The Bill Pohlad metaphor is enormously appealing to anyone who has longed to build a career as a director but has put it off for years or even decades. That’s what Pohlad did for nearly a quarter-century after directing Old Explorers, a Jose Ferrer-James Whitmore 1990 relationship drama that was barely noticed. Pohlad stopped directing, and after the turn of the century gradually made his way into producing.
He exec produced Brokeback Mountain, A Prairie Home Companion and Food, Inc., and produced Into the Wild, The Tree of Life and 12 Years a Slave. And then, after a hiatus of 22 or 23 years, Pohlad returned to directing with Love & Mercy, and in one of the most unlikely scenarios ever seen in this town he turned his creative life around by delivering easily one of 2015’s best films and a possible Best Picture nominee.
Love & Mercy director Bill Pohlad on the roof of Beverly Hills Peninsula Hotel — Tuesday, 10.13, 12:10 pm.
Don’t kid yourself — a born-again director is something to be.
I spoke to Pohlad yesterday morning on the roof of the Beverly Hills Peninsula Hotel. There were a lot of corporate-looking guys sitting near us. It felt like Palm Springs up there, like a blast furnace. We were near a pool but no fetching bikini babes to speak of. Pohlad was the most casually dressed rich guy up there, and I was the second most casually dressed except I was just an interloper in a black T-shirt. When I took the elevator back to the street I shared it with two Japanese guys in black suits. Very corporate, very conservative.
Again, the mp3.
Pohlad is now working on a new film with Love & Mercy screenwriter Oren Moverman that he wouldn’t say much about, but it involves some kind of manifestation of PTSD.
In a May 2015 interview Pohlad called it “a period piece, but similar in that it deals with a kind of serious issue. And it deals with humans, who we are as people and how after some of the traumas of life, we find our way back to who we are.” One of my all-time favorite PTSD films is Hal Ashby‘s Coming Home (’78).