Director Scott Cooper to hold Q&A after Academy Screening of ‘The Pale Blue Eye’

December 19, 2022

Director Scott Cooper to hold Q&A after Academy Screening of ‘The Pale Blue Eye’

Scott Cooper is looking forward to being back in Aspen to support his new film The Pale Blue Eye, screening as part of Aspen Film’s Academy Screenings on Tuesday.

“I love Aspen, but I’ve been so busy making films that I haven’t had a chance to get back so I’m bringing my entire family,” he said. “We will be there for three or four days and, hopefully, they’ll get to love it as much as I have over the years. It’s truly a magnificent special place.”

Based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Louis Bayard, The Pale Blue Eye is a film close to Cooper’s heart and one he has wanted to make for over a decade.

“My father introduced me to the novel,” he said. “Much like Edgar Allan Poe himself, I grew up in Virginia. My father taught English and literature, and there was a lot of Poe in my house, and my dad said, ‘Scott, you’re going to love this novel because the author has so ingeniously placed a young unformed Edgar Allan Poe at the center of a detective story, which is a genre that he bequeathed to us.’”

The Pale Blue Eye is a detective whodunit murder mystery set in 1830s upstate New York at West Point, which Poe attended, and introduces us to him before he became the celebrated 19th century poet. Cooper hopes the film will inspire people to pick up a Poe poem for the first time or remind them why they loved Poe in the first place.

“I thought this film would give me an opportunity to really show Edgar Allan Poe before he became the icon that we all know and love,” Cooper said. “A young man who was kind of alone in the world, but someone who’s spent time a lot of time writing and is looking for a connection in the world. Then all of a sudden, he’s found his place.”

The film follows the story of a Detective Landor, played by Christian Bale, who is called in to investigate a gruesome murder of a cadet on campus. While there, Landor befriends the young Poe, played by Harry Melling, who is well known for his roles in the Harry Potter films and The Queen’s Gambit ,and whose performance as Poe should gain him some recognition come awards season.

The Pale Blue Eye marks Cooper’s third collaboration with Bale (who is credited as a producer on the film), with whom he worked on 2013’s Out of the Furnace and 2017’s Hostiles.

“Christian Bale, who’s my closest collaborator, is the best actor of my generation,” Cooper said. “He’s easy to write for. … We have a blast making these films together, even though they’re incredibly difficult to make on a physical level, emotional level, psychological level. And as long as he’ll say yes, I’ll keep writing for him.”

The Pale Blue Eye premieres in select theaters Dec. 23 and starts streaming Jan. 6 on Netflix.

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