GFF20 · Interviews

Calm With Horses Interview: Nick Rowland – ‘Everyone’s trapped by a selfish sort of love.’

Irish crime family thriller Calm With Horses marks the directorial debut of Nick Rowland. It tells the story of ex-boxer turned mob enforcer Douglas ‘Arm’ Armstrong played by rising star Cosmo Jarvis. Caught between his loyalty to the Devers family and his responsibilities as a father, he is faced with an impossible dilemma that will have life-changing consequences.

 At Glasgow Film Festival, I was lucky enough to sit down with the director Nick Rowland to discuss the film…

Calm With Horses is of course adapted from a short story by Colin Barrett. How did you come across the source material?

I first read the collection of short stories when I was still at film school, and I had been writing short film scripts…and they were terrible. I was trying to read people who actually knew how to do short form storytelling better. Young Skins is amazing and Calm With Horses is like the sort of centrepiece of the collection. It was about 70 pages, so it felt like a good-sized story to develop into a taut movie.

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cinema · GFF20

Film review: Calm With Horses

 Glanbeigh is a fictional small-town on the west coast of Ireland which serves as the bleak yet breath-taking backdrop for a series of short stories called Young Skins by author Colin Barrett. Crime novella Calm With Horses is the bruising centrepiece of the collection and has been adapted for the screen by newcomer director Nick Rowland and screenwriter Joseph Murtagh. The plot centres around ex-boxer turned muscle Douglas ‘Arm’ Armstrong (Cosmo Jarvis) who does the dirty work of Dympna (Barry Keoghan) for the drug-pedalling Devers family. When he discovers that his ex-girlfriend Ursula (Niamh Algar) is moving to Cork with their young son Jack, he is forced to confront his conflicting loyalties head on.

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DVD

DVD review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer

sacred

After crafting string of indie movies in his native language, Greek writer and director Yorgos Lanthimos enjoyed a critically acclaimed breakthrough with madcap quasi-comedy The Lobster. He has now reunited with the lead Colin Farrell for his next feature The Killing of a Sacred Deer. The plot follows cardiac surgeon Steven Murphy (Farrell) who lives a strange but comfortable life with his wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) and their children. Unbeknownst to his family, he befriends teenager Martin (Barry Keoghan), a former patient who looks up to Steve. Events take a sinister turn when the admiration turns to obsession and Martin places a bizarre curse on Steven, presenting him with an impossible choice.

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DVD

DVD review: Dunkirk

Men-on-Beach-in-Dunkirk

Visionary filmmaker Christopher Nolan has carved a career out of writing and directing imaginative movies, telling mind-bending tales in a way that only he can. His latest feature marks a departure of sorts as he turns his attention to World War II for action-drama Dunkirk, telling the story of the Operation Dynamo evacuation in 1940. As Allied soldiers including Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) and Alex (Harry Styles) are trapped on the beach to await their fate from surrounding Nazi forces, fighter pilots Farrier (Tom Hardy) and Collins (Jack Lowden) provide cover from the skies. Meanwhile, mariner Mr Dawson (Mark Rylance) along with son Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) and his friend George (Barry Keoghan) embark on a brave civilian rescue mission.

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