Hanna, an intense thriller starring 16 year-old Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan is being released today. Director Joe Wright, who is also responsible for such great films as Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, and The Soloist, talks to us about his film, his inspiration and the Chemical Brothers.
What the movie is about:
"Once upon a time there was a very special girl that lived in the woods with her father," is the eerie opening of the trailer for the Joe Wright's latest feature film Hanna. The movie is a look into the life of a secluded teenage girl (Saoirse Ronan), trained since birth by her ex-CIA father, Erik Heller (Eric Bana), in strength, agility, smarts (and fairy tales of all things) in the snowy region of North Finland. Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett) has some unfinished business left with the Heller family, and when Erik decides to let his little girl free, Marissa makes it her mission to capture Hanna.
Our 5 Minutes
Director Joe Wright decided to use a more modern approach when scoring the thriller by using the haunting synthesized sounds of the cult-band The Chemical Brothers.
It was a personal creative choice according to Wright. Says the director,
"They're mates, really. I went to their first London gig in 1992, I'm embarrassed to say, and it was in a club called Ra-Ra's above a shoe shop in north London and it was as rough as assholes. Their music blew me away. I've been a groupie ever since. So when I had an opportunity to make a film with a modern score I immediately went to them."
In fact, Wright considers them an inspiration,
"They're attention to detail is exquisite and the way they handle themselves, they are very private people and they just get on with their art. They are very normal. The reason why you never see pictures of The Chemicals is because they're just bordering middle-aged men with two kids and a nice house in the country. They have a barn, and in the barn they have all these amazing synthesizers and they just go (makes squeaky synth noise) like that!"
[The Chemical Brothers, via] Wright develops his works by reading literature, as can be seen in his portrayal of Pride & Prejudice with Kiera Knightly, and also by watching other films.
"Literature, and paintings, and everywhere really - fashion. This film I was very interested in looking at Robert Bresson's film The Pickpocket and that was a big inspiration in terms of the action sequences. Pasolini's movie Theorum was a big inspiration. And also, Hal Ashby's movie Being There, so yeah, a very broad spectrum."
Wright doesn't enjoy the term "muse" when describing his favorite actors, but he does stick to a hand full of talent.
"Working with Saoirse was a joy really, as you know I worked with her when she was 12 years old and it was just great to see how she evolved as an actress."
[Eric Bana and Saoirse Ronan at the Hanna premiere at the Regal Theater at Union Square] [Saoirse Ronan with director Joe Wright]