‘Legion’ Director’s Tips On Decoding the Show’s Complicated Scripts

If you’re a fan of Legion, it won’t have escaped your notice that it’s a complicated show. If you find yourself frequently lost, be assured that you’re not alone. Its confusing nature isn’t lost on series director Tim Mielants, who benefits from the intervention of series creator Noah Hawley and the show’s co-writers to shed light on what’s going on in the scripts. FANDOM asked Mielants to help viewers decode the complex shenanigans of the entirely unique superhero series. Here are his top five pointers.

1. Know That It’s Character Driven

Mielants says to always watch with the characters front and centre in your mind, rather than the events and story per se.

“The character is always at the centre of it. What are they feeling, what’s the relationship, what’s the central feeling of it all?” he says.

“I know where the show is going,” he adds. “I know what’s going to happen with [main characters] David and Syd and I know these two characters are at the centre of it. You’ll always feel emotionally engaged with these characters [as the show progresses], and I think that’s going to be important; I know that’s what the story is about. About them, and about Syd, and about identity. About all these different things that really connect with an audience.”

2. Think of It As Poetry


Legion-david-syd-1
Rachel Keller as Syd and Dan Stevens as David.

It doesn’t always have to make sense.

“I like to see Legion as an experience where you don’t necessarily have to understand everything,” says Mielants. “It’s like something hypnotic. So, approaching everything from a rational point of view isn’t necessarily the experience [we’re going for]. When I did the first season, I was watching a lot of [Russian filmmaker] Tarkovsky and, strangely enough, I see a lot of similarities. It’s more ‘let the poetry come to you, and just let the images and everything come to you’ rather than attempting to understand everything. Because you might end up very frustrated.”

3. The Showrunner Hires Directors Who Bring Personality

Look at other work by the episode directors to help you understand what you’re watching. And be aware that each individual episode may have its own independent feel.

“Noah pushes you to put your own personality into it and give your own point of view,” says Mielants. “Because he likes to have a subjective point of view from the director in approaching the material. [Reading the script for the first time], I always start crying for a while because it’s so difficult. Am I going to pull it off? But if you just work on it step by step and you keep on collecting ideas, and try differing things out and go back into film history, you always come up with a solution — and that’s always very rewarding.”

4. Put the Marvel Comics Aside and Watch Buñuel Films


You may find more to help you unpack Legion in the films of Luis Buñuel than in comic books.

You may well find yourself more in tune with what’s going on if you look to surrealism.

Mielants says, “From a personal point of view, I’m a director who loves surreal cinema. I’m a big Buñuel fan and I’m a guy who really loves European surrealism, and [artist] René Magritte and [director] André Delvaux. When Noah asked me to do the show, I told him I have no Marvel experience; I know nothing about comic worlds. He said, ‘I just like the crossover from surrealism to the American world and that’s all very interesting, this exploration’.

“The first thing I do is I go into movie history and I steal the hell out of it. Really steal, literally. And then you combine your own ideas and you come to a result, for better or worse. But that’s the way I have approached every episode of Legion so far.”

5. Gen Up on the Works of David Lynch


Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With Me
The work of David Lynch holds the key to getting to grips with Legion.

Mielants says there’s a definite Lynchian influence apparent in Legion. “I’m a kid from the 80s so you can’t be indifferent from watching [David Lynch’s work]. It sticks with you forever. So it’s there always, whatever I do. And I know it’s the same for Noah. He loves David Lynch.”

So there you go. The next episode of Legion should be a cinch to decode. Cheers, Tim.

The post ‘Legion’ Director’s Tips On Decoding the Show’s Complicated Scripts appeared first on FANDOM.

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Is The Blacklist Pitting Liz Against Red? Megan Boone Teases “Complicated” Dynamic Ahead

The BlacklistIs it family feud time on The Blacklist? In E! News’ exclusive sneak peek of the Wednesday, April 4 episode of The Blacklist, Liz (Megan Boone) confronts her dear old dad, Red (James Spader)…

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Americans Have Really Complicated Feelings About the Oscars This Year, According to a New Survey

When the 90th annual Academy Awards air on Sunday, March 4, audiences will find out what the nearly 7,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences think about 2017 in film. But what do average Americans make of last year at the movies?

To find out, TIME ran a survey in partnership with SurveyMonkey. We asked respondents how they felt about many aspects of the Oscars and awards season in general, including the ways in which real-world issues and offscreen behavior should or should not influence which actors and films take home awards.

As it turns out, 65% of Americans watch two or fewer Best Picture nominees each year. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have strong opinions. See their responses below, and scroll down for an explanation of SurveyMonkey’s methodology and a complete breakdown of the results.

Americans are divided on Hollywood’s treatment of social issues

Over the past several months, Hollywood has been rocked by allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, and insiders have taken action with the formation of groups like Time’s Up. More than a third of Americans believe Hollywood decision-makers haven’t taken appropriate action in responding to allegations, while half say it’s still too soon to tell. More than four out of ten Americans think the industry has paid too much attention to social movements like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite, while 31% would argue that too little attention has been paid.

Seventy percent of Americans don’t think the presence of a social or political message makes a film any more deserving of an award. But more of those who do think such a statement increases awards-worthiness are female (21% versus 15% of males) and nonwhite (26% versus 14% of white respondents).

Less than half of Americans believe awards shows have gotten more inclusive

Ever since the #OscarsSoWhite campaign took off in 2015 and 2016, in response to the lack of people of color among acting nominees, there has been increased scrutiny whenever nominations are announced and awards are won. Americans have mixed feelings about how much progress has been made on the diversity front, with 44% believing awards shows have become more inclusive over the past five years, 42% believing it’s remained about the same and 13% responding that awards have gotten less inclusive. Twice as many respondents who identified as nonwhite (18%) think it’s gotten less diverse, compared to white respondents (9%).

Americans are split on whether an actor’s behavior offscreen should impact awards’ prospects

Survey respondents were torn when it comes to the influence personal behavior should have on professional honors. Just over half (53%) believe behavior should be either “a great deal” or “somewhat” a part of awards criteria.

The survey also asked Americans to weigh in specifically on allegations of misconduct against The Disaster Artist director and star James Franco, who was accused of sexual misconduct days before voting closed for nominations (Franco, who denied the allegations, was not ultimately nominated), and The Darkest Hour actor Gary Oldman, whose ex-wife accused him of assault in 2001 and who has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments. The responses were split, with 47% saying the allegations should affect their chances of winning or being nominated and 51% saying they should not. When asked who should win Best Actor, Oldman won with 32% of responses.

The people have spoken, and they want Get Out to go all the way

When asked which of the nine Best Picture nominees should take home the golden statue, 18% chose Jordan Peele’s social thriller Get Out. This pick was slightly more popular with women (19%), adults between 18 and 29 (28%) and non-white Oscar watchers (29%). The Shape of Water came in a close second, with 16%, followed by Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, with 15%. Oldman and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards) were the top picks for Lead Actor and Actress, but young adults favored Get Out‘s Daniel Kaluuya and The Shape of Water star Sally Hawkins.

Methodology: This SurveyMonkey Audience survey was conducted February 13‐17, 2018 among a national sample of 1,875 adults, including 745 people likely to watch the Academy Awards this year. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. The full breakdown by demographics is available here.


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The Surprisingly Complicated Meaning of Chicago West’s Name

When Kanye and Kim Kardashian West announced on Friday that the name of their new baby girl is Chicago West, the meaning of the name likely seemed clear to fans: Chicago is Kanye West’s hometown.

West frequently mentions the city of Chicago in his music, and his song “Homecoming” is about the city. Chicago West was born on Monday via surrogate. But it turns out that the actual meaning of “Chicago” — beyond being the name of the Windy City — has an interesting history, giving Rumi Carter some company in the celebrity-baby-name trivia space.

The origin story behind the word that would become Chicago West’s first name was debated by historians for some time and involved Native American dialects, odd smells and botany.

Some of the story is fairly clear. Most of the competing theories that have floated around over time have a similar background, detailing that the word “Chicago” — like many American place names — comes from a similarly pronounced or spelled name in a Native American language. The word first lent itself to the Chicago River, with the city officially incorporated in 1837.

One 1890 reference book lists a number of possible derivations for the word, including the Pottowattamie words “Shecaugo” and “Choccago,” meaning “playful waters” and “destitute” respectively, as well as the words “Chicag,” “Chicagowunz” and “Chicago,” all relating to leeks or onions. Also mentioned is the Indian Chief Chikagou. A fort called “Chicagou” is also cited as being listed in French missionary Louis Hennepin’s accounts of the area as well. Another reference book from around the turn of the 20th century adds to those theories that the origin word could refer to a skunk or skunk weed, which is a plant known for its odor, or the Pottowattamie word for “destitute.” The text also brings up the Chicago River and garlic once more, citing that an account from 1695 refers to “the River of Garlic.”

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And that garlic theory is the prevailing one today.

The precise plant to which the word refers was Allium tricoccum, also known commonly as ramp, argues John F. Swenson in a 1991 article on the etymology of “Chicago” for the Illinois Historical Journal. As Swenson explains, the earliest historical documentation of European exploration of the area comes from a 17th century French expedition, the records of which contain detailed descriptions of the plant in question, known as chicagoua in a language of the Illinois people. Those French records also include references to the word being used to the describe the place where it grew, not just the plant itself. In later years, the meaning would be confused with other plants of the Allium genus, and it is likely that linguistic confusion over descriptions of the plant’s odor led to the common misconception that “Chicago” translates to “bad smell.”

It was later, once the Illinois people were no longer present, Swenson notes, that the non-botanical suggestions for the meaning of “Chicago” began to pop up — including the theory, spread purely for promotional purposes, that “Chicago” means “great.” But, the author adds jokingly, people who love good food should appreciate the name “Chicago” for its original meaning.

However, Chicago West likely won’t have to worry about just where the name comes from. Her family has made it known that they will call her Chi for short.


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Gun violence: More complicated than a ‘mental health problem’

President Donald Trump called the Texas church shooting a “mental health problem,” but many mental health researchers say fixing the mental health system is not a silver bullet for ending gun violence.


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A look at Puerto Rico’s complicated water crisis

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Nashville mayor’s son died from drug overdose, complicated by obesity

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“Aquaman” has been super complicated to shoot because of, you guessed it, water

“Aquaman” has been super complicated to shoot because of, you guessed it, water


“Aquaman” has been super complicated to shoot because of, you guessed it, water

Filming for upcoming DC film Aquaman is well underway, but it seems there’s one major challenge to making a film set in the ocean. You guessed it: water.

Before our internet boyfriend Jason Momoa protects Atlantis from whatever is going to cause strife in the standalone film, he’ll become a fish (of sorts) out of water in Justice League, alongside Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, and Ezra Miller. That’ll hit theaters on November 17th, with Aquaman swimming onto screens on December 21st, 2018.

Now, we’re really excited to see Atlantis in all its glory in Aquaman, but according to director James Wan, it isn’t easy making a movie where everyone’s underwater a lot of the time.

“It’s a very technically challenging shoot to be on,” Wan told The Hollywood Reporter. “Working with water, and even the dry-for-wet sequences are very complex…Our equivalent of two people sitting around chatting in the underwater world is super complicated. You have to think about CG with the hair, and how their clothing moves, how are they floating, what kind of rig we put them on and all that stuff.”

You may be wondering how water could be an issue for a film set in and around water.

This *is* Aquaman, after all. Wan stressed to THR he’s been avoiding CGI for as much of the film as possible, using the actors in as much of the underwater scenes as he can. So, it’s been purposefully more difficult, but it will hopefully be for the better in the long run.

“That just makes it very difficult and time-sucking and time-challenging to do all of this,” Wan added. “So it’s not an easy shoot — but hopefully it will pay off in spades down the line.”

This sounds really badass, and we can’t wait to see Momoa, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, and Willem Dafoe in action when Aquaman hits theaters in 2018.



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