Under the Influence

How Mike Mills Found Comfort in Ermanno Olmi

Earlier this month, director Mike Mills paid a visit to New York in support of his third narrative feature, 20th Century Women, a deeply personal coming-of-age tale about a teenage boy growing up in Carter-era Southern California with his single mother (Annette Bening) and her eccentric tenants (Greta Gerwig and Billy Crudup). Nominated for two Golden Globes, this moving follow-up to Mills’s Oscar-winning Beginners candidly explores the bond between mothers and sons, the pain of first love, and the challenges and disappointments of everyday life.

While he was in town, Mills stopped by our office to talk about the Italian director Ermanno Olmi, whose spacious visual compositions and subtle characterizations have had a profound impact on his sensibility. In the below video—the second in our new Under the Influence series—Mills explains why he considers Olmi’s beautiful humanist dramas Il posto and I fidanzati his personal Xanax.

You have no items in your shopping cart