Date: May 21 2012
A titillating mix of violence and love attracted Australian musician Nick Cave to the story of his latest film collaboration which he says showcases the failure of prohibition both today and in years past.
Cave, 54, is the composer and screenwriter for violent gangster film Lawless, directed by Australian John Hillcoat, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival at the weekend.
The film is based on the book The Wettest County in the World, a true story of the infamous Bondurant brothers in prohibition-era Virginia.
''I really like the kind of classical love stories that were involved in the story and the excessive violence. And those two things coming together is just what really titillates me - a kind of sentimentality and brute violence,'' Cave said.
Starring Australians Guy Pearce and Jason Clarke, the film presents bloody scenes of shooting, throat-slitting, tarring and castration.
''I'm not that interested in violence per se, in films. A lot of it is very tedious and boring, [but] there's something about the way John Hillcoat deals with violence that I find really exciting,'' Cave said.
''It's very brutal, very quick, it's all over very fast and it leaves a huge mess behind and that's what really excites me about the way John deals with violence.''
As the Bondurant brothers went about their business of distilling and selling black market whiskey, Cave said the idea of prohibition presented in the film can be replicated in contemporary society.
''I think personally the idea of prohibition in this film … actually [makes it] a modern film in a way because … it still exists today, it still fails epically with this so-called war on drugs and all that sort of stuff,'' he said.
''So there was a kind of gleeful idea of fusing modern-day concerns such as Velvet Underground's song about taking speed and amphetamines … and doing it in a kind of bluegrass, authentic American style that seemed to pull the present back to the past in some kind of pleasing way.''
Lawless is competing for top festival honour the Palme d'Or. The film is due for Australian release in September.AAP
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