Since making his feature debut Benny & Jolene in 2014, Welsh writer and director Jamie Adams has racked up a whopping nine films! His process is very fluid and improvisational, crafting films on a low budget over a very short period of time and with no script in the traditional sense. His latest effort is romantic drama She is Love, which features a trio of terrific performances from Haley Bennett, Sam Riley, and Marisa Abela. I was fortunate enough to sit down with the prolific filmmaker to chat about the film…
It feels like a very long time since our last conversation, back when you had just made your festive film A Wonderful Christmas Time in 2014. How have you, your process, and your films changed in that time?
I’ve got older, more cynical, and more tired, so the process has changed. The truth of it is that every project is different. There’s different people involved; there’s different cast, crew, and their personalities, and you’re balancing all of that. You’re balancing the budget, the schedule, the scope of the vision. You’re balancing the story you want to tell versus what you’re able to tell.
You get more comfortable with the process like a sports person when they get into a routine of some kind; this is what I do when I’m preparing, this is what I do when I’m in the game, this is what I do afterwards. I can look back at something like A Wonderful Christmas Time for example, which is the second feature that we did in this way, and I could see myself mumbling on set as you’re not as confident about what you’re doing because you’re still finding it. You’re always still finding it, but at least you have more of a clue of how you’ll get to what it is you’re looking for.
Over a decade on since the trio collaborated on cult classic In Bruges, writer and director Martin McDonagh reunites with actors Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson for his latest black comedy. The Banshees of Inisherin tells the tale of dairy farmer Pádraic (Farrell) and fiddle player Colm (Gleeson) who have an abrupt falling out after years of friendship. Reeling from the news that his old pal doesn’t like him anymore, Pádraic turns to his sister Siobhan (Kerry Condon) and local idiot Dominic (Barry Keoghan) for support. Their row has repercussions across the small rural island where they live, and soon takes a very sinister turn.
After an acting career that has spanned almost thirty years, Neil Maskell is finally pursuing his long-time passion to write and direct. His debut feature is black comedy thriller Klokkenluider and centres around a government whistleblower and his wife. Ready to tell their story to the press, they are joined by a pair of eccentric bodyguards to protect from any potential threat. I was fortunate enough to chat with the filmmaker ahead of the film’s premiere at the London Film Festival…
You’ve got a wealth of experience in acting, but this is your first time behind the camera. Have you had the desire to direct for a while, or was there something in particular about this film that meant you needed to give it a go?
Definitely the former. I’ve been really quite desperate to be directing something for a long, long time. I’ve been writing for the last 15 years, trying to get either a TV project or film made. Klokkenluider was actually something I didn’t think would really come to fruition. It’s so fucking weird, you know!? The allusion I keep drawing on is that it was like the car in the garage with an old fella sort of tinkering with it, you know, you never get that thing started again! I really enjoyed working on Klokkenluider so even when I was on another project as an actor or a writer, I was always going back to it because I enjoyed being with the characters. I’d get ideas for it when I was in the supermarket after having not written for weeks and I felt I was always slowly getting somewhere with it. It’s kind of amazing that it ended up being the first thing I’ve directed because it wasn’t what I expected it to be, but I’m really glad that it did end up being that because I’m very proud of the script and felt very close to it as a piece.
Known for his menacing portrayals as an actor, Neil Maskell has stepped behind the scenes to write and direct his first feature film. Titled Klokkenluider, which is Dutch for whistleblower, the comedy thriller follows civil servant Ewan (Amit Shah) and his partner Silke (Sura Dohnke) who are sent to a secluded farmhouse in Belgium after the former accidentally uncovers a huge government secret. They await the arrival of a journalist in order to tell their story and are joined by close protection officers Benjamin (Roger Evans) and Kevin (Tom Burke), assigned to provide security from any potential threats of danger or unwanted attention.
Writer and director Charlotte Wells gets nostalgic for 90s package holidays in her first feature Aftersun. The drama looks back at a father-daughter trip to a Turkish family resort, as Calum (Paul Mescal) takes his 11-year-old, Sophie (Frankie Corio) for a week away. We see their tale through the shaky lens of a camcorder, or through the sun-soaked memories of an older and wiser Sophie, remembering the happy-go-lucky version of her dad as he hid the severity of his problems behind wit and a charming smile.