The Film Strip: ‘Closed Circuit’ Subject Matters are Timely Hot Topics

Eric Bana & Rebecca Hall

*The man behind one of the most arresting and thrilling films to hit the screens in sometime made a pit stop at the Waldorf Towers recently to talk about his dauntless movie “Closet Circuit.” Having interviewed members of his cast earlier, it was now time to pick director John Crowley‘s brain.

How hard is it to get funding for a smart film such as this?
Very hard, I’m afraid, very hard. I think that making films is a privilege for anyone and it’s an amazing job. But I fear that a lot of the interesting work dramatically has migrated to television where people trust complex characters, complex thoughts and where you’re allowed to reflex the world as it is and reflex people’s concerns as opposed to just pure entertainment. I have no problem with pure entertainment. l love it. I mean as somebody who consumes popcorn movies, I’m very happy to sit through a good one, not a bad one [laughs]. But it seems to me audiences are intrigued also watching dramas where something is being worked out that is troubling on some level. They don’t necessarily consciously process everyday the stuff that lurks beneath the surface of their minds, the fears of what the government is or isn’t doing. They want to see that played out in a compelling story with great characters beautifully acted, beautifully photographed. It doesn’t feel like the most difficult thing in the world in a way to do but it’s very hard to get that made now because financiers are scared of making films for adults because adults don’t go to the cinema that much anymore. You know all of this. It tends to be that the market they’re most seeking is a younger one. So you get wonderful films like the Borne trilogy, a fusion between thrillers and action movies. I wanted to see what it would be like if we tried to make something which is much lighter on the action and leans a little bit more on drama.

Did you have any trepidation doing a film that deals with terrorism and spying on citizens?
A little bit because it’s not a subject matter that I had ever gone near before and I didn’t want to make grand pronouncements about it. What I wanted to try and do was make a film which felt like it was exploring what individuals feel and experience when they look at larger political events in the world and how their governments are responding to it; which is to say that trying to see the film through the eyes of Martin (Eric Bana) and Claudia (Rebecca Hall) felt to me like a very interesting place to be considering the events that they are involved in. I certainly didn’t want the film to be perceived as an issues film. It would be insincere of me to suggest that the whole nature of closed hearings and secrecy in the English legal system is something that kept me awake at …read more