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Doing time with David Mackenzie by Anne-Katrin Titze

27 August 2014 4:56 AM, PDT

Starred Up director David Mackenzie on working with Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend: "All the actors were allowed to explore. They weren't being funneled. There was a creative heart." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

David Mackenzie's humane look at the tortured prison system in Tribeca Film's Starred Up stars Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend with a screenplay by prison system therapist Jonathan Asser. In New York, the morning before the opening of his film, the director and I discussed the spell of John Boorman's Point Blank, which stars Lee Marvin, making Perfect Sense, Patrick McGrath's Asylum, and Charles Laughton's The Night Of The Hunter with Robert Mitchum's knuckles exploring the meaning of love and hate.

Even before we see, we hear the prison. Sounds foreboding and leaden, metal gates slamming shut, steps with the weight of heavy hearts. The spirit of place is one of terror. »

- Anne-Katrin Titze

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