“I see cinema as celluloid poetry,” says screenwriter Luke Davies in a video revealing the graft behind the polished script. “Your operating system is made up of the most elemental units of communication: words. Ultimately that’s what interests me, the power of the words as individual units.”
Davies started out as a poet, but had been obsessed with cinema since watching Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, The Wrath of God at the age of 16. He wrote the screenplay for Life (directed by Anton Corbijn), and his latest script, for the film Lion, garnered him an Oscar nomination.
He describes his process, revealing the workings behind the scenes on a new six-part TV adaptation of Joseph Heller’s novel Catch 22. Despite a shift in output, he doesn’t believe he has changed career. “As a screenwriter I still strive to be a poet,” he says. “The one thing doesn’t have to replace the other.”
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