Last week, Elvis Mitchell interviewed Sarah Polley on NPR’s “The Treatment.” They talked about Polley’s new film, Away from Her, which stars Julie Christie.

This led them to talking about how Polley was enthralled with Christie’s performance in Doctor Zhivago.

Mitchell then asked her if David Lean was an influence on her own creative work as a director.

Polley’s answer made me happy, so I’m sharing it…

Polley: [after shrugging off Lean as an influence]
Certainly filmmakers like Terrence Malick, or Bergman, or Kieslowski would be filmmakers who probably influenced me a lot more.

Mitchell:
Kieslowski? How? How does Kieslowski influence you?

Polley:
I think the patience he has with his characters, and the complexity he allows them to have, and the way they challenge each other. I’m completely transported when I watch his films, and … on some sort of very unexplainable level I feel like I understand just a tiny bit more about human nature every time I see one of his films.

Mitchell:
A lot of these directors you’re talking about tend to use silence a lot.

Polley:
Absolutely. Which I think, as I moviegoer, I’m always so happy to see — great actors in silence is something I always look forward to.

I couldn’t agree more. That has a lot to do with why I’m so passionate about Malick and Kieslowski. They have the patience to see things that the script does not deliver on its own… and they film silence and stillness with such confidence that the audience is compelled to pay attention. It allows for mystery to slowly unveil itself and dazzle us through what at first might seem ordinary.

What are your favorite moments of stillness or silence in a film?

(And you can be more creative than Into Great Silence, can’t you?)

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