David’s interview with Twitch is such a great read. He talks about various things including showing The Rover at Cannes Film Festival, the difference between the reaction to The Rover at Cannes Film Festival & Sydney Film Festival, Robert Pattinson & Guy Pearce, what new projects he is working on & is asked which film he loves that might surprise us. Have included some excerpts below & to read the full interview at the source, click here.
How was it showing The Rover to the Cannes audience?
[It was] pretty overwhelming. In a strange way, I can’t even really remember what emotional state I was in when that was happening because that state seemed to change every five minutes. It went from pure exhilaration to feeling like I’d been hit by a Versace truck, to constantly trying to work out what the hell people were making of this movie that I’d made.
This is very different than your last film, and I think Cannes in particular is a festival confined by expectations. What drew you to this kind of story?
I knew at the outset that I didn’t want to just try and make Animal Kingdom again.
What I loved about the idea of The Rover is that it would give me the opportunity to work in a very similar tonal world to the world of Animal Kingdom and yet give me the opportunity to make a film that was very different formally.
Animal Kingdom was such a dense, sprawling character drama. I really loved the idea of making a movie that was much more lean, [one] that would function almost as a dark, violent fable with very elemental, almost archetypal characters and a small number of them moving through a vast, empty, almost moonscape. I have no idea really what other people’s expectations will be, and I found that any second I spent thinking about expectations was going to make me crazy and so I just decided to ignore them and make the movie I wanted to make.
How did Pattinson get hooked into the project?
I had a meeting with him maybe a year before I made the movie and it became immediately apparent to me in that meeting that he not only loved Animal Kingdom but had seen all of the shorts that I had made with my friends. He had beyond that a really eclectic, sophisticated interest in cinema. He was actively looking for interesting things to do and actively looking to meet interesting filmmakers.
Is Guy Pearce as respected in Australia as he is internationally?
Yeah, very much so. He’s just been doing it for a long time and it’s a cliché to call an actor transformative but he truly is. There’s just a general sense that Guy’s capable of anything. And I think there’s a great respect also for the kinds of decisions that he makes and the career that he’s forged for himself. He doesn’t seem to be burning with an ambition to be some kind of gigantic tentpole movie star, he just wants to do good movies.
Have you been able to play your film for a local audience yet and how will it play differently in Australia than it will within the batshit bubble of Cannes?
Weirdly, I was just talking to Guy about this about five minutes ago. We just premiered the movie in Sydney about a week ago and the film did play very differently to the way it played in Cannes.
In Cannes, it felt all about stillness and tension and silence in the room. In Sydney, the room was bubbling with life, people were making noises and giggling all the way through it, which felt good and might have had something to do with an access to the vernacular or a familiarity with the landscape, but it was fun and we’re having our premiere in L.A. tonight and I have no idea really how it’s going to play for an American audience.
Do you think the next projects will be in a most similar vein to this film, slightly quieter and introspective?=
I’m cooking a couple of things at the moment, all of which are bigger and denser and more complex than The Rover. I think I’ve had my brief fool around in the gardens of the dark elemental fable but both of these things that I’m working on are pretty embryonic at the moment, so I don’t really know exactly what tonal form they’ll take.
Because of the international success of ANIMAL KINGDOM you must have been approached to do some bigger, more mainstream Hollywood stuff. Is there something that you’re itching to do on that front, something completely different? If they approached you about doing the next STAR WARS film, is that something you’d be excited about doing?
I’d never say never to anything!
I remember feeling quite clearly when it came time to decide what my second movie would be that I really wanted to make something contained and that I could fully control because it felt important to me that I hang on to my voice whatever that is. if I were to venture into those waters, the big studio tentpole waters, I would want to make sure that I had enough caché in the bank to take that voice into a project of that nature without feeling that it would be too diluted.
What is a film that you love that might surprise us?
I re-watched The Breakfast Club on a plane recently. That movie is so good. John Hughes is so great for that, but they’re just such beautifully drawn characters for a younger audience in a world that is both funny and strangely, beautifully sad. He was so good at that stuff!