Director James Gray: ‘I Am Struggling Financially’



You know, I saw "The Lost City of Z" just a few weeks ago and I can't believe I haven't shared my thoughts. It's such a beautiful, surreal and ambitious film. Some parts meander, but the overall impact is stunning. Its director James Gray has become one of the very best American filmmakers around, I believe it all started with 2007's "We Own the Night," then he follwed that one up with 2009's "Two Lovers," one of the most underrated films of all-time, and continued on with 2014's "The Immigrant." There's a beautifully realized classicism to Gray's filmmaking. He's making movies that are all, but, extinct these days in the populous and highly stylized cinematic market in this country. 


With all that being said it pains me to hear him tell Vulture that he is struggling financially:

“You know, people assume that because I’m a director, I make tons of money. I am struggling financially,” he said.

“Now, I’m very lucky I get to do what it is I want to do,” Gray continued. “I’ve made, good or bad, very uncompromising movies, the movies exactly that I wanted to make, and that’s a beautiful gift, so I’m not complaining about that. But I struggle. I have a hard time paying my bills. I’m 47 years old, I live in an apartment, I can’t buy a house.”
“Now, I’m very lucky I get to do what it is I want to do,” Gray continued. “I’ve made, good or bad, very uncompromising movies, the movies exactly that I wanted to make, and that’s a beautiful gift, so I’m not complaining about that. But I struggle. I have a hard time paying my bills. I’m 47 years old, I live in an apartment, I can’t buy a house.”
“If I were coming of age in 1973, I would be in Bel Air,” said Gray. “The whole reason for this is exactly what we were talking about, where the middle is gone. So now you have franchises, and you have, ‘I made a movie on my iPhone.’ This is the economic system in a nutshell, right? Five directors make Marvel, and then there’s the rest of us who are trying to scrounge around to find the money to make films.”
“it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: If the audience only gets to see Marvel, then they only want Marvel, and then if they only want Marvel, only Marvel is made. I don’t even have a problem with Marvel. The problem is not the specifics of each movie, the problem is it’s the only movie you can see now in a multiplex, and when it’s the only game in town, you’re looking at the beginning of the death throes of an art form.” 
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