Jeremy Saulnier Is Turning Hollywood Indy

By Paul Barr

The director of recent film The Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier, rose to fame after his 2013 film Blue Ruin. The film redefined the revenge thriller with finesse. It was made for an estimated $1 million budget, incredibly small for the level of movie. There are less than 6 pages of dialogue throughout the 90 minute film and yet Macon Blair’s character of Dwight is one of the most magnetic performances I’ve watched in years.

Blue Ruin is a Hollywood revenge thriller in a real world setting. Dwight is not suddenly turned into an action hero through the duration of the film, you feel the real tensity of a man who’s lost everything going all out to avenge his despair. The most incredible feat however, moreso than the critical acclaim the film received, is that it paved the way for Jeremy Saulnier’s very unique film making to really significantly land in Hollywood. I’m not going to waste anymore time talking about Blue Ruin as the film is pretty inexplicable, to truly appreciate it you just have to spare 90 minutes.
But on to The Green Room…
If you want to fit it into a genre, then it’s most certainly a pyschological thriller. The premise is fairly simple yet also quite unique. An American punk band are booked in for a gig at a bar that favours white supremacist clientel when something happens which means they are kept there against their will. The film quickly picks up into a tense rollercoaster ride of mysterious characters, brutal deaths and a growing mistrust. What was truly inspiring to witness with TGR was how Saulnier took his indy mentality, his indy filmmaking and indy script and merged it with the Hollywood actors cast in the film. TGR is most certainly an independent film created in a big budget environment. The performances really do knock it out the park; I didn’t realise that all my life had been missing was Sir Patrick Stewart taking a role as a neo-Nazi gang leader until this film. The recently deceased Anton Yelchin turns in the best perfomance of his tragically short lived career as Pat, one of the band members, and lights up the screen with his dynamic relationship with Imogen Poots’ Amber, a third party also stuck in the situation. Other acting highlights include the return of Saulnier’s close friend Macon Blair, Arrested Development alum Alia Shawkat and David W. Thompson’s terrifying role of Daniel.
You can trust me on this, you have not seen anything like Blue Ruin or The Green Room. Jeremy Saulnier is an incredibly talented writer and director who has already left his mark with these two phenomenons. If you like ultra-violence, tense scenes and fascinating characters you’ll enjoy his work. I’ll leave you with an interesting piece of trivia taken from IMDB about why Patrick Stewart decided to take the role, and then a sinister quote of his from the film.
‘Patrick Stewart said in an interview that when he received the script at his country home in England, it was so terrifying that he locked up his house, turned on the security system and poured himself a Scotch. He then knew that he wanted to play the Darcy Banker role because a character that horrifying would be an incredible challenge and make for a compelling film.’

Now. Whatever you saw or did. Is no longer my concern. But let’s be clear. It won’t end well.
Words by Paul Barr
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