admin On settembre - 8 - 2011

Five years after “Bug”, inspired from Tracy Letts’ pièce for theatre, “The Exorcist” director  William Friedkin comes out in competition at the Venice Festival with “Killer Joe”, a dark comedy full of violence, unrest, perversion and characters with double identities.
Friedkin has starred lots of names of today’s cinema, from Emile Hirsch to Juno Temple and the violent Killer Joe by Matthew McConaughey.
Hirsch is Chris, a young drug dealer who needs to get over 6.000 dollars, so he takes Killer Joe to kill his own mother and to get her life insurance.
Joe is a psychopath, policeman and killer too, who’ll find a special escamotage to claim his money from Chris.

Mr. Friedkin tells: “Even an year before it came out my movie has already been said to be too violent and full of perversion. I do not think in that way, but I have to admit it’s very explicit, sexually first of all.
it’s like a brand new adaptation of Cinderella, you know: there’s a young lady, mistreated by her family, her father and brother take her to prostitute and her birth-mother tried to kill her when she was a child, and she remembers that episode.
Finally she discovers her “prince”, who reveals to be a killer and a cop, and has twice his age…

With his new project Killer Joe, Friedkin delights in exploring the more sinister aspects that lurk among our fellow mankind. From the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Tracy Letts, the film portrays those who are forced to face the truth about themselves in close quarters, and what happens when they’d rather not. However, it’s not an entirely heartless reflection.
Willian Friedkin also states: “There’s a thin line between good and evil and there is the possibility of evil in all of us. I myself have felt all of the emotions in my films at one time or another. I was drawn to this project as it’s about innocence, victimhood, vengeance, and tenderness“.

Matthew McConaughey is Killer Joe, a sheriff in the Dallas Police Department who doubles as a hired hit man. Joe is a calm, methodical killer who never once raises his voice throughout the film. McConaughey reflects, “I sat around and worked on my character for a few weeks and tried not to make too many decisions for Joe, but instinctually fell into some spots that really inspired me early on. It’s part of why this has been fun all the way. There’s something new with Joe every single day at work here, and that’s what I was hoping for. That’s what I’d foreseen in reading the script“.

Also Emile Hirsch describes his character, Chris, as being a small time drug dealer. “He’s a flawed guy, but he still has big dreams and aspirations. He’s a bit of an entrepreneur and a likable loser at the same time. It seems everything Chris touches goes awry for everybody, himself included. This is represented by even the smallest details, such as when the family dog only barks whenever Chris approaches the trailer.”

Ultimately, Friedkin believes that these flawed characters might provide a tragic, social commentary of some kind. He understands that the film will provide some uncomfortable, yet unflinching truths, but views his characters with an open mind, and hopes others will do the same.
Friedkin proclaims, “It’s set in the contemporary world, and nothing shocks me in this world. That’s why I was able to approach this film. There’s some nasty stuff going on out there and Killer Joe explores behaviors that are sometimes difficult to understand.”

Friedkin embraces the destructive forces within his characters in a way not often seen in cinema today. He continues, “So little of what happens to us in life is something that we have control of; all the characters in Killer Joe are trying to get control of their lives, but they can’t”. Friedkin describes Joe as a dark “Deus ex machina, a force of nature that comes in from the outside and affects the lives of all the other people who he touches.

Photocredit:  Skip Bolen

by Ilaria Rebecchi


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