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Commentary & Q&A - The Square

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I saw a well done, cleverly shocking short called Spider by a director named Nash Edgerton at a previous film fest, but I'm not the kind of film-goer with an encyclopedic memory for names of actors or directors, so I didn't decide to see this film, The Square, because I was looking forward to seeing this director's first feature length film. Maybe one day I'll be that plugged in, but I wouldn't have known if it wasn't for the fact they showed Spider before this film, which was great to create context for the director's style.

The Square is not as unexpected as Spider, but it is a well devised Film Noir. (screenplay written by brother, Joel Egerton) Set in Australia in a mostly blue collar type town, where instead of train tracks, a small body of water seems to be a dividing line between the really blue collars and the management blue collars. This body of water doesn't prevent Construction foreman, Ray (David Roberts) from starting an affair with beautician, Carla (Claire van der Boom).

We're not privy to how long the affair has been going on or how they met, we meet them at the inevitable cross roads of most affairs - "when are you going to leave your wife and run away with me?" of which the man in the affair gives the standard answer of "soon". Here's where the standard makes a departure, Carla discovers the man she lives with has been up to some wrong doing and has stashed a duffel bag full of cash in the attic crawl space. Carla decides this is the perfect opportunity for escape with Ray, she proposes they steal the money and hire an arsonist to make it look like the house happened to catch on fire. But Ray's a normal guy, nothing gangster about him, he may be willing to cheat on his wife with a younger woman, but he's not looking for real trouble, so he turns Carla down, at first. If only he stuck with his first mind,
but because Carla breaks it off with him for refusing the plan, he agrees; which unfortunately sets off a chain of tragic
events which Ray can't stop.

The heart wants what the heart wants, but my personal thought on the matter is, if you are going to commit a crime for somebody, that person should be smart, incredibly beautiful, fascinating, unique and really hot. Carla is ordinary attractive, kinda a cross between Paula Marshall & Lee Lee Sobieski(example pics), which Egerton says was intentional- read below for hightlights from the Q&A:

Edgerton was asked about starting out as a stuntman.

NE: Yeah I started doing stunts when I was 18 to work in the film industry. Me and my friends would work on action sequences on the weekends to put in our show reels to get stunt jobs. The appreciation for the craft of making films came out of that.

What movies did you work on as a stuntman?

NE: The Matrix, Mission Impossible, Star Wars, I did a lot of different things, about 120 different films and TV shows.

The genre is Film Noir , the hero is very ambiguous in terms of his morality, you want to like him you want him to be a good guy, but he keeps making all these bad decisions. And Carla is not your normal femme fatal, she's not really a scheming seductress.

NE: I didn't want them to be black and white characters. I wanted them to be more like real people. When real people have an affair, they don't look for an evil seductress, they have an affair with someone they found a connection with. She's in a relationship where they don't really communicate, he's in a marriage where they've fallen out of love. And because they've found each other doesn't mean their affair has to be this steamy, sexy thing. They've made a connection and may be in this for a while... I just wanted them to be like real people so when they did all these things it would be more feasible and probably more tense because they aren't heightened characters.

Your brother Joel plays the arsonist in the film and he co-wrote the screenplay, what is your working relationship with him?

NE: He's my little brother so he just does what he's told :) No, he's my best friend, we get along really well. The story was his idea, it came out of his sick mind and I like to encourage that mind of his; we have skills that compliment each other.

Do you have distribution for this film?

NE: Yes. Apparition. The film opened in New York, it opens in Philadelphia on April 23rd, next San Diego, Berkley and Boston, it's slowly kinda rolling out. I got an amazingly strong review in the New York Times today. Consistently, it's received good critical feedback everywhere it's played in Australia and France where it's been prior to the US today. The audiences are always very vocal like you all were tonight. So I don't know if that means there's something wrong with me or something wrong with you :)

Do you feel any affinity with the Cohen Brothers?

NE: I definitely like their films. And yeah, me and my brother are brothers. I'm mean it's flattering to be compared, but I feel like we've made one film and they've made many, so let's see what happens in the next 10 years.

Rating: 2 Tines (* Excellent - 4 Tines * Great - 3 Tines * Good - 2 Tines * Fair - 1 Tine * Poor - Tarnished)

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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