The Interview (1998 film)

The Interview is a 1998 Australian thriller film from writer-director Craig Monahan, and is the first of three films directed by Monahan. Almost the entire film takes place in a police interrogation room, with some short flashback sequences, and the cast consists primarily of three key actors—Hugo Weaving, Tony Martin, and Aaron Jeffery.[1]

The Interview
Film poster.
Directed byCraig Monahan
Produced byBill Hughes
Written byCraig Monahan
Gordon Davie
StarringHugo Weaving
Tony Martin
Aaron Jeffery
Music byDavid Hirschfelder
CinematographySimon Duggan
Edited bySuresh Ayyar
Distributed bySullivan Entertainment
The Cinema Guild
Umbrella Entertainment
Release date
  • 20 August 1998 (1998-08-20)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryAustralia
LanguageEnglish
Box office$556,264

Plot

Eddie Rodney Fleming (Weaving) is a man living alone after losing his job and family. One morning, while sleeping in an armchair, Eddie is woken by the sound of the police breaking into his apartment. The police, led by Detective Sergeant John Steele (Martin) with his partner Wayne Prior, ransack Eddie's belongings and take him down to the police station, where they begin a lengthy interrogation.

The initial questioning focuses on a stolen car, but as the interrogation proceeds it appears that the police also suspect Eddie of much more serious crimes. While Eddie initially denies everything and only asks that he be given something to eat, as he has not eaten since the previous day, he begins changing his story as the interrogation goes on, and Prior has an explosive reaction to Eddie's stonewalling. He hints that he might know more than he has let on, and insists he will give more details after eating. When the food finally arrives and the video camera is turned off Eddies changes his entire demeanor and admits quite proudly to not only stealing the car, but also killing the driver and various other unnamed victims, claiming he would get a ride with them as a hitchhiker and beat them to death when he saw the opportunity.

However, when the inspector general comes in and the police turn on a video camera and ask Eddie to repeat his confession formally, he recants everything and says that his confession was completely fabricated and intended only to tell the police what they wanted to hear because they were refusing to let him go or feed him.

Later, Steele is informed that the entire day's interrogation was being filmed without his knowledge, due to an investigation by an ethics committee after too many complaints. The inspector general tells him that because of Prior's outburst, along with Steele's questionable techniques, Eddie's confession will not be admissible and Steele is subject to disciplinary action. In outrage, Steele secretly gives the entire case's info and the recording of the confession to a reporter, telling him that he does not care about the consequences since he believes he will be fired anyway. After some additional back and forth between Steele and the investigation committee, the police let Eddie go, and he leaves the station with an ambiguous grin. In the final scene, Eddie is shown to be hitchhiking again.

Cast

Accolades

Award Category Subject Result
AACTA Awards
(1998 AFI Awards)
Best Film Bill Hughes Won
Best Direction Craig Monahan Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Won
Gordon Davie Won
Best Actor Hugo Weaving Won
Best Cinematography Simon Duggan Nominated
Best Editing Suresh Ayyar Nominated
Best Original Music Score David Hirschfelder Nominated
Best Sound Peter Palankay Nominated
Peter D. Smith Nominated
John Wilkinson Nominated
Steve Witherow Nominated
Best Production Design David Hirschfelder Nominated
FCCA Awards Best Film Bill Hughes Nominated
Best Director Craig Monahan Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Won
Gordon Davie Won
Best Actor Hugo Weaving Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Tony Martin Nominated
Best Cinematography Simon Duggan Won
Best Music Score David Hirschfelder Won
Flanders International Film Festival Ghent Student Jury Award Craig Monahan Won
Montreal World Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize - Special Mention Won
Grand Prix des Amériques Nominated
Best Actor Hugo Weaving Won
Torino Film Festival Prize of the City of Torino for Best Feature Film Craig Monahan Nominated

Alternate ending

An alternate ending of the film was featured on the DVD release. In this version, Eddie Rodney Fleming is seen hitchhiking along a desolate road. A car stops and Barry Walls (Caton) offers him a ride. Fleming accepts and they drive away, followed at a distance by Steele (Martin) on his motorcycle, no doubt intending to enforce some vigilante justice.

Box office

The Interview grossed $556,263 at the box office in Australia.[2]

Home media

The Interview was released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment in July 2011. The DVD is compatible with all region codes and includes special features such as audio commentary by Craig Monahan, deleted scenes, the alternate ending and cast and crew interviews.[3]

See also

References

  1. Fincina Hopgood, "Reading the Interview", Cinema Papers, August 1998 p16-18
  2. Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office
  3. "Umbrella Entertainment". Retrieved 5 August 2013.
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