Martyrs is my personal benchmark for raw-nerve, needle-in-the-brain cinema, painful beyond Salo, beyond A Serbian Film, way beyond A Clockwork Orange, even the gratuitous Guinea Pig movies. But it’s also a very well constructed, intelligent and ultimately very coherent film. One of my favourites, definitely of recent years.
And so I snapped up Pascal Laugier‘s The Tall Man as soon as it was available on Blu-ray from the US. This weekend, the film received its UK premiere at Saturday night’s Frightfest All-Nighter, and so I saw it there too, projected on the big screen, with an audience.
Seeing an audience catch on to the many sly twists as the story unraveled was superb fun, in and of itself.
I spoke to Laugier after the premiere, and we’ll get back to what he had to say about The Tall Man at another time. For now, though, here’s what he said about his next project, something he described as a “sex movie.”
Next I’m going even further away from the horror genre, but at the same time it’s still a very genre related story; it’s a love story. I’ve never filmed people fucking because it’s probably the hardest thing to film because it’s been done so many times and so badly. Filming sex is probably the most challenging thing for a director and everything challenging is so exciting so I have decided very recently that for the same company as produced The Tall Man, I will do a movie about sex, about a couple. It’s a love story that turns into something very twisted.
I mentioned that Von Trier was in production on The Nymphomaniac, and we could expect him to shake up the cliches of filming sex, also. Laugier went on:
I respect Von Trier a lot as a director but we don’t share the same style and we don’t follow the same line. I hardly follow other directors when I’m writing my own stuff. Filming sex is one of the most heavy handed cliches, so I want to try it myself. I want to try being on set with two North American actors and, from my French perspective, ask them to do things that they’d never dare to do as North Americans. That’s part of my motivation.
The film is still in pre-production, and Laugier couldn’t talk about casting, but he did confirm that the script was in place and everything moving forward well.
The Tall Man is available on DVD and Blu-ray in the US now. Details of the UK release are still pending. I’ll keep you in the loop.