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Joe Wright’s Five Films Behind Hanna

Posted April 11, 2011 to photo album "Joe Wright’s Five Films Behind Hanna"

Director Joe Wright recounts five very different films that helped him in creating Hanna.

Five Films Behind Hanna
Being There
Teorema
Pickpocket
Blue Velvet
Oldboy
Being There

Being There

Hal Ashby’s film Being There was a big influence on Hanna in terms of the character, Chauncey Gardiner, played by Peter Sellers. It’s a film about a holy fool, this character––a middle-aged man who we meet in a house.  We don’t know what he has being doing for his entire life other than tending the garden of this house. He seems to have never left the house before and has an almost child’s like view of the world. He seems to have an arrested development. When the owner of the house dies, he has to go out into the world and experience it for the first time. Because of the simplicity in how he views the world, people project themselves on to him and imagine that he is this very wise sage, when in fact he is just talking about gardening. He has a meeting with the president and the president is talking about the economic down turn, and Chauncey Gardiner starts talking about “in winter, things die, and in the spring, things grow again.” And so that Holy Fool type of character that allows others around him to project themselves on to him and to learn something about themselves was an influence on the character of Hanna, who I saw as a kind of Holy Fool character.