5 Filmmakers That Revealed Personal Secrets In Their Movies
Artwork is not created in a vacuum. Artists can't help but let their own personal issues inform their work. For example, take the theory that Van Gogh's artistic genius was influenced by his own colorblindness or how a giant spider murdered Jon Peters' mother, so now he jams one in every film he works on, whether it makes sense or not. And we have other examples, too -- shockingly, in list form!
Joss Whedon Loves Torturing Strong Women
Joss Whedon is responsible for Firefly, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and The Avengers movies. He basically invented the modern nerd. Plus, nobody does strong female characters like him. Oh, and also nobody tortures the holy shit out of those strong female characters like him.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, it's revealed that part of Black Widow's warrior training involved her being forcibly sterilized. In Firefly, the relentlessly ass-kicking River Tam is given her super kung fu powers via a long process of torture, experimentation, and brain surgery.
It's Morpheus by way of Mengele.
And we've already mentioned a planned episode in which the show's other female lead, Inara, was to be gang-raped by a mob of space cannibals that she defeats by poisoning her vagina, an episode that was thankfully left on the cutting room floor, swept into the cutting room trashcan, and then thrown into the cutting room furnace.
The ill-fated series Dollhouse was about a bunch of women who give up their agency, have their memories wiped, and are sent on a bunch of sexually-charged adventures. Luckily, Buffy seems to have been granted superpowers without any horrible trauma involved, but Anya Jenkins got her powers after an abusive relationship with her Viking husband. And the two most prominent female villains, Darla and Drusilla, were both turned into vampires through violent vampire abuse.
Basically, the only way a woman gets to be a badass in the Whedon-verse is by first enduring some intense torture-porn. We're not saying that makes him sexist or anything, we're just saying we don't want to see what's in his basement.
M. Night Shyamalan Uses His Cameos To Feed His Ego
M. Night Shyamalan is famous for three things: his twist endings, the inexplicably diminishing critical acclaim of his work, and his cameo appearances. Filmmaker cameos are usually walk-in Easter egg roles, something for supernerds to pick up on during their 12th viewing. They don't usually cast themselves as major, pivotal characters, unless they're M. Night Shyamalan.
In Signs, he plays the neighbor of Mel Gibson's character, the guy who reveals to Gibson and the audience the fact that the aliens can be defeated with water.
Then in The Village, he cast himself as the park ranger who keeps the titular village secret from the outside world.
Lady In The Water is the story of a fairy creature that comes to Earth to seek out the greatest writer in history before the forces of evil can assassinate him. Guess whom Shyamalan cast as that writer? And in case that wasn't explicit enough, the movie also features a film critic who suffers a violent death in a way that doesn't at all suggest Shyamalan is projecting his frustrations.
We're not making a diagnosis here, but we're just going to point out that the diagnostic criteria for clinical narcissism include a grandiose sense of self-importance, fantasies of unlimited success, a belief in oneself being extremely unique, and an unhealthy fascination with twist endings.
We may have made up that last one.
Aaron Sorkin May Have Intense Insomnia And Daddy Issues
Aaron Sorkin is the creator of critically acclaimed and politically charged television shows such as The West Wing, The Newsroom, and Sports Night. We'll start with The Newsroom. In the first season, main character Will McAvoy consults a therapist to help him with a chronic case of insomnia.
Through the course of his therapy, it is revealed that Will has unresolved issues from his childhood due to his abusive father.
Compare that with season 3 of The West Wing, in which President Bartlet consults a therapist to help him with a chronic case of insomnia. Through the course of his therapy, it is revealed that Bartlet has unresolved issues from his childhood due to ... you guessed it.
Of course, critics who noticed this just assumed Sorkin was recycling plotlines, but things get weird if you look back to Sorkin's first foray into television, Sports Night. In the second season, main character Dan Rydell starts seeing a therapist for his unresolved childhood issues. And then there's an episode in which his father comes to town. Hey, guess what? If you had to apply an adjective to their relationship, "troubled" would not be out of place.
Our lawyers want to make sure we clarify that we're not saying Aaron Sorkin's dad abused him and that he has insomnia because of it, and his entire television career is really just a cry for help -- but, fuck those lawyers, because we're pretty sure we just said that anyway.
Wes Anderson Wants To Bone Older Ladies
You're not allowed to check the "Caucasian/White" box on a survey unless you've seen a Wes Anderson movie. The quirky modernist director has a set of recurring tropes that manifest in most of his movies, such as an obsession with perfect symmetry, tan-colored suits, gaudy color schemes, and characters wanting to bone old women.
Well, not explicitly -- not until he directs his first porno, The Royal Tenenbones. Take Rushmore, one of his early movies, starring Jason Schwartzman, an actor who incidentally could win a Wes Anderson look-alike contest. Schwartzman plays Max, a 15-year-old student who develops an unhealthy attraction to one of his much older teachers -- to the point where he starts stalking her.
"Which is why I'm creating a MILF porn empire after graduation."
Later, in The Darjeeling Limited, Anderson tells the story of three brothers played by Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, and Adrien Brody, who incidentally would win second place in the Wes Anderson look-alike contest, traveling through India on a spiritual journey to meet their mother. She turns out to be a celibate nun, and their reunion is one of the most awkward 30 seconds of film history as they tensely stare at each other in a dimly lit but perfectly symmetrical bedroom.
If the thought of your mother turning out the light and then saying "perhaps we could express ourselves more freely if we don't use words" makes you uncomfortable, then you're not Wes Anderson. Then, there's The Grand Budapest Hotel, the plot of which revolves around Ralph Fiennes having sex with a bunch of old ladies. No, really, that's pretty much the central theme. Because we're very, very close to the porno stage of his career.
David Lynch Seems To Have Problems Distinguishing Dreams From Reality
The most "mainstream" of David Lynch's movies is his Dune adaptation, the main character of which takes a bunch of drugs and rides a giant space worm before battling with Sting. We reiterate: That is his least weird movie. That's because most of Lynch's films involve reality blurring with dreams until the characters can't tell the difference anymore. His first film, Eraserhead, is explicitly presented as a nightmare on camera, featuring a guy who spends his days babysitting his girlfriend's deformed worm-baby while being serenaded by a tiny woman living in his radiator, all while dreaming of a world in which the decapitated heads of men are turned into erasers at a local pencil factory. Mulholland Drive is also packed full of characters who aren't sure if they're dreaming or not.
Feeling as though you're constantly living in some kind of dream world is a real mental disorder known to science as "depersonalization disorder" -- victims struggle constantly with confusion about the nature of reality, just like in Lost Highway, a crime thriller about a man who spends most of the movie dreaming that he's somebody else. Or, maybe not! It's ... it's really hard to explain ...
When Lynch was approached by ABC to create a television series, he came up with Twin Peaks, a show about a detective who winds up ... being unable to distinguish his dreams from real life. You see the pattern.
David, if you're reading this, we would just like to say: This is reality. This is happening. The backward-speaking dwarf in your home is real, and you need to call the police.
Alena Ivanov lives in Chicago and writes things sometimes. Here is her blog. Tara Marie doesn't work out her issues through her writing but, instead, howls into the moonlight. Join her.
Psst ... want to give us feedback on the super-secret beta launch of the upcoming Cracked spin-off site, Braindrop? Well, simply follow us behind this curtain. Or, you know, click here: Braindrop.
This wouldn't be the first time directors revealed a lot about themselves in their movies. Just check out 6 Personal Secrets Filmmakers Hid In Their Most Famous Film. Or, check out 4 Bad Filmmakers Who Accidentally Made Smart Movies.
Also, follow us on Facebook, and let's all remember Joss Whedon for the better things he's given us.