Cinema Australia Podcast #69 | Justin Kurzel & Shaun Grant

Cinema Australia Original Content:

Caleb Landry Jones and Justin Kurzel on the set of Nitram

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Welcome to the 69th episode of the Cinema Australia Podcast. My name is Matthew Eeles. 

As a big admirer of their work, I’m thrilled to have director Justin Kurzel and writer Shaun Grant join the Cinema Australia Podcast to discuss their latest collaboration, Nitram.

Nitram is a brilliant, but highly disturbing film, that will no doubt divide audiences. It depicts the events leading up to one of the darkest chapters in Australian history – the Port Arthur shootings.

Nitram stars Caleb Landry Jones, Judy Davis, Anthony LaPaglia, Essie Davis and Sean Keenan. 

Kurzel and Grant have been making movies together since 2011 as director and writer respectively. 

Their first film, Snowtown, landed like a sledgehammer and marked the arrival of two extraordinary filmmaking talents.

Nitram is their third collaboration following Snowtown, and the provocative joy ride that is, True History of the Kelly Gang.

Kurzel’s filmography also includes Macbeth and Assissin’s Creed, which both starred Michael Fassbender. He also directed a segment of one of my favourite Australian films, The Turning.

Essie Davis and Justin Kurzel on the set of Nitram.

Shaun Grant’s other writing credits include Berlin Syndrome directed by Cate Shortland, Jasper Jones directed by Rachel Perkins, an episode of the American television series Mindhunter, and another film released this year, and another on of my favourites, Penguin Bloom. 

We do go into some depth during this interview, and I understand that it may not be easy listening for everyone. We discuss the pairs thoughts on Port Arthur conspiracies, Justin’s discussions with victims, and why they wanted to make a film about Martin Bryant. 

Kurzel and Grant also discuss their eagerness to see Nitram with an Australian audience, and being knocked back by Screen Australia before going on to work with Stan and Madman to make the film. 

It’s not all serious though, we do have a few laughs along the way and I ask a question that gets quite a reaction: What happened to Sean Keenan’s unbelievably cool cowboy cardigan from True History of the Kelly Gang.

Nitram will open in select cinemas in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia from September 30, before releasing on Stan in October.

Anyway… enjoy.

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