: Offline
Posts: 28
Date: 6:48 AM, 06/22/13

Thanks I only have the region 2 version that has no commentary will get the R1 version soon but for now your transcript was great, really wish Nic did more commentary tracks, I guess he is just too busy making movies


NIColicious Enchantress

Status: Offline
Posts: 5669
Date: 1:06 AM, 06/23/13

He made only 2 or 3 audio commentaries, if I recall! And, on the Windtalkers-dvd, where he made the audio commentary with his co star Christian Slater, he said, that he doesn`t do such commentaries very often, as he want the audience experience the movie in their own way and build their own opinions about the story!


"When you think about magic, it is imagination plus willpower focused in such a way that you can create a conscious effect in the material world..."

Nicolas Cage


Status: Offline
Posts: 28
Date: 1:42 AM, 06/23/13

Thanks, I just love commentaries, I suppose director comms are better in that respect as Im just interested in how movies are made and why they went a certain way. When Kurt Russell and John Carpenter do commentaries together they are a total blast

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