Lucy Walker: Instructively engaging – Entertainment News, Women’s Impact Report 2010, Media – Variety
Radiation Level: Countdown to Zero
Listening To: Belamar Hotel Muzak
If you don’t know the documentaries of Lucy Walker, set your TiVo, get on Netflix or into a theater! I was able to catch The Devil’s Playground (aboutAmish teens when they go on Rumspringa) on National Geographic Channel the other night. The film was nothing short of breathtaking. I Netflixed Blind Sight (about taking several blind children up Mount Everest – yes, they were BLIND!) I was shouting at the TV screen as the experience of watching the movie was gut-wrenching. Her last two films, Countdown to Zero (about nuclear proliferation – FalloutGirl hearts this!) and Waste Land (about making art at a Brazilian garbage dump) BOTH premiered at Sundance this year to wild acclaim.
There’s a rumor Lucy Walker may be making her first narrative film in the near future. Seems she likes the 19th century as much as FalloutGirl…I’ll update you as the rumors progress.
In the meantime, here’s a little something about Lucy from Variety.
While one of the uphill struggles that documentaries face is the perception that they can often be a bitter pill to swallow, one of director Lucy Walker’s strengths is her ability to create nonfiction fare that connects with audiences.
One of her two most recent features, “Waste Land,” which, along with “Countdown to Zero,” premiered in Sundance in January, has the distinction of winning the audience award at Sundance and Berlin, putting Walker in the unique position of earning two audience award wins at Berlin (she won previously in 2007 for doc “Blindsight”). To date, the character-driven, uplifting tale of “Waste Land” has garnered more than 16 festival award.
An Oxford grad and Fulbright scholar at NYU Film school, Walker takes her time in selecting projects. She believes that films like “Waste Land,” about artist Vik Muniz’s novel project with landfill pickers in Brazil, and “Countdown,” chronicling the ongoing threat of nuclear weapons, have the potential to influence world leaders’ opinions.
“I’m always trying to optimize, optimize, optimize,” says Walker, who has delved minutely into every aspect of physical filmmaking from how mics and tripods function to understanding optics. She feels she can communicate effectively and expeditiously as a director because she’s mastered most aspects of the craft. For example, she recorded much of the sound on “Countdown,” going so far as to mic Tony Blair for an interview.
On documentaries, says Walker, “you better know what all the jobs are, because you may end up doing them.”