You can see that in the show.
Natali: Those two filmmakers actually worked on very similar ideas in their own individual ways. Kubrick had a very omniscient point of view, and Peckinpah had much more of a grunt's point of view on the ground, but they both were fascinated by violence. I think the show is very much about the violence that is in every human being, and so there's a nice push and pull between those two perspectives. One is subjective, one is very objective. One is a godly point of view, one is a view of a mere mortal in the midst of the muck and the mire. So in a fun way, I feel like the show jumps from both perspectives, and I tried to make that part of my approach as well.
Are there rules for incoming Westworld directors based on the show's internal logic? I thought about that during the Dolores and Bernard scenes. The subtlest move could be a violation.
Natali: Yes, and for the actors, too. In that scene, for instance, we shot it a couple of ways to give different nuances to her lines, and to give some options in the edit room as to how self-aware and emotional she is at different points in that dialogue. Those sort of questions of cognition and so on are coming up all the time. Sometimes we'd have answers. Sometimes we wouldn't. One definitely feels like one's in a big puzzle box, and I have to tell you, as somebody who has worked on the show, I didn't have all the pieces of the puzzle. I knew certain things, but it was highly secretive, so I was a bit like a rat in the maze, too.
This episode seems to play with time in an interesting way, especially with Dolores' arc. How do you make sure that tracks while still keeping the action hallucinatory?
Natali: Like I said, I wasn't given the big picture, so to some degree I'm just playing a guessing game in terms of how I approach some of this stuff. I didn't quite know where it's all leading. But I was definitely tasked with finding a way to get inside the hosts' heads and to present things through their eyes. I actually referenced a film to Jonathan that, I learned later, he really wanted to remake at one point [because] he loves it: Seconds, a film by John Frankenheimer with Rock Hudson. There's a lot of highly subjective, dreamy, distorted stuff that's going on that felt very appropriate, and even some of the art direction in that film is vaguely reminiscent of the Delos Labs. So that was a touchstone for me. Then I just have my own little bag of tricks [laughs].
I think for time reasons, mostly, they took out a number of things that I had done where I tried to blur the line between what's happening now and what's happened in the past. It's funny when you're working on a science-fiction show to think about Ingmar Bergman all the time, or Fellini, where reality and subjective-dream reality become fused into one thing. That was really fun. As a director, of course, that's a really ambitious opportunity to get into that stuff.