On Friday 14 October, a screening of Julian Goldberger’s The Hawk is Dying was screened to a packed house at New York University Tisch School of the Arts Asia.This heart-wrenching story of a lonely man’s taming of the hawk comes to represent all he can’t tame in his own life. Starring Paul Giamatti and Michelle Williams, the film showed at Sundance and Cannes. Goldberger is an assistant arts professor at Tisch School of the Arts Asia.
During a lively Q&A following the screening, Goldberger and Bobby Bukowski, the film’s cinematographer and a visiting associate arts professor at Tisch School of the Arts Asia, talked about how they met and the technical challenges of filming a hawk.
“We shot handheld by choice,” noted Bukowski, “since we never knew what the hawk would do next.” The film was shot on Super 16 and used three different hawks in order to get the reality of the wild bird being tamed.
Goldberger noted he was really interested in the “man, nature divide and how the hawk sees us, what he sees when he looks out at us. ” Shot without rehearsal on a tight, 21 day shooting schedule, it was a script that attracted the major actors Giamatti and Williams as soon as they read it, but still took a few years to get off the ground. Goldberger and Bukowski, now both teaching at Tisch School of the Arts Asia, hope to work together again in future based on the close working relationship they developed during the shoot.