(Originally appeared on GreenCine Daily)
No stranger to mining lyricism from bleak landscapes, The Proposition director John Hillcoat (here working with screenwriter Joe Penhall) has poignantly visualized the burnt-out, grey wasteland of The Road—the 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country for Old Men:
"John Hillcoat's The Road is an honorable adaptation of a piece of pulp fiction disguised as high art; it has more directness and more integrity than its source material … Viggo Mortensen plays a father—he is referred to only as the Man—wandering a post-apocalyptic world with his son, the Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee). This is a world in which the unthinkable has happened, although it's never specified exactly what the unthinkable is: All we see are the effects. All animals have apparently died, and plant life is on the way out, too. Cities and towns lay abandoned and crumbled. And the roads, once so carefully built by man as the connective tissue of civilization, are now trolled by marauding redneck cannibals who have lost every vestige of humanity ... The Man isn't just teaching his son how to survive, foraging for food and the like, but teaching him to preserve the very things that make him—that make us—human." (Stephanie Zacharek, SALON.com)
Tucked away in a corner of the Soho Grand Hotel, Hillcoat and I discussed the real-life father and son who appear in The Road, how the hell he distilled Cormac McCarthy in under two hours (his original cut ran four-and-a-half hours), and what most people don't know his long-time collaborator Nick Cave does two or three times a day.
To listen to the podcast, click here. (15:49)
[WARNING: Minor book spoiler!]
INTRO: Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, "The Road"
OUTRO: Nouvelle Vague, "Road to Nowhere"
[The Road is now playing in theaters everywhere. For more info, please visit the official site.]
Related: Flavorwire interviews John Hillcoat on Cannibals, Product Placement, and the Apocalypse.
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