“I had a blast reading the book, because it is such a wild blend of genres. And it’s just very astute, in a very fresh and openhearted way, about what it means to be an other in some respect,” remembers “Bones and All” screenwriter David Kajganich about the novel by Camille DeAngelis that he adapted for the screen. We talked to Kajganich as part of our “Meet the Experts” film writers panel. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Indeed, “Bones and All” is unique hybrid. It’s a road movie and also a love story about two teenagers (Taylor Russell and Timothee Chalamet) who happen to have uncontrollable cannibalistic urges. “It’s a challenge” to blend so many different tonal elements, but “what I love about that it is allows you to tell your story through a number of different grammars. There’s a horror grammar in this film, obviously. There’s a young romance grammar. There’s a road movie grammar. And all of these grammars have different rules of how to use the image and how to use pacing, or how to use anxiety, tension, things like that.”
The grammar of horror is one he’s especially familiar with, having written “The Invasion” (2007), “Blood Creek” (2009), TV’s “The Terror” (2018), and the re-imagining of “Suspiria” (2018). “I grew up in the ’80s,” Kajganich explains, “so I watched a lot of horror movies growing up, and I just loved them … I grew up a teenager in rural Ohio, I was gay, I was in the closet, I was sort of worried about how I was going to fit into the world,” so horror stories that amplify “those kinds of anxieties” were “really cathartic.”
“Bones and All” is directed by Luca Guadagnino, for whom Kajganich has written scripts twice before previously: “A Bigger Splash” (2015) and the aforementioned “Suspiria.” “I feel like our relationship a bit is like kids at a slumber party daring one another to do weird things,” he reveals. “Every time we talk about what we might do next, it always just gets stranger and more interesting or more unexpected.” They’ve already gone from witches to cannibals – where to next?
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