On watching the Australian crime-thriller The Square, one of the stars of the 2009 South by SouthWest Film Festival, you might be surprised to learn that director Nash Edgerton and his brother Joel, who wrote and stars in the film, have actually been around for nearly fifteen years making movies. Nash has been working as a stuntman on “The Matrix” trilogy and “Star Wars” prequels, while Joel has been acting in a number of movies, including those “Star Wars” movies, Joe Carnahan’s Smokin’ Aces and the upcoming prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing.
At the same time, the brothers had been writing, acting and directing a number of short films including the award-winning Lucky (which you can watch here) and Spider, which will be playing in front of The Square.
Together, they make up two parts of Blue-Tongue Films, a collective of Australian filmmakers who have been helping each other get to the point where they’re about to have a very big year, first with The Square, a complex thriller involving a building contractor named Ray, played by David Roberts, who has been having an affair with a much younger married woman (Claire Van der Boom). Her suggestion to steal a bag full of money from her husband and run away together then leads to a series of events, including an encounter with an arsonist, played by Joel. It’s one of the strongest debuts we’ve seen in quite some time, a film that constantly keeps you on edge as it winds up its tight and intricate plot and then slowly unravels it, throwing all sorts of difficult situations at Ray as he tries to cover his tracks for the robbery. In fact, the film is reminiscent of some of the better films of the Coen Brothers and Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan, but with a tone that’s a throwback to the thrillers of the ’60s and ’70s.
On top of that, the Edgerton’s Australian production company pretty much owned Sundance with the premiere of two other movies looking at getting 2010 releases: David Michod’s Animal Kingdom, which was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, and Spencer Susser’s Hesher, which will be released by Newmarket Films.
ComingSoon.net had a chance to sit down with Nash for an exclusive video interview last week, and here’s what we discussed:
* Why it took so long for him and his brother to tackle a feature film
* About the original idea and how it turned into the final script
* What some of his influences were and the film’s ’70s vibe
* Discussing the tone of the film
* Casting a lot of lesser-known actors
* The importance of the location where the film was shot
* How he made the transition from stuntman to filmmaker
* What Nash is hoping to do next
The Square opens in New York and L.A. on Friday. Look for our interview with Nash’s brother Joel who wrote and stars in the movie later this week.