Michael Winterbottom on The Killer Inside Me

Michael Winterbottom on The Killer Inside Me

29 March 1961

Born in Blackburn the director has become known for his ability to churn out films and work across genres. He made his first feature film Butterfly Kiss in 1995.

What’s he up to now?
Winterbottom has adapted Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me for the big screen starring Casey Affleck as the controversial deputy sheriff. As is his style, the director is already working on several more projects, with his next film likely to be The Promised Land set in Palestine in 1948, when it was under British mandate.

On the reaction at Sundance Film Festival
‘I was a little bit surprised by the fact that people were so shocked by the violence.’

On adapting Jim Thompson?
‘I read Jim Thompson’s book and loved it. I wanted to make the film as close to the book as possible, the whole idea was to make it as much to the spirit of the book as possible. Thompson’s writing is so concise, the plot starts straight away, Lou beats Joyce, she slaps him, he beats her and then they kiss and the whole thing goes off at a head of steam from thereon in and the idea was to really just to get the film to feel as close to the book as possible.’

On filming in America?
‘This was really the first time that I shot in America as The Claim was actually shot in Canada. We shot it almost entirely in Oklahoma, but it was just like making a film anywhere, it wasn’t like we were making a Hollywood film so it was like making an independent film anywhere and we thought we would be able to shoot in January and the money fell through and we actually spent four months waiting around for the money, so it wasn’t that much different from shooting in Iran, Pakistan, China or India.’

Interesting fact
A big fan of the German New Wave, there are often references to the work of Werner Herzog in Winterbottom’s films.

The Killer Inside Me, general release from Fri 4 Jun.

The Killer Inside Me

  • 4 stars
  • 2010
  • US
  • 1h 49min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Michael Winterbottom
  • Cast: Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Bill Pullman

With this vicious character study of a seemingly contemplative cowboy (Affleck) who is sent to the outskirts of town to run off a prostitute, Winterbottom utilises Jim Thompson's controversial pulp novel to explode the myth that the 1950s was a time of innocence. Fascinating, but not for the squeamish.

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