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Movie Natters: February 4, 2008 Archive

Martin McDonagh's twig-placing

Posted at 4:42 PM on February 4, 2008 by Euan Kerr

Martin McDonagh, the writer director whose debut feature "In Bruges" opens around the country this weekend says he doesn't do much plot scripting when he sits down to write. He just takes and idea and begins to play with it.

"It is kind of like a bird building a nest, and you don't really know what the shape is going to be. You just put one twig next to another twig and see what kind of evolves," he says.

For "In Bruges" there were a couple of ideas. The first came on a visit to the medieval town of Bruges in Belgium, where he went on vacation a few years back. At first he delighted in the ancient buildings and cultural wonders. The he got bored and decided to go to the pub. instead. He says he began playing with the idea of creating characters in Bruges representing the two sides of his own psyche, "The culture-loving geek and the drunk," he laughs.

But as with his earlier work in the theater, there was a much darker side he wanted to explore too.

"You see all these hitmen films or action films where there are a hundred bullets fired off in a hundred different directions," he says. "And I always wonder where the stray bullets go, and what happens when a stray bullet hits a target it wasn't intended for, and what happens when a fairly decent person kills a fairly decent person, how does a cool hipster come to terms with that kind of crap, you know?"

"In Bruges" tells the story of two Irish hitmen hiding out in Bruges after a botched job. If you have seen the trailer, you'll know it's a comedy of sorts, but it is also bleak in its exploration despair in the wake of tragedy.

Interestingly McDonagh sees it also as a story of hope.

We'll run the interview with him later in the week

February 2008
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