My previous film, The Childhood of a Leader, was set in Europe in the early
part of the 20th
century. It examined key events that would go on, often inadvertently, to define
the era. It
featured a young protagonist who was witness to the atrocities of an epoch, only
to become a
cause of them for the next. The film was inspired by the revisionist histories
of Robert Musil and
WG Sebald - labyrinthine constructs that imagine fictional characters as
crucial historical turning-points, or real-life personages placed in altered
historical settings. For
me, these stories demonstrate a more transparent contract with the reader than
historical biography because one is able to access the past without questioning
about how they could provide such a detailed account of an event without having
for the event themselves. Or if they had been present, in the case of a memoir,
memory of past experiences not betrayed them?
Vox Lux is the continuation of that theme but on the other side of the
century: an historical
melodrama set in America between 1999 and 2017. Its protagonist is a pop star
and it chronicles key events and cultural patterns that have so far defined the
early 21st century
via her gaze.
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