“5 Minutes with David Michôd”
Joseph Walsh chats with David about his latest film, ‘The Rover’. We’ve included a couple excerpts from their discussion and you can read the full interview at Film3Sixty Magazine.
Film3Sixty: In past interviews you have discussed the problem that there will be obvious comparisons made to George Miller’s Mad Max. Are you annoyed that these clumsy comparisons are still happening?
I knew that they would arise, so they don’t annoy me. The only reason that those assumptions would arise is because those Mad Max movies were so influential and they were very important for Australian cinema. They came very soon after the sort of re-birth of the Australian industry. They did something that Australian cinema had never done before and showed that we had something to offer the world of genre cinema. These weren’t just sort of slow pastoral things about our dark history, these very crazy visions of the future. I just watched the trailer the other day for the new one and it’s incredible, I mean I can’t imagine what the actual movie is like, but if it’s anything like that trailer I want to see it. Having said all of this, I knew that I wanted to make a movie that felt like me. That was dark, menacing, tense, but sad.
Throughout the film you hint at the economic collapse without ever being explicit. Was there ever more in earlier rewrites where you were more explicit and then you stripped back?
No I never felt that it was necessary, I felt like everything that had gone wrong with the world in this movie was very much a product of everything that is wrong with the world today. So I felt like the nature of the collapse would be pretty self evident, it would be economic, it would be a product of a kind of rampant and unregulated neo-liberalism, – a grotesque disregard for the things that sustain us. It would be probably a product of just seemingly insoluble political intransigents, you know that governments in the West, well at least in Australia and America don’t work anymore. Things don’t happen the way they should, and that isn’t just me talking from my side of the political stance, this is just watching how totally dysfunctional government is now. All of these things totally to me lead to some kind of break down in society. But also we’re in the middle of what is clearly the Asian century and there are parts of the world that are still functioning. I thought all of this would just find its way self evidently into the world of the movie. I have frequently encountered people who felt they needed more, they needed it explained to them, and I don’t quite understand why.
You have also once again collaborated with Antony Partos. What is it about working with him that you so enjoy?
Most of music in The Rover is actually licensed stuff from elsewhere, there are maybe four or five very important queues Antony, and the sound designer Sam Petty, have composed that are pieces of largely emotional connecting tissue that we need. One morning I was cutting the film I gave it a very dense temp score that like just virtually none of which felt right, felt perfect and working with Antony gave me the option to take those ideas and flavours but purpose built for the movie. In this one I found frequently in the edit that the music that I had been imagining for months and months before making the film actually fitted kind of perfectly, which is reflective in a way of much of my experience with making this movie and I feel like this movie is a much clearer and considered execution of my intent than Animal Kingdom was. I’m very proud of Animal Kingdom too but it felt that once completed it wasn’t the film that I had imagined.