‘Published interviews with filmmakers are increasingly becoming a thing of the past,’ writes Jason Wood in the introduction to Last Words. You could have fooled me. I suspect that Wood’s statement would come as a surprise to others as well, especially readers of the invaluable Keyframe Daily column on the Fandor website, a digest of international film news that links to dozens of such interviews each month. Truth be told, there has probably never been an era more obsessed with interrogating creators in every field about their aims and methods: consider, for instance, the unstoppable rise of the high-profile television showrunner, who seemed a rare and exotic creature a decade ago.
It soon becomes clear that Wood’s real complaint is more specific, indeed parochial: the difficulty of getting interviews with ‘specialised’ film-makers into the mainstream British press. This is not an issue that need concern us deeply here in Australia, though it is easy to see why it might be a source of frustration for Wood, a self-described ‘occasional journalist’ who worked until recently as a programmer for Curzon Cinemas, one of the main arthouse chains in the United Kingdom.