Sean Baker has thoroughly established himself as one of the more well regarded art house filmmakers out there. Along with his writing partner Chris Bergoch, they’ve been steadily building a following. Starlet and Tangerine built this credit, while The Florida Project really landed them in the Oscar race, scoring a nomination in Best Supporting Actor for Willem Dafoe. Now, they have the offbeat tale Red Rocket competing for Academy Award attention. Considering how singular their views of the world are, it’s quite the accomplishment that these films are looked at in that light. Baker’s direction certainly is a major reason why the movies work as well as they do. So, during the press day for the flick, getting to have another conversation with him was a real highlight. In addition to Baker today, we’ve had interviews with Bergoch (here), Bree Elrod (here), Simon Rex (here), and Suzanna Son (here) throughout the week. It’s been a full slate of Red Rocket content, capped off with this latest chat.
This is some of my rave about Baker and Red Rocket from back at the New York Film Festival:
Sean Baker’s writing (as well as Chris Bergoch’s) and directing is truly on point in Red Rocket. This, more than any of Baker’s work before, could have gone wrong. Their protagonist could have been unwatchable in his awfulness. The sexuality on display could have gone over the edge. It just all could have left a bad taste in your mouth. Instead, it’s Baker and Bergoch’s funniest flick, as well as one of their most touching. The screenplay never spells anything out, but also doesn’t ever leave you behind. Baker’s direction, combined with Drew Daniels’ cinematography, is rightly obsessed with the characters on screen. These creations are the true top success of this wildly successful film.
Below, you can see my conversation with Baker. I love Red Rocket so much, I could talk to everyone involved about his movie all day. Luckily, Baker being the co-writer and director, he certainly would have obliged there. The film has so many interesting angles for discussion, which I’m thrilled everyone is going to finally get to see. Ever since the Cannes Film Festival, the hype has been growing, and it’s delightful that my favorite work of 2021 is in release. Plus, Baker is just a very sweet man, so any conversation, on camera or off, is one well worth having. This one here today is just another excellent selling point for a brilliant work.
Here now is my interview with Red Rocket filmmaker Sean Baker. Enjoy:
Red Rocket is now in theaters!