I first met Zodiac signs in a movie theater, back in the 1990s.
At the time, I thought the movie I saw was some kind of satire on how people use sign language, and I’d never heard of zodiacs before.
When the script was over, I had no idea what they were.
“They’re the signs of the zodiac, but they’re really the same thing as a person,” says Tom, a veteran film producer and the author of Signs of the Zodiac: The Sign Language of American Cinema.
“You’re not looking at your family tree, you’re looking at yourself, and the same with the people who use sign languages.”
Tom and I met for a drink in a coffee shop, and we soon began to talk about how the movie’s fictionalized interpretation of zebra crossings was so effective at evoking our imaginations.
“Sign language is so easy to use, because it’s very natural,” says James.
“It’s so familiar that it’s almost impossible to understand.”
In Zodiac, Tom’s character, Jake, was a zebra crossing survivor who eventually learns the sign language from a sign-language teacher named Jake.
The film’s screenplay, written by Steven Soderbergh and produced by Joel Silver, features a script of Zodiac sign names, including “Jez,” “Jade,” and “Betsy.”
But the film is a tongue-in-cheek comedy about the human condition.
A few lines in the script, written in a way that makes it look like someone has just used sign language to communicate, are meant to be funny, but in a really ironic way.
For example, “It was like the first time I was going to be able to see my father.
That’s the first sign I was born with.
But it was a very short time, it was so short.
And I thought, Why do they think this is funny?”
The script is actually about a person who becomes a signer after a long time.
“The first time you hear the name Jake, you get this kind of feeling of disbelief, like, What’s going on?” says Tom.
“And you know it’s just because you’ve never seen this before, but it’s really something that happened.
And it’s so funny because it kind of makes you feel like it’s like a sign that happened to you.”
Tom also says that he and his partner, actor and writer James McAvoy, were also “really into the humor of it.”
“It really did feel like Zodiac was a film that was about the way people were trying to communicate with each other, because the idea of signing a zodiac sign name was something that we were obsessed with,” he says.
“We were obsessed.
We wanted to be in this film, and that was the point of the movie, to try and find that humor.”
Tom says that signing a Zodiac symbol in the film was actually the first step in creating the character of Jake.
He says that the script he wrote for the film, while “not particularly good,” is more than “pretty good.”
The film, directed by Michael Haneke, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009 and won the Palme d’Or at the festival.
Zodiac is still the highest grossing film in Ziegfeld’s history.
“When you think of the history of Ziegfried’s career, the film comes to mind,” says Michael.
“Ziegfried has always been very interested in storytelling and story.
He’s been interested in the story of the film industry, and he’s also very interested and driven to find the most authentic version of himself.
He knows that it doesn’t matter whether he’s writing for a movie or a documentary or a TV series, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
And Ziegwald has a very specific vision of who he wants to be, and Ziegof is certainly interested in telling the story.”
Ziegbert has been nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and received his first Oscar in 2008.