Brady Corbet: Long Distance

The Rising Actor Channels Auteur Cinema for an Experimental Fashion Short

Reading Montgomery Clift's famous phone booth monologue from 1961's The Misfits, devoted cinephile Brady Corbet finds himself cast in an Old Hollywood spotlight for creative partnership ioulex’s broody montage film. Turning 24 later this month, Arizona-born Corbet made a name for himself in Michael Haneke’s 2007 Funny Games remake, and last year appeared opposite Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, as well as a sinister cult-head in Elizabeth Olson’s breakout movie Martha Marcy May Marlene. Evolving from a fashion shoot for the Danish publication S magazine, the short draws an affectedly theatrical performance from the actor alongside his blonde vixen, played by model Lisa Seiffert. "We imaged Brady as a young Rainer Fassbinder, during his early ultra-productive years at Anti-Theater, and Seiffert as Hanna Schygulla, Fassbinder's muse," says ioulex's Julia Koteliansky. Previously collaborating with Colette Paris and The New York Times’ T Magazine, Koteliansky and ioulex partner Alexander Kerr commissioned Jason Grisell of synth-pop duo Bubbles to mix Corbet's grainy recording with a seductive musical drone. "The telephone monologue is a performance that we have been obsessed with for a long time,” says Koteliansky of the scene from John Huston's Wild West film. Here Corbet explains his love for French cinema and why he hates the word "indie."

On early passion
I'm a real cinephile; I've loved movies right out of the womb. As a kid, I really loved the anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I feel like by the age of seven or eight, I was pretty attracted to a very serious kind of movie and was looking for stuff that was off the beaten path. I was never into comic books, but movies were like comic books to me. 

On French cinema 
My mother was a Francophile, so I grew up on a lot of French films by directors like François Truffaut and Jean Renoir, and especially Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast. Because I was exposed to a lot of great foreign cinema at such a young age, it quickly led me down a more radical path and affected my career decisions. 

On  "indie"
"Indie" is probably my least favorite term in the industry; I've never been attracted to "indie" movies, per se, but I do like filmmaker-driven projects. And when you work with smaller budgets, you can push boundaries and make films that are incredibly progressive and push the envelope. 

On high art 
There was an article that claimed I was really into high art, which I've been deeply embarrassed about. [Laughing] It's a funny thing; when you're being interviewed, you always try to be as eloquent as possible, but at the end of the day, I'm not some bouji, Dom Perignon-drinking connoisseur of art. Yes, there are things that I'm into that might be culturally alienating—I'm a huge fan of the ballet—but these interests have never kept me from "bro-ing" down. 

On blockbuster ambitions
I wouldn't do something just because it's big, but I wouldn't not do something just because of that either. I feel like studios are hiring increasingly talented filmmakers to make "fuck-off" Hollywood films. There's a real artistry to those films, so it is an experience that I'd be happy to have. The only thing I don't love is the seven-picture deal thing. I don't know how much I'd like to be a part of something that went on for a decade. 

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