‘Bird Box’ Director Susanne Bier Calls Apocalyptic Movies Fairy Tales For Adults [Interview]

/Film | 12/20/2018 | Fred Topel
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Most post-apocalyptic movies delight in showing off their wastelands, whether it’s Mad Max’s desert car parks or I Am Legend’s overgrown New York City. In Bird Box, the survivors can’t even take in the emptiness. There is something outside that, if they see, it will make them kill themselves. The movie never shows us what it is, but director Susanne Bier shot a scene where Marjorie (Sandra Bullock) imagines the creature in a nightmare. They ultimately deleted the sequence. So the survivors of Bird Box cover all the windows, and if they do have to leave the house, they wear blindfolds.

Bier spoke with /Film about making Bird Box, that big scene she removed from the film, and how post-apocalyptic stories are like fairy tales for adults. Bird Box is in theaters now and hits Netflix on Friday, December 21.

Aesthetic - Movie - Characters

How do you design a visual aesthetic for a movie where the characters literally can’t look?

It’s tricky and it’s kind of interesting. It’s part of what is interesting. You do want to suggest to the audience what it is they don’t see. So you do that and then at the same time, you want to have the joy as the audience of seeing the world they can’t see. I think the red line for me was do not lose emotional touch with the character. Stay with Malorie. Stay with how she feels and then allow yourself to, yes, at times maybe you see what you can’t see through the blindfold. We made lots of experiments and we ended up with something where it’s there but it’s very suggestive.

Experiments

What were some of those experiments that ended up revealing too much?

They were pretty intimate. Can we see her eye behind the blindfold? It wasn’t just what does she not see. It was also...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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