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

Intuition -- A Short Film from Danielle Lurie
I love this short film from Danielle Lurie about a young woman who needs to learn to listen to her heart, with a wonderful performance by Montse Muñoz. [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/101953117[/vimeo]

posted 10:09:01am Jul. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Joseph Nasser of "Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway"
Reserve Police Officer Joseph Nasser produced Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway to help raise awareness of the Amber Alert system. It stars Tom Berenger as a man on the edge, making a dead rush for Mexico and kidnapping two young girls along the way. He is hotly pursued by police chief Martha Geig

posted 8:00:33am Jul. 28, 2014 | read full post »

"Guardian of the Galaxy's" Awesome Mixtape
One of the many pleasures of "Guardians of the Galaxy," opening this week, is the soundtrack featuring some 70's classics from an "Awesome Mixtape" played by Peter "Star Lord" Quill (Chris Pratt).  Here are some of the highlights. "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede [youtube]http://www.youtub

posted 8:00:21am Jul. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014: Day 2
Day 2 of Comic-Con included: an interview with "Sharknado" and "Sharknado 2" screenwriter Thunder Levin, a buggy lunch with Boxtrolls, press events with the directors and casts of four films, and appearing on the Rotten Tomatoes panel, where each attendee was given a paddle with a ripe tomato on on

posted 10:04:47pm Jul. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Thank You! This Site is 19 Years Old This Week!
It seems like yesterday, but it was 19 years ago this week that I first began writing reviews online as The Movie Mom®.  Anyone remember Prodigy?  The first appearance of my website was via the Sears-owned online service, so long ago it does not even turn up in Wayback searches.  At the time, we

posted 3:59:49pm Jul. 26, 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.