In die tagtigerjare is sy rolprente A Place of Weeping en The Stick verban weens hulle kritiese aard die Apartheidsregering en diensplig. In 2005 is sy rolprent Yesterday benoem vir ’n Oscar in die beste buitelandse rolprent kategorie. En in 2013 het hy weer die top 15 van dié kategorie gehaal, met sy kunsfliek Little One. Maar tussendeur het DARREL JAMES ROODT verskeie ander rolprente gemaak, meestal in Afrikaans, wat deur kritici as substandaard beskou is. Tog is hy eintlik die enigste Suid-Afrikaanse regisseur wat dit kan regkry om sy brood en botter te verdien deur slegs die regié van vollengte speelfilms te behartig. Met sy onlangse rolprente Verskietende Ster en Mignon Mossie van Wyk, wat kort op mekaar se hakke op die silwerdoek verskyn, het ANNA-MARIE JANSEN VAN VUUREN by dié regisseur gaan kersopsteek.
A: Jy maak ontsaglik baie flieks, maar dit lyk of Mignon Mossie van Wyk (2016) effens nader aan jou hart lê as van die ander is dit so?
D: Ja, beslis. Look, I really enjoyed Treurgrond (2015), I really did, and I invested a lot of my soul into that movie with Steve and everyone else that believed in that film. But it just did not struck a responsive chord with the audience. I don’t know why, because for me it was a very relevant film about South Africa. When I watch it now I still wonder: Why did people…? Anyway, dit is nou klaar. Then I tried my hand at the romantic comedy thing – which I enjoyed, it’s a fantastic genre, but you can’t dig deeper underneath it, you know. So when Mignon Mossie van Wyk came along I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to explore tieners in South Africa. I know there have been sex comedies like Bakgat en so aan, but I really wanted to explore how teenagers relate to each other. And it was amazing to do a teenage movie with real teenagers, as opposed to getting 24 year old actors dressed up as 17 year olds, as many films (local and international) do.
A: Ek het reeds met Little One myself daaraan verwonder oor hoe jy sulke realistiese toneelspel uit jong kinders te kry. En jy het dit nou weer met Mignon Mossie van Wyk reggekry, veral in die tonele waar die jong Mossie en Adriaan voorkom. Wat is jou tegniek?
D: Well, I guess you’ve got to trick it out of them, and I don’t always know how to do that, and then it can just drive you crazy. It’s really hard for them to process what they need to, at such a young age, in certain scenes, so you have to lead them there. And lucky enough with this film, I mean, Tanika, the girl who plays the lead role of Mossie, I was able to push her to reach the extreme stage that was needed for the character, and she managed to do that without seeming contrived, jy weet? When I first saw her I already realised she has this enigmatic character, and these days I operate the camera a lot, so during filming I would like “eavesdrop” on her with the camera… I would have just switched on the camera and watch what she did, and it was really interesting, she just filled the screen with her presence.
A: Ek verstaan nie altyd hoe verspreiders se koppe werk nie. Beide Verskietende Ster en Mignon Mossie van Wyk kom binne weke vanaf mekaar uit by teaters. Is jy bang die twee flieks gaan mekaar se gehore steel?
It’s a difficult situation, because I made that film about a year before I made Mossie, but its release date just kept being pushed back. I’m really proud of Verskietende Ster, I think it’s limited a bit by its themes. It’s a bit on the nose – for example there is one line in the film where it says you spell love J-E-S-U-S. And that should be a given, you shouldn’t have to spell it out. And that is isn’t a criticism on the writer. He really is a wonderful guy and he had a beautiful vision of the film. And it’s difficult for Deanré (Rheiners) too, because he stars in both films.