Todd Haynes: Between "Velvet Goldmine", "Far From Heaven", and "I'm Not There"

"I had become unhappy in New York. I’d just finished Velvet Goldmine , a film that had drained me entirely. Even though it was the film I had envisioned, it had just been a bitch to get made. It was becoming clear that unlike most directors, I didn’t like being in production. Not since Poison had I really enjoyed myself. And yet, that’s where all my energy had been going—into my work. Somehow my life had gotten a little lost along the way. I guess it was sort of an early midlife crisis I was going through. I took a break to rejuvenate myself. I read Proust and traveled. I changed apartments. But nothing I did really changed the situation

… So at the very beginning of 2000, I got in my car and I drove across country. For some reason, at this precise moment, I had started craving Bob Dylan. I hadn’t listened to Dylan since high school, when I listened to him a lot. But I hadn’t really followed him much since. Suddenly, I was rushing to make all these Dylan tapes for my drive to Portland. It was as if I was tapping into that old adolescent energy that says anything is possible, there’s a surprise around every corner, you don’t know what life is going to bring to you. This music got me to the West Coast, into an amazing house and a beautiful city that was uncustomarily dry that spring with flowers blooming all over the place. I met smart, creative people who didn’t ask me, “What do you do?” first—who liked my work and were happy I was there and who really seemed to dig me. It was such a nice change. And I wrote Far from Heaven in ten days. It poured out."

-Todd Haynes.