All eyes will be on David Michôd’s new film The Rover at 10.30pm this Sunday (France time) at the most prestigious film festival on the planet: Cannes. It is in official selection but not in competition. Most recently, he’s been stationed in New York directing an episode of a new television show called Flesh and Bone, set in the underbelly of a New York ballet company. He replied to a few of our questions via email.
Every filmmaker dreams of getting a film into Cannes. Why do you think The Rover did?
Hopefully, it feels like a film they haven't seen before – it's tense and unusual – and because the central performances from Guy and Rob are really extraordinary.
You have said that the film is "not a post-apocalyptic film”, that “this is an Australia that has broken down into a kind of resource-rich Third World country." Can you expand on that?
I didn't want the world of the movie to feel like we'd been reduced to psychotic apes because of a single cataclysmic event. Rather, I wanted it to feel like the entirely plausible and frighteningly possible result of the world we live in today: economic and environmental collapse, as a product of rampant greed and exploitation, reduce Australia to a dangerous resource-rich third world country. Infrastructure, products, and an economy of sorts still exist – they're just broken, fragile and the world of the movie as a consequence is dangerous and unpredictable.
For the many people who know and love Animal Kingdom, what would you say to them about how the film is most different from or influenced by or still shows the David Michôd touch.
I think it will feel like it was made by the same guy who made Animal Kingdom. The Rover is much leaner in narrative and more epic in landscape but, like Animal Kingdom, it's still about the sadness and menace of people trying to make sense of a world that doesn't make any sense.
It was recently announced that you will write and direct the forthcoming production The Operators to star and be produced by Brad Pitt. Can you tell us anything more about that?
There really isn't much to say about The Operators. I’d been talking to Plan B (Pitt’s company) about it for a while. We've been looking for something to do together for a while. They're good people. It’s super early days. I'm starting script from scratch, so have nothing to report yet regarding how it's going to be made.
The Rover arrives in Australian cinemas June 12. Watch the trailer below.