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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Knowing’ director takes fresh look at disasters

    From “”Dark City”” to “”I Robot”” Alex Proyas is an acclaimed director of many science-fiction films. He is now excitedly awaiting the release of his new film “”Knowing”” on March 20.

    “”Knowing”” tells the story of Caleb Koestler (Chandler Canterbury), a boy who finds a mysterious paper with a list of numbers scribbled on it when his class opens a 50-year-old time capsule. Caleb takes the paper to his father, John (Nicolas Cage), who decodes the message and finds that the numbers accurately predict the dates, death tolls, and coordinates of every major disaster since the capsule was sealed.

    “”There is a lot of mayhem and disaster,”” said Proyas. “”I wanted to avoid glamorizing these events. I wanted to make them as visceral, real and unsettling as possible.””

    To achieve these effects, Proyas took a fresh approach when filming “”Knowing””. He explained that instead of mapping out the scenes, he just “”winged it”” on the set.

    “”I wanted to create a reality for the actors so they didn’t have to act, instead they just had to react to what happened,”” said Proyas. “”It created a lot of nervousness amongst the crew, and was unsettling for myself, but it pushed me in a new direction and created a different style from what I usually do.””

    On top of Proyas’ new technique, he also played with different technology.

    “”This was the first time I digitally photographed a film,”” said Proyas. “”It was a big learning curve for me and my crew. It was wonderfully exciting and we are pleased with the results.””

    Those who think that “”Knowing”” is just a disaster film will be surprised to find that the film has deep spiritual and emotional roots.

    “”There is a spiritual quest on the part of Nicolas Cage,”” said Proyas. “”He starts off believing that the universe is a meaningless place, full of randomness and chaos, and he comes to realize that there is meaning for him on Earth.””

    Proyas believed that no better actor could have been cast for the character of John.

    “”Nic is an incredibly versatile actor, and that’s why I am a fan of his work. He really embraces the character and runs with it,”” said Proyas.

    While having chemistry between the actor and the character is extremely important, there is yet another essential element needed to achieve the perfect film. According to Proyas a director’s leading actor must understand what he is trying to achieve.

    “”When Cage first read the script he embraced the story and made it his own. He felt that it spoke to him as an individual, just as I felt,”” said Proyas. “”We were compelled to tell the story together, and I think that shows in the movie.””

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