Critic Adam Nayman knows how to start an argument. The Toronto-based writer, whose work has appeared in such journals as Cinema Scope, Slant and AV Club, made a stir in film critic circles a few years back with his book "It Doesn't Suck," which argued that Paul Verhoeven's widely reviled "Showgirls" was, in fact, rather interesting, and in some ways marvelous. His new book about writer/director Ben Wheatley, titled "Ben Wheatley: Confusion and Carnage," treats its titular subject, who is barely known outside of art houses, as an artist who's on the cusp of greatness. I talked with Nayman about his book, which is in stores now and can be ordered here.
Why write a book about Ben Wheatley at this point in his career? There's something very exciting about trying to write a book about a director before he or she has reached the finish line, and it seemed to me like Ben Wheatley was a filmmaker who could be interesting from two angles at once. On the one hand, he's done some very distinctive, substantial work in a very short period of time. On the other, he's possibly on the verge of moving on to bigger and more elaborate projects. So there's something open and provisional about taking stock less than a decade in.
Matt Zoller Seitz
Film critic and filmmaker.