Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

PARK CITY '07 INTERVIEW | Donal MacIntyre: "The head of the Noonan crime family casually told me tha

By Indiewire | Indiewire January 25, 2007 at 4:46AM

[EDITORS NOTE: indieWIRE is publishing two interviews daily with Sundance '07 competition filmmakers through the end of the festival later this month. Directors with films screening in the four competition section were given the opportunity to participate in an email interview, and each was sent the same set of questions.]
0

[EDITORS NOTE: indieWIRE is publishing two interviews daily with Sundance '07 competition filmmakers through the end of the festival later this month. Directors with films screening in the four competition section were given the opportunity to participate in an email interview, and each was sent the same set of questions.]

Renown, undercover journalist Donal MacIntyre has investigated football hooligans, club drug dealing, the heroin trade, and Spanish greyhound racing, to name just a few. Through his popular BBC show, "MacIntyre Undercover," he's received numerous deaththreats, been forced to move into safehouses, and sued the Police for libel, later giving his winnings to charity. With this colorful bank of experience, MacIntyre brings his film, "A Very British Gangster," to Sundance's World Documentary competition. Following gangster Dominic Noonan (aka Lattalay Fottfoy), MacIntyre shows the life of a neighborhood patriarch as he balances criminal proceedings against protecting his interests with his own form of justice and deep sense of loyalty.

Please introduce yourself. Where were you born, and where do you live now? What were some of your previous jobs?

My background is in investigative reporting and current affairs. I am an accidental filmmaker in many respects - I didn't go to film school but learnt the skill of story telling through newspapers and reporting on screen.

From war reporting to undercover exposes I have led a hectic journalistic career. It started out with catching "All The Presidents Men" and Lou Grant as a young kid growing up in Ireland and since then I have carried the cross of investigative journalism on my back. At one journalism event I told Ed Asner (Lou Grant) this and he said "please don't make me complicit in that crime".

Stories on the trade in human organs, the trafficking of human sex slaves, football hooliganism and abuse in care homes was my daily job. Of the last 12 years I have spend six of them undercover. Because of the job and the threats which emanated from it I have at various times have had to have body guards. Since 2000 I have moved from home in the UK for security reasons more than 40 times. Most of my work has been for the BBC but my work has appeared on Discovery and CBS in the US.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in making the movie?

The risks we take as journalists are sometimes physical or ethical - rarely creative. "A Very British Gangster" represented for me risks on all those fronts. I entered the world of one of Britain's leading crime family's - this was a world which had threatened me and my family. I was entering the lions' den.

How did the initial idea for "A Very British Gangster" come about?

In a British Court room, Dominic Noonan, the head of the Noonan crime family, casually told me that his brother (a known hit-man) had been offered a contract to kill me.

From that uneasy start I was determined to reveal his world - a world, not unlike "The Sopranos," albeit with Manchester accents. To do it responsibly, without ever crossing the line was the challenge that, perhaps came easier to me than others. Over the years I have grown used to these men. I would not be intimidated or seduced by their world. It is important in the world of gangsters that the gangster respects you and understands you won't be bullied or corrupted.

Through this bizarre encounter I had accidentally hit upon the "way of the documentary." This time I followed the people-trail rather than the evidential-trail. Inspired by the work of Studs Terkil, an underbelly of British society was revealed to me - a strata where communities are forced to rely on gangsters for justice, social support and security when the Police and other Government agencies abandon them.

"A Very British Gangster" director Donal MacIntyre.


Describe the moment you found out that you were accepted into Sundance. Where were you, and how did you react?

Sundance is simply our nirvana as story tellers. Like so many filmmakers we overwork and over stress and when we heard we were selected I was simply silent for a few minutes. I was in the Natural History Museum in London making an anti-smoking commercial and the crew were seeking direction from me - and for once nothing was forthcoming.

What are you goals for the festival?

It's our Olympics and the taking part is really the key. Being able to talk to directors and producers and see the amazing stuff in all categories from around the world is my target.

What is your definition of independent film?

For me an independent film has a hunger and a drive to it. It radiates and fizzles with the energy of a newly arrived immigrant in Staten Island, out to prove itself with little support, save the oxygen of imagination and the vision of excited eyes.

What are your New Year's resolutions?

For the New Year I want to read more books, watch more films and listen to more music. Ahead of me I've got Sundance, the birth of my first child and the Waterboys in concert (in that order) - what more could a man want.


Get the latest coverage of Park City '07 in indieWIRE's special section here at indieWIRE.com

This article is related to: Features, Interviews






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More