The Nest Director Interview

Writer/director/producer Sean Durkin is unafraid to take us to some dark places, providing a unique and compelling vision along the way. The winner of the Sundance directing award for Martha Marcy May Marlene, he returned to that festival with The Nest, a creepy, harrowing character piece about a family’s struggles with their own dreams and expectations. It’s a film that takes genre elements and gives them a welcome twist, belying expectations at every move, resulting in a deep character piece that’s moving and effective.

In his original review, /Film writer Ben Pearson called the film a “searing, smoldering exploration of ambition”, and I also alliteratively described it as a “brittle, bleak take of a family fueled by hubris and ambition.” With an exceptional core cast of Carrie Coon, Jude Law, Charlie Shotwell and Oona Roch, there’s much to dig into this rich story.

/Film spoke to Sean by phone prior to the film’s theatrical relase.

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The Nest trailer

Sean Durkin, the director of 2011’s cult thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene, hadn’t made a movie in nine years. But now he’s back with another ominous drama called The Nest, which stars Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley) and Carrie Coon (The Leftovers) as a married couple who sacrifice everything to move into a sprawling country mansion overseas, only to discover that all of their dreams and aspirations have been built on a disintegrating foundation. Check out the first trailer for the movie below.
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The Nest review

In 2011, writer/director Sean Durkin left his mark on the Sundance Film Festival with Martha Marcy May Marlene, an intense cult drama that introduced the world to Elizabeth Olsen and won Durkin the festival’s U.S. Dramatic Directing Award. It’s been nine years since he’s made a movie, but he hasn’t missed a beat. Durkin has finally returned with his second feature, The Nest, which turns his focus to money – more specifically, one man’s desire for it and the chances he’ll take to get it. Read More »

Streamer's Guide to Sundance 2020

It’s easy to look at a Sundance lineup with rose-colored glasses and think that there’s going to be some major breakout hits. We do it every year because, after all, hope springs eternal! 2020’s edition looks like the rare slate to premiere in Park City that will truly earn all of the pre-festival drooling.

A glance at the directors unveiling their new films at the first Sundance of the new decade looks like a veritable “who’s who” of filmmakers who were just on the cusp of breakthrough in the 2010s: Eliza Hittman, Josephine Decker, Janicza Bravo, and countless others. It’s also a welcome return for many directors who have been dormant for far too long: Miranda July, Julie Taymor, Benh Zeitlin. Many other names that, unfortunately, barely register upon scanning the lineup may leave Utah with a million-dollar distribution deal for their film and a star on the rise.

But none of them came from nowhere. Even if their feature directing debut nabbed a spot in the Sundance lineup, they all have some prior work that portends – or at least contextualizes – their ascendancy. If you’re not attending the festival, here’s how you can get in on the ground floor of some of these directors on the rise without even leaving the comfort of your home cinema.

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Janis Joplin biopic

Janis Joplin biopic has drawn interest from plenty of talent over the years, including actresses Amy Adams, Renee Zellweger, Reese Witherspoon, the late Brittany Murphy, and filmmakers Lee Daniels (The Butler), Jean-Marc Vallee (Wild), and Catherine Hardwicke (Lords of Dogtown). Another name to go on that list is Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea), who’s currently in talks to star in director Sean Durkin‘s Janis, which will depict the last six months of the musician’s life.

Below, learn more about the Janis Joplin biopic.

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Little House on the Prairie

Martha Marcy May Marlene director Sean Durkin is heading back to the farm again, but for a very different type of story. He’s entered negotiations to direct Little House on the Prairie, taking over after David Gordon Green fell away. Hit the jump for more on the Little House on the Prairie movie.

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the-exorcist-header-2

A TV series based on The Exorcist has been in the planning stages for a while, with Martha Marcy May Marlene director Sean Durkin once set to oversee the development of a ten-episode series that would be directly linked to William Friedkin’s film. That actually seemed like a pretty great idea.

Now some things have changed. The show is still moving forward, but Durkin is out and Fantastic Four and Fables screenwriter Jeremy Slater is in, with producer Roy Lee (The DepartedThe Ring) still working on the project.  Read More »

Despite plenty of attempts, Hollywood’s had quite a bit of trouble getting a Janis Joplin biopic off the ground. But that’s not going to stop enterprising young filmmakers from trying anyway. The latest director to take a stab at bringing the rock icon’s story to life will be Sean Durkin, director of last year’s indie hit Martha Marcy May Marlene. He’ll be teaming up with another name who’s almost as new to Hollywood as he is, as Tony-winning stage actress Nina Arianda has signed on to play the lead role in the unimaginatively titled Joplin. More details after the jump.

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The Exorcist is a landmark movie. Along with Psycho, it legitimized horror as a genre — what had previously been relegated to drive-in and second-feature filler was now big business. William Friedkin‘s adaptation of William Peter Blatty‘s novel (scripted by Blatty) scored a Best Picture Oscar nomination and nine other Oscar nods. (Best Picture went to The Sting, but The Exorcist did take Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay.)

But all things are now ripe for re-adaptation, and so producers are turning towards Blatty’s novel once more. This time, the book is to be adapted into a ten-episode TV series, and the director in charge will be Sean Durkin, who made Martha Marcy May Marlene. It’s actually such a good fit that I can’t even muster the urge to be upset about a remake. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

One of the big favorites among Sundance attendees this year was Martha Marcy May Marlene, in which Elizabeth Olsen plays a young woman dealing with the aftereffects of cult brainwashing.

Fox Searchlight has released a US trailer for the film, which will open in October, but now there is a UK trailer that offers a slightly different — and no less compelling — look at the movie. This was in my top five anticipated films of the fall, and nothing has changed after watching this trailer. Check it out below. Read More »