Podcast: JULIA (Erick Zonca)

underdog's picture

 

Erick Zonca, JULIA

Julia
Directed by Erick Zonca
2008, 144 Minutes, In English and Spanish

How did The Dreamlife of Angels director Erick Zonca, working from a script he cowrote with Aude Py, think that the typically reserved, sophisticated Tilda Swinton could so convincingly step into the shoes of a despicable, loudmouthed floozy? An unhinged character study that drunkenly stumbles into an accidental thriller, Julia is shouldered as much by Zonca's instinctual filmmaking as it does on Swinton's intense, knock-out performance:

Julia, 40, is an alcoholic. She is a manipulative, unreliable, compulsive liar, all strung out beneath her still flamboyant exterior. Between shots of vodka and one-night stands, Julia gets by on nickel-and-dime jobs. Increasingly lonely, the only consideration she receives comes from her friend Mitch, who tries to help her. But she shrugs him off, as her alcohol-induced confusion daily reinforces her sense that life has dealt her a losing hand and that she is not to blame for the mess she has made of it. Glimpsing imminent perdition, and after a chance encounter with Elena, a Mexican woman, Julia convinces herself—as much in panic and despair as for financial gain—to commit a violent act. As the story unfolds, Julia's journey becomes a headlong flight on a collision course, but somehow she makes the choice of life over death.

Sitting down with Zonca (and a translator he barely needed) at the Magnolia offices, I drank up his every word on alcoholism, unlikeable characters, the Helmut Newton photo that stuck in his mind, why he's different from Ken Loach, and of course, Tilda Swinton—with whom I would also chat about Julia in that same room a week later.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Julia is now out on DVD.

* You can comment on articles

* Private messaging to others in the GreenCine community -- and more features coming soon!

* Keep apprised of happenings in the world of films festivals, independent, international, cult, classic, horror movies and more!

* As a free registered member, you can upgrade your account to a rental subscription -- or if you want a rental subscription right away, click here.