Lena Dunham Reveals ‘Catherine Referred to as Birdy’ Movie Inspirations

For writer-director Lena Dunham, Karen Cushman’s 1994 Newbery Honor-winning YA novel Catherine, Referred to as Birdy is nearly a sacred textual content. Following the comedian exploits of a younger woman in thirteenth century England, Cushman’s ebook is an irreverent tackle being a teenage woman at a time when such an identification left younger ladies powerless and beholden to the boys of their lives — first their fathers, then their husbands.

Bella Ramsey (pictured above, with co-star Joe Alwyn) stars because the 14-year-old title character who rebels in opposition to the patriarchy as greatest as she will when her father (Andrew Scott) publicizes that she is to be married to a rich husband with a view to save the household from monetary destroy. As she fends off potential suitors to her dad and mom’ dismay, she finds her personal voice as a witty, rambunctious younger girl who has the ability to face up for herself. Dunham admits that seeing Ramsey for the primary time summoned reminiscences of when she purchased her copy of Cushman’s ebook as a preteen on the Union Sq. Barnes & Noble in Manhattan and first grew to become obsessive about the character of Birdy. The design of the ebook additionally influenced the look of the Prime Video movie, notably using colour. “All that made it into [the film], from the manufacturing design to the casting,” she says. “It’s the genesis for a lot of what the film grew to become visually.”

The movie additionally grew to become a household affair, with Dunham collaborating together with her husband, musician Luis Felber, on the movie’s soundtrack. She additionally solid her canine, Ingrid, in a minor half — à la Sofia Coppola’s movie debut as Michael Corleone’s toddler nephew in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. “I gave her the position,” Dunham says with fun. “Folks have been skeptical, however I believed in her!”

See also  Zhang Yimou’s $640M Blockbuster Full River Pink Will get U.S. Launch


Dunham first noticed Terrence Malick’s 1978 drama when she was in school, having bought a VHS copy (with this cowl). “It was the primary time I genuinely cherished a sluggish, auteurist, grownup movie — not simply performing curiosity however being actually rapt by it,” she admits. Not solely did the font on the duvet encourage the typefaces utilized in Birdy, however the narration by then-15-year-old star Linda Manz additionally impressed Birdy’s voiceover all through the film.


“Ingrid was with me via writing, scouting and capturing this film,” says Dunham, noting that her canine — a Mexican hairless and pug combine — has a cameo within the movie because the child Jesus within the Christmas pageant. “As we have been touring to those medieval buildings, we’d see these outdated work of saints and peasants with their canines. All of them seemed slightly like Ingrid — she has a really medieval look.”


“That was the face of Birdy I all the time noticed,” says Dunham of the illustration of the title character on the unique version of Cushman’s novel. “After I noticed Bella’s face, it summoned so a lot of those self same qualities that the character has — very classical magnificence coupled with intelligence, [and] wide-eyed innocence coupled with trickery.”


This was a shoppable journal printed across the flip of the millennium. “My dad and mom would get their Hammacher Schlemmer catalog within the mail, and I’d get Girlfriends LA,” remembers Dunham, who ordered her bat mitzvah gown from the corporate. “I wouldn’t say my costume designer spent hours perusing the Girlfriends LA catalog, however as I seemed via the costumes, I felt that vitality. It’s like Y2K vogue, solely from a century earlier than Y2K.”

See also  ‘The Miracle Membership,’ Starring Laura Linney, Maggie Smith Nabbed By Sony


The 2019 album from the Australian singer-songwriter was often in rotation as Dunham was in preproduction — and it was an album that she bonded over together with her husband, musician Luis Felber, who additionally labored on the movie’s soundtrack. “Julia’s voice grew to become this sort of troubadour, narrating my expertise coming to and exploring England,” says Dunham. The thought of a feminine touring minstrel additionally impressed Dunham and Felber to incorporate cowl songs by singer Misty Miller, who recorded variations of hits like “My Boyfriend’s Again” and “Fade Into You.”

This story first appeared in a December stand-alone concern of The truestarz journal. To obtain the journal, click on right here to subscribe.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top