Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting Retrospective: The Films Of Paul Thomas Anderson Retrospective: The Films Of Paul Thomas Anderson WB Reveals Full DC Slate Through 2020, Including Two 'Justice League' Pics, 'Wonder Woman,' 'Green Lantern' & More WB Reveals Full DC Slate Through 2020, Including Two 'Justice League' Pics, 'Wonder Woman,' 'Green Lantern' & More Brad Bird Explains Why He Passed On Directing 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Brad Bird Explains Why He Passed On Directing 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Shia LaBeouf Cut His Own Face, Fought The Cast & Got A Tooth Pulled Making 'Fury' Shia LaBeouf Cut His Own Face, Fought The Cast & Got A Tooth Pulled Making 'Fury' Robert Downey Jr. To Join Chris Evans In ‘Captain America 3’ Which Will Help Launch A New Phase Of Marvel Robert Downey Jr. To Join Chris Evans In ‘Captain America 3’ Which Will Help Launch A New Phase Of Marvel BFI London Film Festival Review: Susanne Bier's Long-Delayed 'Serena' Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper BFI London Film Festival Review: Susanne Bier's Long-Delayed 'Serena' Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Oscar Buzz: Who's Going To Challenge For Best Actress This Year? Oscar Buzz: Who's Going To Challenge For Best Actress This Year? Robert Downey Jr. Says Superhero Films Are Becoming “Old" And Showing "Signs Of Fraying Around The Edges” Robert Downey Jr. Says Superhero Films Are Becoming “Old" And Showing "Signs Of Fraying Around The Edges” Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 6 ‘Devil You Know’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 6 ‘Devil You Know’ Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Cannes: Andrew Dominik On The Violence, Politics & Look Of 'Killing Them Softly' With Brad Pitt

The Playlist By Aaron Hillis | The Playlist May 24, 2012 at 2:19PM

In what turned out to be a banner year for the movies, "The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford" ended up somewhat overshadowed. As fellow neo-Westerns "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country For Old Men" swept up plaudits and Oscars, the picture, the second by Australian director Andrew Dominik, received some raves, but plenty of negative notices too, and it ended up making a miniscule amount at the box office. But by decade's end, many had since rediscovered the picture as one of the finest of the 00s, and as such, Dominik's first film since, crime tale "Killing Them Softly," was one of the most eagerly anticipated pictures of the Cannes film festival this year.
2
Andrew Dominik

In what turned out to be a banner year for the movies in 2007, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" ended up somewhat overshadowed. As fellow neo-Westerns "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country For Old Men" swept up plaudits and Oscars, the picture, the second by Australian director Andrew Dominik, was plagued by post-production battles and an indifferent release by Warner Bros., which saw it come and go to in theaters fairly quickly in limited release. But by decade's end, many had since rediscovered the picture as one of the finest of the '00s, and as such, Dominik's first film since, crime tale "Killing Them Softly," was one of the most eagerly anticipated pictures of the Cannes Film Festival this year.

Based on the novel "Cogan's Trade" by George V. Higgins, the film is a politically charged thriller about the fall-out when two junkies rob a protected, mob-run poker game, with a top-notch cast including 'Jesse James' star Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn (read our review here). While in Cannes, we caught up with the director to find out about the violence, politics and look of the film.

When you're making a film that wears its political intent right on its sleeve, does that concern you ever as far as getting the film to reach the masses, especially in the States?
Well that's kind of the idea. I wanted to make a cartoon, you know? I'm serious, it’s a cartoony kind of movie. And I don't know how that happened. You know, in the movie [the characters are] going through an economic crisis, and the real world was going through an economic crisis, and everything just started reflecting on everything else like a hall of mirrors. It's kind of a cynical take on things, a sort of godless, faithless universe, and that's not the universe I live in all of the time, but it's a place I visit. That's how it happened. In a cynical world, everything becomes reflects everything else, do you know what I mean? There's a little bit of preaching to the choir going on.

Cogan's Trade Pitt Jenkins
I heard that the film had a much longer cut at some point?
All films have a longer cut at some point. Assembly's always long.

But in this one you had to kill your babies with some of the cast who didn't end up making it.
I'm not a very efficient filmmaker. There's a lot of guys, filmmakers like the Coen Brothers who shoot a whole movie and maybe don't use 12 setups. I'm in awe of people like that, I'm just not that guy. For me, the movie's always evolving as I'm doing it. I throw things in as we shoot, and I take things out as we go. I want to create a whole life and then select the pieces that best sort of describe it later, you know? So there's a lot of wastage when I make a film. This one less then most, but you know.

It feels like some of the actors have had some scenes cut. Sam Shepard's appearance is brief, Garret Dillahunt’s not there at all.
Garrett was a subplot. He worked for a night, he worked for five hours. Everything that Sam shot is in the picture. I had final cut in the picture, it's not like I had to take anything out that I thought should be there. Like I say I’m just not real efficient.

This article is related to: Andrew Dominik, Killing Them Softly, Cannes Film Festival, Interview


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates