Jeymes Samuel on inspirations for Netflix’s The Harder They Fall – The Hollywood Reporter

With Netflix The more they fall, writer-director-songwriter Jeymes Samuel brings flair and flair to the American West with a bloody revisionist take on the Western genre. The British filmmaker has assembled an incredible cast – including Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, LaKeith Stanfield, Regina King, Delroy Lindo and Idris Elba – all playing characters based on real (but almost forgotten) characters from American history. The Tale of Revenge sees Majors’ Nat Love and Elba’s Rufus Buck fiercely clash (with the help of their respective gangs) in an epic fashion on the Dusty Frontier. Here, Samuel shares with THR five elements – from a space cowboy to the wild and bizarre world of Roald Dahl’s imagination – that inspired his film debut.

Boba fett

Samuel was immediately intrigued by the bounty hunter, who has become a fan favorite despite his limited screen time in the original. Star wars trilogy. Samuel reports a brief interaction between Fett and Darth Vader (“the ultimate movie villain”) in The Empire Strikes Back. “Vader lines up the bounty hunters and falls back on Fett, saying, ‘No disintegrations.’ And Fett responds: ‘As you want’, ”recalls the director. “I’m not saying Rufus Buck is modeled after Boba Fett, but his booty, his use of words. … He’s one of my favorite characters in the history of cinema.

Samuel bought his vintage Boba Fett toy as a child from a second-hand store in London. “I went in every day to play with it,” he recalls, “and the owner told me I had to stop coming to play with the toy. So I started giving him 10p a day until I paid. The article recalls, says Samuel, why he chose a creative path for himself. “Film making and storytelling are fun first and foremost. I’ve always said that the film we make is for the audience, but making a film is for us, and we have to have fun.

Boba fett
Courtesy of Jeymes Samuel

Alfred Hitchcock: complete movies

“Alfred Hitchcock is the only filmmaker whose movies you don’t watch – you sniff them, like a line of something you shouldn’t be sniffing,” Samuel laughs. “He is literally one of the most daring filmmakers who have ever lived.” This book, a celebration of the author’s filmography, was a point of reference for Samuel when he was scouting in New Mexico in 2019, and he credits Hitchcock’s films for teaching him to be himself- same filmmaker.

“The storyteller in every film is the camera,” says Samuel. ” I do not think so The more they fall is super stylish; I just think the camera tells you the story in the best possible way. Alfred Hitchcock taught me this, and I’m confident in where I put the camera because of my love for Hitchcock [and] how he broke the rules and used different visual techniques.

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Alfred Hitchcock: complete movies
Courtesy of Taschen

The wonderful story of Henry Sugar

Samuel considers this collection of Roald Dahl short stories from 1977 to be his all-time favorite. “We all know his stories, from Fantastic Mr. Fox To The witches To Charlie and the chocolate factory, but it’s the first Roald Dahl book I’ve read, ”he says. “This book literally taught me how to write, and the story of the title taught me all about twists and turns and going where you least expect it.” The biggest lesson Samuel learned from Dahl was to embrace the chaos in storytelling. “My golden motto for everything I do is, ‘Obey your fool.’ No one has obeyed his madman like Roald Dahl – and no Roald Dahl story obeys his madman like “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.” ” The full title of the collection – The wonderful story of Henry Sugar and six others – also inspired the title of the accompanying album of Samuel’s 2013 short film, They die at dawn. “The album was called They die at dawn and other stories because this book is literally in my DNA as a storyteller.

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The wonderful story of Henry Sugar
Courtesy of Jonathan Cape

What color is love

“They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I think the opposite is true for albums,” Samuel says of singer-songwriter Terry Callier’s 1972 recording. What color is love. Samuel remembers when he first spotted the disc as a child. “I was walking up to Tower Records and saw a reissue of the vinyl. I took it home, and from the first track it literally changed my life. Even if What color is love was a critical success, it was a commercial failure – but Callier experienced a career resurgence when his music became popular among British DJs in the 1980s.

While Samuel was working on the screenplay for The more they fall more than a decade ago, he was preparing another film which will be the sequel. “I contacted Terry Callier to write the title song for my second movie, which he called ‘Virinia’,” says Samuel. Callier finished the track before his death in 2012. “His cadence, his vocals, his styles, his chord progressions influence the way I make music, and I think my song ‘No Turning Around’ on the The more they fall the soundtrack is a very Terry Callier song.

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What color is love
Courtesy of Grp Records

Jeans guitar

Before Samuel cut his teeth as a director, he was an accomplished singer-songwriter who went by the nickname The Bullitts. “This is the guitar I started writing songs on when I was a kid,” says Samuel. He embellished it himself. “I got tired of watching it. I took fabric glue and an old denim jacket, removed the seams, and wrapped it around the guitar. He says the instrument is the first tool when it comes to composing any of his music. “The sound is spoiled and muffled, which is totally my fault. But all my songs start with this denim guitar.

Samuel admits that his precious possession was almost lost forever. “I worked on the music for [Baz Lurhmann’s 2013 version of] Gatsby the magnificent with Jay-Z, and I was staying in an apartment in New York City on Wall Street. Upon his return to London, he realized that he had forgotten the guitar in New York City and quickly learned that the owner of the apartment had sold the place. “I called the building, and they still had the guitar [in storage]. I wanted to cry because, for some reason, I had disrespected him. He hopped on a flight back to New York just to retrieve the instrument and now barely leaves the guitar out of sight. “What was once a cheap guitar spawned every song that [I wrote for] The more they fall.

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Jeans guitar
Courtesy of Jeymes Samuel

This story first appeared in an independent November issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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