French filmmaker Xavier Gens was thrust into the public eye of film audiences after his big-screen adaptation of the video game "Hitman." He had already made a name for himself in the horror genre with "Frontier(s)," which was nominated for Best Film in 2007 at the Sitges-Catalonian International Film Festival.
The latest offering from Gens, "The Divide," is a dreary post-apocalyptic film that explores the fall of humanity when faced with incredible situations and disasters. I had the opportunity to talk to the writer/director about the movie and what he was trying to say with it.
Who chose the actors you used in the film?
I had a casting director named Lindsey Hayes Kroeger. She was really great. She brought in actors who had a lot of ideas. I thought it was impossible to have people like that working on my film. They were too big.
I was brought up watching "The Terminator," and for me it was fantastic to have Michael Biehn in it. [Kroeger] told me, "Don't worry about it." She brought in the actors. Then we actually worked on the script with the actors and let them improv in a lot of the scenes. It also took a while so we could get more organic feeling in each sequence.
How did you make them all look so genuinely sick throughout the film?
It was important to show the physical degradation of the characters. We put them on a diet for all the shooting and watched them lose weight. You can feel the physical degradation of their bodies until the very end.
Who designed the basement and sets?
Tony Noble was an amazing production designer who worked on the sets. He was the designer on Duncan Jones's "Moon" as well. I met Noble in London because we were originally going to shoot the movie in London there. We exchanged ideas. He came in with books full of pictures of basements and underground rooms everywhere in Europe. He said he would do a set like that.
The whole basement was built in a studio in Winnipeg, Canada. It was really amazing working with him. He's really picky about detail and wanted to bring a lot of little things out. He's such a genius. Noble gave the set a really claustrophobic aspect.
Why should people see "The Divide"?
It's a dramatic movie. It's a proposition to see what can happen at the end of the world. I think it's a clever and entertaining film. We see what happens because of the selfishness of humanity and what happens if we fall into fascism. It's my vision of what happens at the end of the world.
For more articles by Eric Shirey , check out:
Eric Shirey is the founder and former editor of Rondo Award nominated movie news websites MovieGeekFeed.com and TheSpectralRealm.com. His work has been featured on Yahoo!, DC Comics, StarWars.com, and other entertainment websites. Eric has interviewed and worked with actors like Harrison Ford, Brooke Shields, Gerard Butler , Brendan Fraser, Selena Gomez, and many more.
Find showtimes and tickets near you on Yahoo! Movies.
- Arts & Entertainment