EIFF22 · Interviews

It is in Us All Interview: Antonia Campbell-Hughes – ‘It was like a one-man-show, like theatre. It was extraordinary’.

I have been fascinated by the work of actor Cosmo Jarvis for the past few years, and always take a keen interest in what he’s working on and who he’s working with. His latest performance is in Irish drama It is in Us All where he plays Hamish, a Londoner who takes a trip to Donegal to visit a house left to him by his late aunt. On his way, he’s involved in a brutal car crash, which forces him to confront his past and leads to an unorthodox new friendship. I was very fortunate to sit down with writer and director Antonia Campbell-Hughes to chat about the film…

In the Q&A after last night’s screening, I found it very interesting that you described the film as sci-fi, as it does have an otherworldly quality to it. I saw it as a Western in the way in which Hamish arrives in a strange town at the beginning, and how people sort of know who he is but there’s still that air of mystery to his presence. I know you might not want your film to be defined by its genre, but can you speak a little on how you approached that…

I love what you just said about it feeling like a Western, because in the beginning, all the people he encounters are like the townsfolk. People asked whether or not I changed it for pandemic, but it was always written that way. There are these very individual encounters where people almost deliver a message, and I used to reference Deliverance in that sense because everyone he meets is slightly off. I think there is a world between the Western and science fiction elements. It’s not either, but it is ‘the weird and the eerie’, and those were films that I find curious and interesting.

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Interviews

Wolf Interview: Nathalie Biancheri – ‘People will love it or hate it, but should take George Mackay seriously’.

Writer and director Nathalie Biancheri released her debut Nocturnal in 2019, which caught my attention and marked her as one of the directors I’d love to talk to about their craft. Her second effort Wolf explores the dark and unusual subject of species dysphoria, as the protagonist, played by George Mackay, believes he is a wolf stuck inside a boy’s body. I was fortunate enough to chat to the filmmaker about this piece…

As Wolf is your second feature film, was there anything in particular that you’d brought forward into it from the learning experience that came with directing your debut?

Wolf was such a crazy, demanding, and very insane film from a performance and directing actors’ point of view, so I think it was really reassuring was to have made a first film before going into it. I think what was what was amazing was to have had that first feature even though it was very small. Knowing that it was possible somehow, and not having this unknown of making a feature film and the absolute fear that comes with that was great.

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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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DVD & Digital

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 & Digital

Film review: Nocturnal

 Musician turned actor Cosmo Jarvis has quietly impressed in small supporting turns for a number of years, and now has his first leading role in Nathalie Biancheri’s unconventional family drama Nocturnal. Painter and decorator Pete (Jarvis) endures a bleak and uncomplicated existence in a small coastal town, but his life is thrown through a loop when old flame Jean (Sadie Frost) returns with his long-estranged teenage daughter Laurie (Lauren Coe) in tow. Attempting to make a connection, he strikes up an unusual friendship with the cynical schoolgirl without revealing his true intentions.

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