PRINT INTERVIEW: “Once it’s done, it doesn’t belong to me at all, I have to surrender it” | David Michôd on his own films

A few days ago we posted about Madman Film’s free interactive Q&A that’s being held tomorrow (Sunday 31 May at 2.00pm AEST) with David, Joel Edgerton and Ben Mendelsohn to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of ANIMAL KINGDOM. The Sydney Morning Herald recently interviewed David and below is an extract of what David had to say:

“For Michod, it is likely to be a bitter-sweet experience. “I can’t bear looking at my films, they just make me squirm,” he says from the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland, where he is recovering from an operation to repair a badly broken wrist (he fell off a ladder while trying to pull weeds from a tree).

“It has something to do with the feeling that the art is in the process of making it. Once it’s done, it doesn’t belong to me at all, I have to surrender it.”

When Michod took his film – loosely inspired by Melbourne’s Pettingill crime family – to Sundance in January 2010, he says: “I thought it was a disaster. All I could see was the 14 tonnes of sticky tape and crazy glue holding the thing together, all I could see were the scenes that didn’t work or that I’d cut out, or just the emotional torment of making it at all.”

JACKI WEAVER talks David

“David Michod, without any exaggeration, changed my life,” Jacki Weaver told me some years ago. “Not that there was anything wrong with my life before.”

In the almost 50 years she’d been working up to that point, Weaver had made 15 movies in Australia. In the decade since, she has made 28 films, plus a handful of TV series. Weaver has also been twice nominated for Academy Awards, for Animal Kingdom and for Silver Linings Playbook.

“I didn’t expect to be singled out,” Weaver said. “For me, the performance of the film was Ben, but everybody was good – Guy Pearce was fantastic, and who couldn’t love Joel Edgerton.”


But Michod says Mendelsohn almost didn’t do the film. “He was at a point in his career where he was tired, he was disenchanted, and he very nearly said no to Animal Kingdom. And I think that wouldn’t have done his career any good, and it wouldn’t have done my career any good either.”

“I’ve had this conversation with Ben before where he’s said, really beautifully, ‘thank you so much, you’ve given me a career’,” says Michod. “And I’ve said to him, ‘Ben, I don’t believe the movie would have been received the way it was without you in it’.

“As much as I would love to be strutting around town thinking I ‘created’ all these actors, I just think we all got lucky together,” he adds. “We all took a punt on a movie that may or may not have worked, and it paid off.”

Click on the link above to read the full article.

If you haven’t registered for the free Q&A tomorrow – click on the Madman link above.

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