With possibilities of a stateside spotting of Parisian chic, we hopped down to last night’s signing at Opening Ceremony for illustrator/director Mike Mills’ new title, Drawings from the Film Beginners. Luckily we weren’t disappointed as the inimitable Melanie Laurent loyally held court beside her Beginners director, clad in mom jean overalls and a straw fedora--somehow she made this work...beyond work.
Mills, a longtime visual artist and Cooper Hewitt alum, wrote the script for Beginners à la Sylvia Plath (ie: loosely based on his life). Although luckily his roman à clef is much less depressing. Inspired by his father’s late-in-life decision to expose his homosexuality, Mills is cinematically portrayed by Ewan McGregor, an artist who juggles a new love (played by Laurent) and his dad’s brave decision. The resulting book—Drawings from the Film Beginners--is not so much a story as it is a collection of drawings from the movie, depicting "The History of Sadness" and "The History of Love."
We briefly interrupted Mills’ autographing duties to speak about his new book and love for Neanderthals:
Fashionista: So why do you love to draw so much? Mike Mills: It’s easy and you don’t have to get financing to do it.
What was your biggest challenge in creating this book? I’ve been a drawer longer than a filmmaker but I had to figure out how to draw for a character [Ewan McGregor’s, Oliver] and how a character would draw. I’ve never really done that before, as I’m usually just drawing for myself. The book has a lot of Neanderthal illustrations—why are you drawn to them? They’re just so primal and so simple, just like my drawings!