Set Piece

What was it like to produce a western directed by a first-timer from Copenhagen? Scenes from the making of Bull-Fighter.

After producing Bottle Rocket and Hurricane Streets—two mid-nineties independent features by rookie filmmakers—my partner, Cynthia Hargrave, and I looked around for our third first-timer. We found him on a trip to Copenhagen in 1997. Them, actually: ex-techno star Rune Bendixen, who wanted to direct, and his co-writer, Majken Gilmartin, who wanted to produce. They spoke English as a second language, but they had cocked headfuls of American pop myths: rock and movies. And—surprise!—a funny idea. (Fact: At the moment, the indie landscape is deadly repetitive and not funny.)

The battle of moviemaking is worth fighting for the chance to film what you haven’t seen and heard yet: the Next Next Thing. And Rune and Majken’s idea was wrenchingly naive and antic. A mystic retelling of the Nativity story set at Christmastime in the year 2000 on the Texas-Mexico border? Joseph, this time a wannabe

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