Though barely into his mid 20s, Kevin Tancharoen is, as the cliché goes, already something of an industry veteran. With a background in both dance and filmmaking, he’s moved between choreography, behind-the-scenes production work and now directing — making his feature film debut with this week’s Fame, a “reimagining” of the iconic ’80s musical. He’s worked on projects for Christina Aguilera and *NSYNC, directed a series for MTV, and was personally picked by Britney Spears to direct the video segments of her “Onyx Hotel” tour — in addition to choreographing Spears and Madonna in the star’s “Me Against the Music” video. After Fame, however, he’s collaborating with producer Brett Ratner on a sci-fi film called Aracana — which, he says, one of his favorite films has inspired.
I can’t put them into any particular order, but if it’s a musical or anything in that genre, then I definitely love All That Jazz. Bob Fosse created a masterpiece with that movie, and it was so good.
Taxi Driver is such a unique movie to me. I love Taxi Driver, and I love Reservoir Dogs. I just thought that they were great character pieces and I actually really love the music in Taxi Driver. I think that the music in that movie is a character on its own, because that almost did most of the talking. Oddly enough I think Scorsese’s little cameo in that movie is one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen. When I saw that for the first time I was a little upset that Scorsese didn’t do any more acting — because he’s quite good.
I love Schindler’s List, because as a movie itself, I mean — the whole thing is absolutely fantastic.
When it comes to sci-fi I like to put Blade Runner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the same level. Absolutely love those movies. I think at the end of the day I’d pick Close Encounters. I think it’s great because it puts the genre as a backdrop and it doesn’t focus on it. I think it’s a character piece. It’s an ordinary person in an extraordinary situation. And any of those types of movies to me are very engaging, because at its core it’s relatable and you can really go through the experiences with the character because they’ve grounded them in a humanizing way. And then they shake them up and put them in a crazy situation and you’re in their shoes.
I appreciate Blade Runner on a visual aesthetic level — it’s just visually stunning.
RT: And this has inspired Arcana, your next film?
Yeah, true. We’re actually writing the first draft right now. [Screenwriter] John Ridley just finished [World War II fighter pilot film] Red Tails for George Lucas, which was taking up a lot of his time. So he’s writing the first draft right now… we a have a little ways to go