Sinister is a film obsessed with the past – how we long for it, wait for it to repeat itself, become our present. The past, in the film, is a destructive force, destroying the bonds of family and driving even the ones closest to us to unspeakable acts. Ethan Hawke stars as Ellison Oswalt, a true crime writer obsessed with rekindling his career and living up to his earlier successes. His nostalgia leads him to move his clueless family into the house of a horrendous murder – all in the name of solving a crime police couldn’t years ago. Once moved in, Hawke discovers a series of ‘home movies’ chronicling a number of seemingly unrelated murders. Soon these murders come to bear an incredible toll on Hawke’s psyche and the well being of those closest to him. The past in Sinister is literally alive – and it wants to hurt you.
In the following interview with Ethan Hawke, he discusses the anti-nostalgia at the heart of Sinister and much of his own work, playing the darker shades of his character Ellison and his thoughts on film vs. theater. In addition, Hawkes talks about shooting Before Midnight and reveals that this entry will quite possibly be the last in the series. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Ethan Hawke Time Index:
- 00:00 – Hawkes on playing the darker shades of his character Ellison
- 01:29 – On whether he drew from his own novelist experiences to play the character
- 01:49 – On the sense of claustrophobia in shooting in pretty much one location
- 02:15 – On the ‘anti-nostalgia’ prevalent in much of his work
- 02:46 – On a preference between theater and film
- 03:15 – Before Midnight update
- 04:40 – On his latest directorial project for the stage – Brecht’s Baal with longtime collaborator Vincent D’Onofrio