Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Interview: Matt Bondurant of “Lawless”

posted by Nell Minow

The Wettest County in the World is writer Matt Bondurant’s book about his grandfather and great uncles, who sold illegal moonshine during Prohibition.  The Bondurant brothers were legends in their own era, reported to be un-killable.  Bondurant spoke to a small group of critics about adapting his family’s story for the new film, “Lawless,” starring Tom Hardy, Shia LeBoeuf  and Mia Wasikowska(as Bondurant’s grandparents), and Jessica Chastain.

“There’s not much of a story-telling culture in my father’s side of the family,” he told us.  “A lot of these things were not talked about ever.  We didn’t know that my grandfather and his brother had been shot on that bridge in 1930 until my father uncovered a newspaper article.”  He went to his father and asked about it, “and my grandfather just lifted up his shirt and showed him where the bullet hole was.”  He said he did not know whether it was because their activity was illegal or they didn’t want to air dirty laundry.  “So many people were complicit in their community that I don’t think that was it.  I think it was just their tendency of not saying much to begin with.  There’s a kind of conservative rural attitude of things you talk about and things you don’t.  What I ascribe it to is back in the day it could get you into a lot of trouble.  You just don’t talk about moonshine.”  He said he got his interest in stories and story-telling from his mother, an avid reader.

“There definitely wasn’t anything glamorous about it.  About 20 years ago we started to uncover articles talking about them as the Bondurant brothers like this notorious gang, this scary group of guys, and then it gets a little exotic and romantic, the shoot-out, and stuff like that.  But I had no notion of that until I was nearly 20 years old.  I think I did hear the story about Forrest getting his throat cut from ear to ear.”  His father became interested in the family history “and we both started discovering the history at about the same time.  If there’s a researcher I owe the greatest debt to, it’s my dad.”  His understanding of his family deepened and widened as he learned about them.  “It’s amazing to uncover all this stuff.”

He spoke of the “pervasive silence” that still exists in his grandfather’s community.  “I grew up near Washington D.C. and when I would go there I was always an outsider and had to struggle to understand” the Franklin County relatives.  This movie is, in part, the result of that wish to know more about his taciturn family, who seemed so different when he knew them from the newspaper stories about the bootlegger days.

 

 



Previous Posts

Great News About Now You See Me 2
You didn't think Arthur Tressler was going to let them get away with it, did you? I am very happy that one of the most entertaining films of 2013, Now You See Me is getting a sequel and the stars, including Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson, are back, alo

posted 8:00:59am Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

In the Footsteps of St. Peter
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4c7qh9hMVY[/youtube] David Suchet (PBS' Hercule Poirot) is the host of In the Footsteps of St. Peter, out tomorrow on DVD.

posted 3:55:57pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Wrong About Critics, Wrong About Movies, Wrong About Faith
I am not going to give the people behind the idiotic and offensive press release I recently received the recognition of identifying them by name, but the claim that they make is one I have heard often enough I need to respond. The headline: Film Critics Don't Get Faith Films. This shows no understan

posted 2:36:30pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Disney Announced a New Animated Film for 2016: Moana
Entertainment Weekly reports that Disney has announced a new animated feature to be released in 2016: "Moana," with a Polynesian heroine in search of a fabled island. With Disney greats Ron Clements

posted 1:59:28pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Manners at the Movie Theater
Here's a cute reminder on movie theater manners. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Dz5Qwd93VpE?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:38am Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.