Category Archives: Interviews

Sharlto Copley and Ben Wheatley on ‘Free Fire’

“WAS IT LOUD?! If the volume’s up it can be a little intense.” South African actor Sharlto Copley is responding to the news that The Skinny has come to interview him pretty much straight from a press screening of his new film Free Fire, a 1970s Boston-set action movie from British director Ben Wheatley, the other interviewee present. “After one screening,” Copley continues, “I was, like, OK, I lived through it once. I could have sat a little further away from the speaker…

Full interview for The Skinny

Advertisements

‘Morris from America’ director: “I humped my pillow a lot”

“The movie started from the pillow humping scene.” This isn’t the exact line that started The Skinny’s chat with director Chad Hartigan, but it began one of the more memorable anecdotes about the creation of his new film, Morris from America. In the sequence Hartigan refers to, his eponymous teenage protagonist (newcomer Markees Christmas), a sweet lad who’s fallen hard for a local girl, decides to act out his confusing feelings upon his bedroom pillow.

“So I really went through a phase that I assume is not uncommon in boys, where I humped my pillow a lot, but at some point got bored with just humping it, so I dressed it up in clothes and danced with it and made a night out of humping it. And that was always a story that, when I told people, got a reaction. I felt like it could be a good scene in a movie if you can capture what’s awkward and funny but also innocent and tender about it. So that was the very first scene in my head and I started to build a coming-of-age story from there…

Full interview for The Skinny

Eugène Green talks ‘The Son of Joseph’, compositions and the Dardenne brothers

Though only a few of his films have received UK distribution (see 2009’s The Portuguese Nun), US-born, France-based director Eugène Green has accrued a significant arthouse fanbase across the world, via a steady run of eccentric dramas, each driven by a rigid commitment to Baroque theatre techniques. No one behaves quite like a human being in his filmography, but their humanity shines through the mannered delivery.

Although still reliant on that same performance style, Green’s more overtly comedic new film, The Son of Joseph, offers a considerably more accessible, playful distillation of his filmmaking. It’s a beguiling riff on the Nativity story, as a young boy (Victor Ezenfis) becomes determined to uncover the identity of his absent father. His search leads to Mathieu Amalric’s brash publisher, who offers limited appeal when it comes to being a proposed patriarch. As such, Vincent’s attentions gravitate towards the publisher’s brother (Fabrizio Rongione) as a more suitable substitute, only for a funny farce of misplaced paternity to ensue from there.

With the film released in UK cinemas this Friday, ahead of a Christmas Day streaming debut on MUBI UK, we chat with Green about his direction of actors and collaborating with producers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne…

Full interview for VODzilla.co

Jeremy Saulnier on punks v nazis movie ‘Green Room’

The Skinny is chatting with American director Jeremy Saulnier in a crowded dining area of London’s Mayfair Hotel. His newest film, Green Room, is having its UK premiere later that night as part of the London Film Festival. It’s his follow-up to 2013’s critically acclaimed thriller Blue Ruin and the comparatively underseen Murder Party, from 2007. The three films share actor Macon Blair (Blue Ruin’s hangdog protagonist) and acts of violence instigating considerable turmoil, but Green Room sees some more recognisable stars join Saulnier’s talisman on the cast list…

Full interview for The Skinny

Hirokazu Kore-eda on ‘Our Little Sister’

When we meet at the London Film Festival, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda expresses an admiration for The Skinny’s iPhone case, which has a design based on the No-Face character from Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. After this, though, he admits via an interpreter that he hasn’t actually seen that hugely successful animation, which is something of a surprise – not just because Spirited Away was such a massive hit in Japan, as well as around the world, but also because Kore-eda has in his own way been just as significant a force in Japanese film over the last few decades as Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, albeit in the realm of live-action and in a much quieter fashion…

Full review for The Skinny

Branden Kramer talks ‘Ratter’, hackers and the FBI

After last year’s Unfriended offered a vision of tech terror told entirely through Skype on a laptop screen, Ratter, the feature debut of writer-director Branden Kramer, ups the unsettling factor by placing viewers in the shoes of a stalker capturing someone’s life via elaborate hacking; a tale entirely visualised through the recording equipment within laptops, smartphones, and other web-connected devices.

Ashley Benson (Spring Breakers, Pretty Little Liars) is excellent as the unseen stalker’s target, whom we witness, to an uncomfortably intimate degree, going about her everyday life, none the wiser that she is perpetually being watched, until events escalate to a point where the threat is very much pronounced.

With the film now available on VOD in the UK, we sit down with Branden Kramer to discuss the creation of this unique thriller, as well as his own run-ins with hackers and, amusingly, the FBI…

Full interview for VODzilla.co

Scott Graham on ‘Iona’

After earning raves and a BAFTA nomination for his debut feature Shell, writer-director Scott Graham returns with Iona, another Scottish film set far off the beaten track. As Graham himself explains, his new film “is about a young woman [Iona, played by Ruth Negga] who goes back to the island of her birth [the isle of Iona] with her teenage son [newcomer Ben Gallagher] to hide from a crime they’ve committed. The film opens in a kitchen in Glasgow. There’s an act of violence that they run from, and the rest of the film takes place on the island. And really the story is about the impact that going back to the island has on her and her son, and also on the family that she left behind when she was a teenager….

Full interview for The Skinny