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'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'' Doomed Lovers Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck on Cannes Reception and Those Terrence Malick Comparisons

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire May 20, 2013 at 1:21PM

A few months after world premiering at Sundance to great acclaim, David Lowery's "Badlands"-style love story "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" had its European unveiling at Cannes over the weekend, following in the footsteps of last year's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which went on a similar journey before going on to become an Academy Award-nominated indie sensation. Whether the drama has "Beasts"' legs remains to be seen. All we can tell you is that the buzz is warranted. Lowery's drama is the real deal.
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"Ain't Them Bodies Saints"
IFC Films "Ain't Them Bodies Saints"

A few months after world premiering at Sundance to great acclaim, David Lowery's "Badlands"-style love story "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" had its European unveiling at Cannes over the weekend, following in the footsteps of last year's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which went on a similar journey before going on to become an Academy Award-nominated indie sensation. Whether the drama has "Beasts"' legs remains to be seen. All we can tell you is that the buzz is warranted. Lowery's drama is the real deal.

The morning following its Cannes bow in the Director's Fortnight sidebar, Indiewire sat down with the film's two stars, Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, to talk about the Cannes reception, revisiting their own work and whether the Lowery-Terrence Malick comparisons many critics have made are valid.

Has the film changed since Sundance?

Rooney Mara: A little bit, but I'm not sure you'd notice.

Casey Affleck, Ain't Them Bodies Saints

How did last night go compared to Sundance?

Casey Affleck: It's so hard to tell in that environment because you're just thinking about so many things. To accurately gauge what everyone in the room was thinking is pretty tough. I mean no one walked out, which was good (laughs). I guess here in Cannes they kind of let you know if no one liked it. They boo and yell and throw shit at the screen. "I'm bored!"

Mara: Do they really?

Yeah, it's been known to happen.

Mara: What would you do, seriously? If they booed, what would you do?

Affleck: I don't know. I would like to see someone talk back though.

Mara: [To Affleck] Remember how all the cameras came up at the end? If people booed, would that have happened as well? We would have just been sitting there with our heads down (laughs).

Affleck: Probably. They probably hate it.

"The Killer Inside Me" must have been booed somewhere, no? That film was so divisive.

Affleck: Yes there were people who hated that movie, who were angry about it. That's an easy one to be angry about. Someone stood up at a screening and said something, but it wasn't directed at me luckily because I wasn't the director.

Rooney Mara, Ain't Them Bodies Saints

This movie would be a little bit harder to hate. You might not like it, but there's nothing to stand up and be like, (in a French accent) "We hate this!"

Mara: Yeah, it's hard to have a strong feeling against the movie.

Did you watch it again last night?

Mara: Yeah, I watched it last night.

The ending of the film left me pretty devastated --

Mara: It did?

I was pretty shaken up. Can you two ever remove yourself from your memories of making a film and just experience it the way an audience would, the way a director intends it to be experienced?

Affleck: I don't know, it's impossible for me. You can't see clearly, you can't see what it is because you have all your own memories attached to it.

Mara: I mean I was devastated by the ending when I read it. And then I was devastated by it when we did it. But watching it last night I felt nothing just because I'm so disassociated and zoned out. When you've seen all the pieces, you can't watch a movie knowing everything about how it was made.

This interview is continued on page 2.

This article is related to: Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Interviews, Romance, Terrence Malick, Cannes Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival





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