Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

6 pm - Ryerson. Cillian Murphy in attendance. The Wind that Shakes the Barley.

The Palm D'Or winner at Cannes. The story of two brothers whose fight for an independent Ireland eventually leads them in opposite directions. Highlights of Q&A with Cillian Murphy

  • When asked what it was like to work for Ken Loach. "Any actor worth his/her salt would give their right arm to work with Ken. His method which is often confused as something else. What he does is set up an environment for actors whereby there is no such thing as marks, or lighting setups. The camera is invariarably very far away with a long lens so it feels like a very private experience. Pure is the word I would use to describe it.
  • People get confused and think that there isn't a script. There is a very strong script that Paul Laverty has written, but we're just not privy to it as actors. As a result, what that lends itself to is a performance that is honest. That is not premeditated or intellectualized. You can't rely on tricks. It's terrifying and exhilierating in equal proportions.
  • The film played very well in both Ireland and the U.K. There was some backlash in papers in Britain, but the reviews were good.
  • He did a lot of reading in preparation for the film. Ernie O'Malley (sp?) was one specifically he read on since he was a doctor and got involved in the fight for independence.
  • The script is set. Paul and Ken know where the characters are and where their going, but there is a certain amount of freedom to express yourself. For example, there may be a scene that is completely lit so you have the freedom to go here or there and not be restricted by lighting setups. But we don't contribute to the story other as actors portraying the parts.

The movie was extremely well acted and moving. I liked that the characters' motivations/actions were not easily figured out. Nor were they completely likeable. We get to see both sides of the argument toward the peace treaty. I did have trouble in the beggining of the film with the heavy accents, but as the film progresses, I was able to understand. The film did seem to run a little long. Thanks to its kudos at Cannes, it should do well at arthouses, but I doubt it will go wider than that.

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