Dystopian worlds are the popular genre of the year but How I Live Now takes it on in a unique way. Typically these worlds have distinct differences between ours and theirs. But this film opts to create a stark realism creating an eerily real atmosphere.
Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) is a rebellious teen from the US visiting her bohemian cousins in the UK. She refuses to try new things, sticking to her guns- her complete control over herself. But her layers start to peel away when she becomes involved with Eddie (George MacKay). Of course, that is when all hell breaks loose. The UK is in the midst of World War III and the cousins are all on their own. After living off the land, Daisy, Eddie, Piper (Harley Bird) and Isaac (Tom Holland) are forced apart but vow to be reunited. The film tracks Daisy and Piper's journey back to her love, Eddie. Fighting the odds to simply make it back alive, but that doesn't mean that it will leave them untouched.
Director, Kevin MacDonald, has a strong documentary film background which is extremely present throughout the film. The film features the beautiful scenery of Wales, with its swooping establishing shots that, although breathtakingly beautiful, come with an air of fear. Simply because the usage of real locations that correlate with the real world poses the idea that this (the war) could easily happen today. Especially since, not only is the year the narrative is set, is never mentioned. But because MacDonald never mentions what caused the war or who it is between. This lack of clarity reestablishes the idea that this could happen any time.
But that is the great thing about the film. Although clearly happening during a horrible war, that is not the purpose of the film. It is a love story and it stick to that. Unlike other films that may evolve from a love story to a war one, How I Live Now does comment on the war but does not focus on it. One knows that the war is still going on through distant sounds and Daisy and Piper stumbling across the aftermath.
Ronan creates a powerful leading lady. She had to be able to allow the audience watch her strip away her tough outer layer to be more accepting. But she does not transform from the mean girl to the nice one in a lovely montage. Instead, she allows herself less self-control but never really loses her skepticism and anger. When escaping through the woods with Piper, instead of being understanding of her younger cousins exhaustion, she actually gets mad at her and questions leaving her behind. She is a woman with a single mission- to get back with Eddie. It deviates from her typical characters, as for once, she gets to play a normal teenager with typical issues. Of course Daisy is not typical in the fact that she has to survive a war but Ronan plays it off in such a way that she is still a relateable character. She has to turn Daisy from a disliked character to one that is rooted for in the end. It is not an easy feat but Ronan is the one to do it. By the end of the film, one cannot help but to be hoping that Daisy finds Eddie.
It is not a complicated narrative but it executed in such a way that one still feels compelled. The beautiful mix between gorgeous scenery and the mission to get home is a journey that many people may relate to, literally or metaphorically. Thrown in the midst of the other films of 2013, How I Live Now stands out for a number of reasons. First, it does not utilize over the top extra effects, allowing for natural beauty and effects to lead the way. Second, it is not overly complicated. The straight forward narrative is able to develop in a natural way over the film instead of fighting to fit every ounce of information into it. Lastly, MacDonald aimed to get 'unknowns' for his film. Although each actor has been in other things, save for Ronan, they are still particularly unknown actors. On top of this, the films main actors are all children. This allows the innocents of youth to seep out, as well as letting the film focus on the narrative rather than the performance of big name actors.
Overall, I was happy to watch this film in the midst of other stereotypical rom-coms. Whether the narrative is appealing to you or not, the visuals alone is able to draw you in with natural beauty that has been overlooked for modern sets.
We all know the quote “in space, no one can hear you scream”, so what can you expect from Sandra Bullock and George Clooney’s journey in space? Is it a modern adaptation on Alien?
As it turns out, this is one of the few films this year where the atmosphere is important and adds to the experience. Forget about waiting for the DVD release, splurge on the 3D tickets and you’ll be thanking yourself as the end credits roll. But it will not disappoint as it has aspects that not only will please a multitude of demographics but introduces you to a new visual experience.
Gravity has a simple plot to say the least. What can you expect from a film that takes place in space without being pitched as another sci-fi film? Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are the unusually beautiful doctor, astronaut duo who are forced to work together after freak circumstances sees them separated from their spacecraft and drifting in overwhelming expanse of space. The father-son team Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón who wrote, and in Alfonso’s case, directed the film creates enough tension and suspense to leave the audience gripping their seats without having to cram their narrative with overly complex ideas.
Clooney and Bullock work well together creating perfect balance between tense and comedic scenes which allows viewers a chance to take a breath between winces and gasps. Their effortless chemistry and onscreen banter reinforces the idea that, while they may not be astronauts, they are a realistic team. Yet when they discuss clear space jargon there are times when the doubt disappears and Clooney and Bullock transform into astronauts before our eyes.
But the main game changer for the film is the visuals. As soon as the 3D glasses are put on and the first frame is observed you understand why this film not only had to be seen on the big screen but in 3D. Gorgeous landscapes of the Earth greet the eyes transforming you from a seat in the cinema into the emptiness of space, taking your breath away. Although most people would have seen some variation of Earth from space, Gravity takes that one step further. It has never been this clear, detailed and breathtaking. Seeing the Earth from this perspective reminds you about the natural beauty of the planet we call home.
It is the first film that takes place in space from a fictional perspective that we have had in a long time that does not have supernatural or sci-fi undertones. In fact, it could also be argued about being the most realistic depiction. Yes it may be because of the leaps and bounds that visuals have taken to be so crisp that you question if you are not actually there. But even with films like Apollo 13 that have a similar narrative to Gravity, because of the way it is shot you do not question the authenticity of actually being in space. This is because Alfonso Cuarón does not overwhelm the sense with too many unnecessary sound effects or other random visual distractions as he understands the power our Earth and space can have without any help.
Additionally, Cuarón utilizes our limited knowledge of space walking by using what we would assume as realistic scenarios like Stone’s equipment drifting away or Kowalski discussing the longest moon walk. These clearly unique actions and jargon applicable only in space, bridges the gap between fantasy and reality.
But whether or not the narrative is viewed revolutionary, no one will leave the theatre upset. The tasteful visuals of which no other film has done gives a unique perspective into a place where the average person will never venture and get to appreciate. Gravity seamlessly blends visuals and narrative that creates a full and fulfilling movie experience.
Although this is another Vampire movie to add to the full, of not bursting list that has graced our screens in the past. Byzantium takes a somewhat different approach.
If one were to enter this film with no concept in their head, the title 'Byzantium' my simply be a cool title that references to the ancient city where presently Istanbul stands. Director, Neil Jordan who also directed Interview with the Vampire, sets this film off with no indication of vampires. But as the film develops, it doesn't focus simply on the supernatural aspect, but is boiled down to the relationship between two female vampires and their place in society. Unlike other vampire stories, not only do they focus on two women but they don't become vampires from the commercialized way of a bite. Despite the film being about vampires, writer Moira Buffini executes it in such a way thatthe supernatural aspect could easily be overlooked and still leave a compelling story of how this seemingly random relationship came to be.
The film opens on Eleanor, brought to life by the captivating Saoirse Ronan, as she discusses why she writes her stories down although they must remain untold. Having this as an opening, it sets up the atmosphere of being trapped and burdened by one's past. But although her stories are clearly more elaborate than the average person, it creates a sense of relatability as everyone holds secrets that they cannot share. Her clear sense of innocence and youthful purity contrasts with the introduction of Clara. Clara, whose played by the equally charming Gemma Arterton, creates a stark difference to Eleanor as she is found in a strip club, half naked, grinding on a man. Eleanor describes her as "my savior, my burden" which instantly implies that behind her innocence is Clara protecting her from the harshness of reality in any way she can. Although their relationship is not explained from the onset. It is obvious that they are bonded, though not necessarily by choice.
Like most movies, a male (or two) are introduced in order to create a wedge. Eleanor struggles to find herself while trying to be who she has been told to be. Whilst Clara remains just as hard to dissect as before. In fact, Clara appears to be a modern take on the femme fatal as the facade she puts up draws men in who want to help her and inevitably lead to their downfall. Even though Clara is tough and at times almost heartless, it is hard to hate her character with the moments of sincerity and fierce protectiveness she has over Eleanor.
As the film unravels and we're given glimpses into their pasts, both when they were human and after they were turned, their individual struggles are aired. They may not share the same troubles many people still face, but once Clara's past is revealed it creates an understanding of why she has become the person she is today. She had a youthful innocence, very much like Eleanor still does. But due to unfortunate circumstances molded her into the spiteful character. Young Clara who was forced into a brothel is sadly not an outdated concept so it brings a story set in the past to a current problem, further adding a touch of realism.
In fact, for most of the first half of the film, the concept of vampire's is glossed over to establish a basis to set up Clara and Eleanor's established characters before introducing glimpses into their pasts and answering the larger questions of their past.
Frank, played by Caleb Landry Jones, is the young male who comes between Eleanor and Clara. Although not initially set up as a love interest for Eleanor, he becomes something unique to her- a friend. Such a storyline is typical with nerds or social awkward people. But Eleanor's story is one of secrets and struggle with creating meaningful connections. Frank is important than just being someone for Eleanor to create a relationship with (romantic or otherwise) but he also disrupts Clara and Eleanor's flow that had been working for years. As his presence has awoken something in Eleanor making her be less passive about her life and want to do something for herself by staying put whilst going against Clara's demands. It is the first, noticeable character development for Eleanor. Which touches home on the idea of the teenagers pulling away from their parents or guardians grasp. For once, Eleanor wants to establish her own persona.
The film has arching themes of secrets, protection, struggle and love. It allows the audience to still be able to connect and sympathize with their situations. It is also presented in such a way that draws away from the typical vampire flick that takes place typically in the evenings or shadowed rooms or creating an elaborate story as to why they can walk in the day. Although Clara and Eleanor are not tanning, they are certainly not restricted to the darkness and are allowed to walk among humans. What I found particularly pleasing is that there is almost never any harsh lighting. Most daytime shots are during overcast days, which are clearly cold. It adds a rigidness and a discomfort that sunshine could not replicate. Further reinforcing the idea that nothing in their lives are blue skies and happy, rather they live in a current state of bleakness. This unflattering blandness engulfs them as they run from one place to the next hiding not only from those who are a threat but their pasts. Yet in the safety of their house, the soft lighting gives the false pretense of safety. Not only does the weather help reinforce particular situations but creates a pathetic fallacy which further reminds viewers of the complexity of their lives.
Even the attire is an important feature. Not only does it establish where we are in the timeline of either Eleanor or Clara's life by changing between colonial clothes of the past and common clothes of the present. But it reestablishes the characters personality. In Eleanor's case, she is often wearing multiple layers of comfortable clothes that are either dull colors or earthy shades. This implies her longing for not only protection but comfort- something she doesn't have in a conventional way with Clara. But the dull colors also establishes the fact that she would rather blend in then stand out. In comparison to this, Clara is introduced wearing lingerie revealing not only much of her skin but her risque and shameless side. When wearing more conventional outfits, they are almost always tight, revealing, black outfits that shows off her figure. It reflects her personality as tough and fearless but also acts as a shield or a facade that she is heartless and does not care for anything. They style of her clothes are also purposeful since they draw in male attention which she has learned to manipulate to get her way- a more realistic version of 'glamoring' found in some vampire lore. Yet, in the flashbacks she wears loose, white, colonial style dresses which reminds us how similar she was to Eleanor and the way she was before she changed.
One narrative aspect I really enjoyed about the film were the snippets of information about both how they became to be vampires and how they know each other. But establishing their relationship from the offset without explaining their connection instantly draws you in to deduce their past. Additionally, the slow reveal of their individual journeys to becoming vampires is not anything like what I have come to expect. The stark contrast between Ronan and Arterton's acting keeps you interested to understand why Clara is so harsh and Eleanor is conflicted with her story. This unconventional vampire story kept me intrigued from the first minute till the conclusion. The wavering pace as it started slow, giving you a taste of what to come then melding into action sequences kept me excited for what will happen next. Byzantium was a breath of fresh air among the endless list of corny, overly romanticized vampire films. But the best part of is that even if you have no interest in vampires, the film is not purely focused on it and Ronan and Arterton bring to life this confusing yet fascinating relationship.
This British biopic was a nice break from all the summer blockbusters.
First off, it was English so instantly more risque in its portrayal of women, sex, drugs and other things that would brand a movie with a censor in the US.
It follows the life of one of the richest men in the UK, Paul Raymond, who not only challenged the barriers of porn but who could be considered the English Hugh Hefner. The film follows him after he is an established business man with a more versatile kind of strip club. We're given a look into his personal life with the deterioration of his marriage and string of lovers while also showing his softer side through his relationship with his daughter.
The Look of Love is not any new kind of narrative, especially since it was based off a true story but it blends humor and drama well whilst playing with the viewers emotions. One second he is spited the next we empathize with him. Raymond, played brilliantly by Steve Coogan, is how we would expect the owner of strip clubs and dirty magazines would be. While he flirts with his employees, instead of being angered due to the knowledge of his wife, we are intrigued. The fact that his wife, Jean played by the equally believable Anna Friel, is included with one of his earliest (mostly) nudist acts puts the thought in our head that perhaps she deserved or at least expected it. That is solidified by the way Jean almost emotionally talks to Raymond about his time with the girls when he commonly arrives home late.
When Raymond leaves his wife, it is to be expected. Perhaps it has become almost a thing of acceptance in this kind of scenario. Of course it is upsetting since he is leaving his children for his own selfish desires but with the increase of these drama films about the playboy the emotions that should be there are overlapped with an almost passive belief. In fact as soon as Tamsin Egerton's character Amber (or as referred to at a later stage as Fiona Richmond) is introduced, the entire scenario flashed in my head. Not only was she made to stand out among the other women but she represented 'the chase' for Raymond. Egerton's character was interesting because despite her appearance and occupation she was not the vapid, gold-digging woman one would expect. Although she did start there she was presented in a way that set herself up as bait for Raymond and used him for publicity. Despite sounding stereotypical, her character developed while Raymond's spiraled. Richmond grew into a businesswoman while Raymond seemed to be reliving his early 20's.
But what was most shocking yet fascinating was the relationship between Raymond and his daughter Debbie (played by Imogen Poots). His daughters rebellious side is somewhat thrown at us when she is briefly introduced then when meeting her again she has been thrown out of her high school. It appears that she is close to her father, choosing to stay with him once her parents separated. But like many children of famous people, she fights for his attentions. Much like her mother, she volunteers to be in one of his erotica productions, a musical of sorts. Raymond casts her as the lead singer in a play that is highly ridiculed. This appears to mark the start of her downward spiral. Next thing we know shes getting married to some random man and is pregnant. All seems well, but drugs are thrown at us and clearly at her. Poots portrayal is not to the extent of heart-wrenching but it certainly is believable. As she snorts the coke one can only feel sorry for her as she watches her father overlook her for the sights of other women.
Overall, this film is not the next big thing, but it is a fun and interesting biopic about the British Hugh Hefner and for a time, the richest man in Britain. Director Michael Winterbottom portrays a colorful yet at times dark film about a man who is questionably respected. The screenplay, written by Matt Greenhalgh opens us to this forbidden world and gives insight into a man with his many troubled relationships. Unlike other biopics, The Look of Love doesn't focus on simply the risque parts that may be what many expected when watching the life of Paul Raymond. It allows a portion of his life to flourish and develop so that the audience can experience the changes with him. Although this would not be a film I am desperate to see in the cinema, it certainly is film I would watch if I wanted to be entertained or wanted to know more
'Jobs' is the anticipated film that allows that audience a glimpse into the life of the revolutionary Steve Jobs who created the company Apple. With this kind of biography style film one might initially compare it to the likes of 'The Social Network' which follows a similar approach to people who have changed the world of technology.
Starting off with Ashton Kutcher playing Jobs, it was well cast in relation to physical appearance. Kutcher and the other cast members look uncannily like the real people giving it an air or realism. Kutcher seems to embody Jobs, recreating his wardrobe, walk and mannerisms. In fact, one enjoyment of the film is not just watching the action play out but noticing the change from hippy-esque clothing to Jobs' stereotypical turtleneck, jeans and sneakers combination.
What I did not expect going into the film was learning that Jobs was not the nicest of men. Yes, in industries such as the emerging computer one, you would have to be persistent and tough to succeed. However, the portrayal of Jobs goes beyond being a cunning salesman but to a narcissistic person with an explosive temper. This revelation compared to Jobs during his very publicized discussions on his new products seems to juxtapose each other. Was the film playing up his temper or during his public appearances, did he simply put on a calm facade? The mild mannered man telling us about his latest product to one who screams threats to Bill Gates on the phone makes the audience question his personality.
In fact, some scenes in the film seemed to have been put there for the sole purpose of making people dislike him. For example, towards the beginning of the film, Jobs is seen cheating on his girlfriend with a girl he just met. One could brush that off as him being a carefree young man, something that I'm sure does not shock people. But then it goes one step further when it is revealed that his girlfriend is pregnant and he accuses her of cheating on him and therefore the child is not his. The icing on the cake in the scenario is that he throws her out and rejects every plea for him to be part of his daughters life. No one can truly judge a single mans judgement but the film certainly doesn't aim to show the good side of Jobs but rather the harsh and quite negative one.
Although the film was a hefty 125 minutes long it did not come across as a smooth progression of his life. From the film starting with the unveiling of the iPod, the average movie goer might assume that the narrative would go full circle showing his life until that point. Yet, the movie is made in such a way that it feels like a combination of short stories of Jobs' life strung together with the overhanging knowledge of him creating Apple and its resulting products. Initially the film flows along as we watch how Apple was founded from the concept of the computer to actually marketing it. But once he is ousted from the company the film transforms to show sometimes random clips of his life. For example, a scene further into the film shows Jobs now with two infant children in a new house talking about a meeting. Next thing you know, his daughter who last we knew of, he rejected, is sleeping on his couch. The only interaction between the two of them that we are privy to is him asking her if she wants breakfast. And as soon as she is introduced, she is forgotten. Yes this clip is all we needed to know that he decided to have Lisa be part of his life but it certainly feels like it was thrown in there.
There are many scenes that feel placed in the film just to both add minutes to the film and make sure a small part of Jobs' life was touched on. When it shows Jobs starting his new company 'Next' it does tell the audience what he was doing between his time at Apple. But the short mention of this adds no more information than the name of the company and what it did. Apart from that it really does not add anything significant to the narrative.
Lastly, starting the film with the introduction of the iPod I, like most, assume that whether it returns to that particular scene or something along the lines, that is how the film will end. But when the story goes from Jobs in a sound booth saying an inspirational speech to a black screen with 'Steve Jobs 1955-2011' I was totally taken off guard. I do not understand the mindset that the director Joshua Michael Stern had to think that it would be a good place to end the film. Perhaps it was because they did not want to exceed 2 hours, or that he assumed that the audience are knowledgeable enough about Jobs to fill in the blanks, I don't know. All I know is that the ending left me with an annoyed and uncomfortable feeling. I personally know very little about Jobs so I don't know what happened between his first macbook and iPod. Also but thrusting this unresolved ending on me left me confused wondering if they are going to try squeeze a Jobs 2 on us to fill in the blanks. Considering the 2 hour film was quite slow with random parts I believe it could have easily gotten rid of some random scenes, trimmed a bit and then have enough time for the story to reach the iPod.
Yes, this film did give great insight about the internal struggles he faced within his own company from being ousted or having his visions questioned. But to me it turned a man who is beloved by many due to his creativity to showing this angry man who couldn't work with others. I unfortunately was disappointed in the film considering all the hype, but perhaps it is because I am not an Apple user in any shape or form and therefore knew nothing about Jobs.
Now I ask myself: does this film taint Jobs' image, distorting it from a loved genius to a self-centered, angry man?
In my opinion, the film detracts from Jobs' creative genius by showing him shouting or angry for a large portion of the film. Had Stern balanced this anger with more mild and upbeat scenes of his life it might have been overlooked or accepted, but the high volume of 'angry Jobs' made me see the man as a different person and did not make him a technological martyr like I thought they would.
I was lucky to see an early screening of this film but went in knowing virtually nothing about the plot. I thought that this film, hidden amongst all of the blockbusters of the summer, would be forgotten as soon as I ventured into my next cinematic experience. But it has left a lasting impact on me.
The film follows Sarah (Brit Marling) an undercover private investigator who journeys out to find an environmentalist group called 'the East' that has become a thing of legends and mystery. Her travels see her have to transform herself from the city-sleek woman to a grungy, hippy-esque one who trainhops, practically never showers and is detached from the rest of the world. Enough to limit her suspicion and get in with the East. When she eventually is introduced to this radical group, under unusual circumstances, she has to get them to accept her.
She finds their way of life different but fulfilling. Until she finds out that they truly are as radical as the news casts them. Assisting on their plots she becomes torn between her job and the message the group tells. To get her merit points with the group, she helps them on a plot where they target a pharmaceutical company that have hidden the deadly side effects of their latest drug in order to profit. So the East go undercover and drug the main benefactors with their own drug. Sarah is presented with her first dilemma, warn the people and risk her cover being blown, or turn a blind eye. Deciding to keep her cover she watches these people unknowingly ingest their drug. As days pass it is revealed that some of the CEO's of the company have become sick which coincides with the East releasing a video.
These kinds of plot happens two more times. The second plot sees one of their own get shot and killed which stalls their third and final strike.
The East's final strike involves Sarah playing a pivotal role, one she isn't aware of. She arrives at her office in DC with one of the East members and finds out that her cover had been blown a long time ago as they had always expected that someone undercover would come. Now she has to go and steal a file that identifies all of the undercover agents in her PI firm. Once she enters her office, she tries to warn her boss about the East and their intentions, which are simply blown off. In fact, she is all but told to bury this story about the corrupt business people since they weren't being paid for that, they were only supposed to find the East. But at the same time it is known that she has taken the file. This is where the film comes at a crossroad. This is where the audience themselves are scrambling to decide which path she should take.
1. Should Sarah tell her boss that the leader of the East is outside and he sent her in and that she has the file? Even though her boss would most definitely arrest the leader and stop their reign of terror but nothing else.
2. Give the file to the East, uncover all of the PI's currently in the field so that they couldn't stop people like the East and therefore seek their form of justice?
3. Keep the file and work with the East. But instead of unmasking her fellow colleagues, find them and tell them about all she has learned about their workplace and the corrupt side of the world.
What makes this film so captivating to me is the fact that even you as the audience feel conflicted between the choices the characters present you with. On the one hand, if you were to stop them, you would be lawful and doing what is supposed to be morally correct. But on the other hand, the East only target corporations that cause environmental and social problems but ignore them for the profit. A very relatable story to today's economic situation presented with the 1%.
Although being produced by Fox, it still has the style of Independent films. It allows the beautiful and creative shots to aid the narrative, rather than forcing the narrative onto the viewer. Getting the nitty-gritty of society, the film is reminiscent of Jennifer Lawrence's Winter's Bone as the director doesn't hide from the bad parts be it skinning a squirrel or targeting a corrupt company.
The idea of cults seems to have become a niche for co-writers Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, with their other popular Sundance film Sound of my Voice which has a different, more accepting view on cults. In fact, both Brit and Zal have started to gain attention through their Sundance accepted films, which includes Another Earth. They have a style that enables an audience to feel similar emotions to the characters without forcing upon them. Many films opt for intense music, fast editing or other techniques that warns the audience that something important of suspenseful is coming up. Yet, I think that is what made me more captivated, the fact that I truly was experiencing all of Sarah's dilemas with her rather than watching her.
Even though there are big names who grace this film, including Alex Skarsgård as the intense yet comforting cult leader and the convincing extremist Ellen Page, Brit still shines as the leading lady. Some may wonder if Brit gave herself the lead role simply because she co-wrote the film but having her play Sarah gives the character some innocence. Instead of expecting a performance from a more well known actor we can see how a person may feel if coming across a cult. That and Brit actually spent a time with cults, not as research but simply out of curiosity. Meaning she could pull from real life experience with similar kinds of cults and draw that into her character. If you have seen her in any other of her films, you would also know that she has a way to draw the audience in. Not simply with looks and charm, but her calm approach to acting and living out her character. She plays a leading lady without the stereotype of a 'strong' woman, but rather a fearless woman.
If the plot is not enough to convince you of the East's potential, the fact that brothers Tony and Ridley Scott are producers on the film. Just like their films, the East has the potential to grab the attention of both the mainstream audiences as well as independent film watchers.
The film brings up ideas that are very relevant to present day. The whole idea of ignorance is bliss seems to have become a belief many people live by. Rather than learning the true, often harsh reality people would rather hear what the corporations tell us. But as more and more comes out about the government, monopolies and such, the East puts forth an almost accusatory idea that we let ourselves be tricked as long as it doesn't have a bad effect on us. It isn't until issues raised by groups disturb our lives do we speak out. Although the East is very much the extreme, it get us thinking of how much we let others get away with.
At the screening, we were fortunate enough to have the director and co-writer Zal Batmanglij present. He talked about the writing process with Brit and their shared summer staying with cults. In fact, it was an expected interview which is why I wont recount it word for word. But there was one section that stuck with me. Zal talked about, despite the fact that Fox was producing them, they were still allowed their creative freedom. But this film wasn't about the paycheck at the end. He explained that he didn't care if the film became a huge international success, but would prefer if each person who watched the film left talking and thinking about it and telling their friends. And clearly their plan worked.
All I can say is that out of all the blockbusters I've seen, this one has gotten me actively telling people to go watch it.