On a new episode of the Film at Lincoln Center podcast, we’re excited to present a conversation with director Todd Haynes, who’s new film, May December, will make its North American premiere as the Opening Night selection of the 61st New York Film Festival on September 29th.
In this archival conversation with Todd Haynes, the director discusses his mid-90s classic, Safe, starring his May December and Far From Heaven leading actress, Julianne Moore.
While Haynes shot Safe in 1994, he set it at the height of the AIDS epidemic seven years earlier. The unnamed disease at the center of this indelible, shuddering movie—widely considered one of Haynes’s masterpieces—has taken on new, unexpected meanings since the film’s release, and yet much of what makes Safe revelatory to watch is the uncanny precision of its setting, look, and tone. Carol (Julianne Moore), whose mysterious breakdown from perfect housewife to cloistered invalid drives the movie’s plot, is a character couldn’t live anywhere but suburban L.A. in the late ’80s—a landscape Haynes captures in a strange, piercing, hyperreal light. Jonathan Rosenbaum called Safe “the most provocative American art film of the year” in 1995. It’s hard to imagine any movie topping it were it released now.
This conversation was moderated by NYFF Artistic Director, Dennis Lim.
Watch and listen below.