Performance – Movie: Cryptic, interview with the director and producer John Weiner
April 13, 2012
The producer, writer and director of the movie Cryptic came by CSUSM today to discuss his motivation in making the movie Cryptic, as well as discuss his future plans and what he has been up to lately. We started the interview by discussing Mr. Weiner’s motivation for making the movie. Mr. Weiner, was impressed by the sense of community and mystery found in the famous Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). He discussed why the sense of time was so appealing to him and how he also loved the idea of manipulating time, also found in the movie Time After Time(). He let us know that the movie was originally intended to be a stronger religious movie, and that Frank Capra had been worried that without the religion, it would appeal to atheists (which Mr. Weiner is), but went ahead anyway. Mr. Weiner took several scenes from Capra’s movie as inspiration for his movie Cryptic(2009), to include the time shift found in George saving his brother in the ice and the subsequent effect that had on the whole town.
The movie itself, was fragmented so the cuts that we were shown just added to the fragmentation and feeling of disorientation. Since we didn’t get to see the entire film in context, it is hard to review the film itself, but the passions behind Mr. Weiner’s ideas were certainly exciting.
I came away from this event thinking of what a contradiction Mr. Weiner seems to be. He had discussed the feeling of belonging and community that drew him to It’s a Wonderful Life, however, he also discussed how as an atheist, the religious aspects didn’t affect him negatively, they seemed to inspire him. He also discussed how he had spent the last year promoting one of Anne Rice’s novels based on an angel’s quest, and trying to pitch it to the studios as a series. I guess it’s just me, but I don’t think as a Christian I would be promoting any anti-God anything, but then again, that’s just me. I did appreciate how much passion he had for creating a movie based on the tweaking of time, as I also loved both movies that inspired him, and would be very interested in seeing what his next adventure holds. I like how he took something that he enjoyed and made it his own, which makes me think twice about the seed of creativity that I feel when I see something interesting. I always want to branch off in a completely different way, but as I am learning through this class and through Mr. Weiner’s work, replication is the greatest form of flattery. I learned how difficult it is to co-write something when both writers have completely different visions. I did enjoy the presentation and would have loved to actually screen the entire movie so I would understand Mr. Weiner better.