Director Mary Harron brought first-time actor Christopher Briney into Deadline’s TIFF Studio to discuss Dalíland, a film that explores the final stretch of the Surrealist art superstar Salvador Dalí’s life, leading up to his death in 1984. As Harron explained, “It shows the last years of Dalí and his wife Gala’s crazy marriage, as seen through the eyes of an innocent young man who’s been drawn into the art world.”
Harron said that she’d initially been hesitant about taking on the project. “The movie came through Ed Pressman,” she said, “who was my producer on American Psycho, and I was a little reluctant because I’d done a [similar] film about Andy Warhol. But then my husband said, ‘You can make this a portrait of a marriage.’ So, he wrote the script, and I was very excited by his take. It’s also about Salvador Dalí in his last years as his fear of death and aging takes hold and he starts looking back on his life in flashbacks.”
Briney, 24, professed admiration for Dalí’s and his art statements. “One of the wrap gifts that I was given was a book of Dalí’s works,” he said. “It’s a really, really thick book, and it looks like his work has spanned hundreds of years, you know? I think that is sort of emulative of him as a person — inventing himself over and over and being original.”
“Dalí loved to provoke and astonish,” Harron said, “and I think he did it for a reason. He wanted to wake people up. He wanted everybody to experience the world anew every moment. He loved to shock people and he loved to surprise them.”
To find out more about Dalíland, click the link.