Now playing in limited release is director/co-writer Zal Batmanglij’s (Sound of My Voice) fantastic eco-terrorist thriller The East. Brit Marling co-wrote the script with Batmanglij and stars as an undercover operative for an elite private intelligence firm who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization in order to protect her corporate clientele. Once she starts living as part of the anarchist collective, though, she finds that her loyalties aren’t as solid as she believed them to be and becomes conflicted when she starts falling for the charismatic leader (Alexander Skarsgard). The impressive ensemble cast also includes Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, and Julia Ormond. You can click here to watch the trailer and here is Matt’s review.
During my recent interview with Batmanglij he talked about making The East, the casting process, whether he made any changes to the film since premiering at Sundance, why he used the Alexa camera, deleted scenes. script changes, what will be on the Blu-ray, future projects, if he’ll ever make a sequel to Sound of My Voice, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
- :20 Talk about initial conversations
- :40 What changed in the film from its Sundance cut to the theatrical cut?
- 1:44 How similar is the final film to the initial story idea?
- 2:55 Talk about the thriller genre as a whole and specific influences from 1970s films.
- 3:42 The casting process. Did he audition actors or did he just offer the roles?
- 4:38 Why he chose to shoot the film digitally.
- 5:05 Talks about shooting the film with the Alexa camera.
- 6:01 How long was his first cut compared to the final running time?
- 6:33 Will he do an extended cut on the Blu-ray? Says he’ll include a lot of the deleted scenes on the Blu-ray.
- 7:05 Talks about deleted scenes.
- 7:52 How did the script and dialogue get adjusted once the actors were cast?
- 9:04 Is he interested in working in television?
- 9:41 Says he and Brit Marling are writing two new projects, one for a feature and one for TV.
- 10:03 Sound of My Voice 2 talk. Says there’s not really a demand for it because not a lot of people have seen the first film yet.
- 10:45 Talks about the platform release of The East.
- 12:21 How involved is he with including things on the Blu-ray? Says he asked to put the alternate ending on the home video release.
- 13:04 The positive reception of the film on the festival circuit.
- 14:30 Talks about the film’s lack of irony and how that’s rare these days.