But our plane was delayed by over an hour. I didn’t even get to the hotel room until after 9:00 and there were no other screenings I could see while I was there. I had missed my only chance to see John Carpenter’s first feature-length movie in ten years on the big screen. I had failed Mr. Carpenter. I can still taste the disappointment.
I think I was born a Carpenter fan because I feel like I’ve always had his movies in my life. I grew up watching the classics and always had a particular fondness for Christine because I watched it with my brother, Joe, all the time. However, I was born in 1986, and came into my own during the period he was making his more idiosyncratic, underrated work in the ‘90s – movies like Village of the Damned, Memoirs of an Invisible Man andVampires – to name a few. I had no idea until much later in my life (when I revisited almost all of his movies with a certain horror-loving friend) that not a lot has been written about the movies he made after They Live, which is bewildering to me because I think he’s grown as a filmmaker with each movie he’s made.
I recently got the chance to ask Carpenter a few questions and made sure to touch upon this point. What follows is an interview that was conducted via e-mail shortly after the Halloween holiday came to a close.
SARA FREEMAN: How do you think your work changed once Sandy started producing your movies? What are some differences you see between the work you made in the ‘70s/’80s and the flicks you made in the ‘90s/’00s?
JOHN CARPENTER: I don’t think there was a formal, storytelling change. My quality of life improved.
FREEMAN: Do you consider yourself to be a “modern” filmmaker? How do you think your cinematic style meshes with contemporary aesthetic and technical trends, like digital filmmaking? How have these technologies helped you evolve as a storyteller?
Major thanks to John and the Storm King company for setting up this interview.