Up-and-Coming//Derek Cianfrance

Derek Cianfrance

Director/Writer/Cinematographer. Named most promising filmmaker at the 2010 CFCA Awards. 

I wanted to find an up-and-coming director to be the next focus of this feature and Derek Cianfrance’s name kept popping up into my head. I decided that he would be the perfect subject for this feature because I feel like in the next years to come, we are going to be seeing a lot more of him. With Blue Valentine considered his debut, followed by The Place Beyond the Pines being his next indie success, I can predict Cianfrance is going to be a name we all come to love, at least in the indie film world.

“I want to get out of the way of the actors. I want to get out of their eye lines. I want to them to stop thinking they’re making a movie. I want them to just go and live. It’s like you take these great actors and put them in an aquarium of life, and just watch them swim.”- Derek Cianfrance

most known for

Cianfrance wants to make movies that are about people. He is focused on showing truth through movies, and I think that is why his movies appeal to me so much. Everything just feels very real. Although he has only made three feature films so far, he has definitely shown us that he is a filmmaker who truly puts his heart and soul into his work. Each one of his films focus on some sort of family relationship. His first film, Brother Tied, is not very well known, and even Cianfrance describes it as a “naive” film. Blue Valentine, starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, was about the evolution of the two’s romantic relationship and, in the end, it’s downfall. It’s a rare thing in a movie to see the part of the relationship where both of the people recognize it is failing and agree to separate, and Cianfrance puts us right in the middle of it. The Place Beyond the Pines this time focused on the relationship between fathers and sons, or specifically how a father’s choices can drastically affect his son’s life.

” Look, [Sidney Lumet] is one of my favorite filmmakers. I feel like his approach to filmmaking was always so human. He was always making movies about the people. He wasn’t about the tricks, you know what I mean?”-Derek Cianfrance

Cianfrance is pretty under the radar right now. Although his previous two films were successful, he still hasn’t broken all the way through yet. His talent is obvious in the movies that he makes though and it’s only a matter of time before he is a common name when talking about talented directors. His next project he is working on, called Metalhead, will be different than his previous films. It’s about a drummer who goes deaf and must learn to cope with this handicap. There’s currently not a lot of information on it but it will be interesting to see Cianfrance’s perspective on a topic that is different from his three earlier films.

Here’s an interview with Cianfrance regarding The Place Beyond the Pines, in which you can also see his eerie resemblance to Ryan Gosling both in physical looks and demeanor (kind of makes you think about why he likes to cast him in his movies).

Also, this is the article where I got my quotes for Cianfrance that you can read here.


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