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“Why Is This Film So Angry?”: Director J.T. Mollner | Outlaws and Angels

Outlaws and Angels

In every film, there is the story that you knew you were telling, the story the audience perceives. But there is always some other story, a secret story. It might be the result of your hidden motivations for making the film, or, instead, the result of themes that only became clear to you after you made the movie. It might be something very personal, or it might be a story you didn’t even know you were telling. What is your film’s secret story?

On the surface, Outlaws is a family drama and well as revenge film with a female empowerment message. Deep beneath the surface, it’s the story of my battle to get a feature made, the way I wanted to make it, in Hollywood. I didn’t set out to tell that story, but after it was written, as we shot the film, I started asking myself: why so much violence? Why is this film so angry? So cathartic? What does the twist and revelation mean at the end of the film and where did it come from? Why did I write it? I realized quite quickly that I wrote it because the catharsis in the film was a direct reflection of my struggle and its outcome. And that the protagonist’s journey was a clear metaphorical parallel to mine as an artist. I feel good now. I don’t think I’ll have to do violence again for a while. But here it was absolutely necessary.

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Monday, January 25 at 11:59pm — Library Centre Theatre]

Sundance Responses 2016

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