Ethan Hawke’s Blaze has undoubtedly introduced the music and career of its eponymous leading character, the folk singer songwriter Blaze Foley, to a brand new audience.
But while viewers will now spend endless hours devouring Foley’s back catalogue, the very nature of “Blaze” means that questions still remain over his life once the film is finished.
During our recent discussion, Hawke insisted that was the entire point of “Blaze.”
“One of the other things I did in the concept of the movie, hopefully, is erase even the impression that I am telling you the truth.”
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“Because you are hearing the movie from a variety of different points of view, you clearly have some reliable narrators and unreliable narrators.”
“You know what I mean? I open the film with Townes saying that he dug up the body. Hopefully you realize that nobody’s life can be boiled into a movie. We’re making art out of the legend of Blaze Foley.”
Hawke was also so hell-bent on making sure that the music in “Blaze” was rich in “integrity” that he hired “musicians as musicians,” which, as he explained, made his job as director much easier at times.
“The major way in which it was to be accurate was to defend the music and for the music to have an integrity. The DNA of the project was to cast musicians as musicians.”
“I can have Blaze and Townes on the front porch playing the blues and I don’t have to overdub it. I don’t have to pre-record it.”
“I can get the actors, get them to sit on the porch, give everybody a beer and play the blues for a little while.”
“I can film it, get everybody to tell jokes, and do a style of filmmaking that is super interesting to me.”
But while Hawke’s intentions with “Blaze” are clear, he still tried to remain true to the most aspects of his life. Although there was one big alteration that was required.
“We tried to map it out pretty much to, I mean, the one thing that is a little dramatic is that ‘Blaze’ was shot and killed a couple of weeks after the Outhouse Recording. Not the same night.”
“But that just makes it easier for the audience to understand that time period. That is the only lie in the thing really.”
“Blaze” is now in select cinemas, and will expand across the country over the next few weeks.