Draws Parallels Between His Character And The Documentary ‘If A Tree Falls’
It’s no secret that Kelly Reichardt is one of our favorite filmmakers, a unique voice in cinema whose films to date, such as “Old Joy,” “Wendy & Lucy” and “Meek’s Cutoff,” have arrived in deceptively low key packages, and upon viewing, open up a rich interior world. Word has been quiet since the director dropped her ‘Cutoff’ but it appears that after delivering that hard scrabble western, she is looking to make a distinct swing into a new direction.
Portuguese movie site C7nema recently had the chance to speak to Peter Sarsgaard who was doing the rounds for “Green Lantern” and the actor spilled on Reichardt’s latest which has crossed his desk entitled “Night Moves” and has an eco-terrorist bent. And an advance word of caution, these quotes were put through Google Translate so apologies if they are slightly wonky.
It turns out Sarsgaard is a big fan of the filmmaker and after writing her to express his admiration for her work, Reichardt wound up offering him a role in her next project. “It is called ‘Night Moves.’ It’s about three people who want to blow up a dam. They are a kind of environmental terrorists. They are not thinking about killing anyone, [they] just [want to] change the world. When I read the script I was passionate and committed to the film…”
“I saw a documentary called ‘If A Tree Falls‘ in which a group of environmentalists in Portland [are] trying to save centuries-old trees and the police act with such brutality that these youth ultimately decide to do more than protect a tree,” Sarsgaard explained about his interest in the project. “So [they] take action. Thus, step by step, I can understand how my character gets to the point of wanting to blow up a dam. I never want to do this, but I can understand how someone can want to do that. We have a gun pointed to our planet. We see that the demonstrations are not working because they are being tackled with pepper [spray]…so you get the radical movement. I can understand that.”
And while Sarsgaard hints that his character is partly inspired by a real life person, don’t expect the picture to be a proselytizing piece of work. “I do not think people have to make films for that reason, because people do not like to feel that you are wanting to teach something. The story is the most important.” And Sarsgaard goes on to say that it’s the uncertainty and indecision his character faces, that attracted him to the film.
Reichardt delving into the mindset of a eco-terrorist group and the conflicting emotions that come with it, could definitely be an intriguing prospect. Of course, not much else is known right now but clearly, Sarsgaard is taken with what Reichardt has put together and seems genuinely interested in taking it on. Will Michelle Williams make it a three-peat with Reichardt? Does the picture yet have a home? Hopefully we’ll find out soon, but until then, get a taste of what’s to come and give “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” a spin when it lands on DVD on August 30th (and check out our review).