‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’: Bi Gan on Teaching Yourself to Make a Film

Build a strong foundation of knowledge...so you don't have to listen to what others tell you.

Watching Long Day's Journey into Night, you would never guess it's the work of a 29-year-old filmmaker who's made only one other feature. Its carefully measured, nuanced frames easily evoke comparisons to Wong Kar Wai and feel more like the meditations of a man who's lived an entire lifetime of haunting experience. But that's just the type of filmmaker Bi Gan has always wanted to be.

From the very beginning, he knew what kind of films he wanted to make, and in sticking to his guns (even throughout varying degrees of success), this vision has allowed him to create the type of work that had critics raving at Cannes, TIFF, and most recently, the New York Film Festival. Director Bi never went to film school, instead, he carefully studied the work of others and created a community of his own.

"If you have a strong enough and solid enough foundation, you don't need other people's suggestions."

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