Working with Ethan Hawke on 2015s Chet Baker biopic Born to Be Blue, writer/director Robert Budreau was eager to work with the actor again, finding that opportunity with his Tribeca-premiering Stockholm.
Given a 1975 New Yorker article by one of his L.A. producers, Bureau found here a most unusual and unexpected story, detailing the absurd incident—a hostage crisis at a Swedish bank—that resulted in the creation of the term “Stockholm Syndrome.” “I was really captivated by the story and attracted to the characters, because its a real-life story,” Budreau said at Deadlines Tribeca Studio, appearing alongside stars Hawke and Noomi Rapace. When Hawke and Rapace came aboard, the project came together “relatively quickly, which is not usual for most films,” the director said.
In Stockholm, Hawke plays a mysterious bank-robbing bandit, while Rapace portrays hostage Bianca Lind, a woman who falls for her captor. A Swede by birth, Rapace had heard about the hostage incident in question many times throughout her life, and—presented with Budreaus script–became hungry to know more. “It was a total dream for me to be invited to this process, and to work with you guys. I loved every moment,” the actress explained. “[The film] is kind of quirky and funny and weird. I went on a journey, and I felt like the Stockholm Syndrome really hit me.”
Speaking to his attraction to the material, outside of his rapport with Budreau, Hawke mentioned Dog Day Afternoon—Al Pacinos Oscar-winning hostage film—as an inspiration personal to him as he set out to be an actor. “So the challenge of, could you do a bank heist movie, and do it well,” the actor reflected, “it looms in an exciting way.”
To hear more from the team behind Stockholm, click above.
The Deadline Studio at Tribeca is presented by Nespresso.
‘Antebellum’ has a ‘Get Out’ vibe, but doesn’t live up to its twist
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definite..
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definitely shouldn’t be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made “Get Out” a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.
Originally destined for a theatrical run, the movie hits digital platforms trumpeting a “Get Out” pedigree in its marketing campaign, since there’s an overlap among the producing teams.
More directly, the film marks the directing debut of Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, who have championed social-justice issues through their advertising work. The opening script features a quote from author William Faulkner, whose intent will eventually become clearer: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
If that sounds like a timely means of drawing a line from the horrors of slavery to the racism of today, you’ve come to the right place.
The story begins on a plantation, where the brutal overseers carry out grisly punishments against those tilling the fields. A few have just tried to escape, led by Veronica (Janelle Monae), and they pay a heavy price for their resistance, which does nothing to curb her defiance.
Also written by Bush + Renz, the script take too long before revealing what makes “Antebellum” different, but the middle portion — a “The Twilight Zone”-like phase when it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going on — is actually the film’s strongest. (Even the trailer arguably gives away too much, so the less one knows, the better.)
The final stretch, by contrast, veers into more familiar thriller territory, and feels especially rushed toward the end, leaving behind a host of nagging, unanswered questions. That provides food for thought, but it’s also what separates the movie from something like “Get Out,” which deftly fleshed out its horror underpinnings.
Although the filmmakers (in a taped message) expressed disappointment that the movie wasn’t making its debut in theaters, in a strange way, the on-demand format somewhat works in its favor. In the press notes, Bush says the goal was “to force the audience to look at the real-life horror of racism through the lens of film horror. We’re landing in the middle of the very conversations that we hoped ‘Antebellum’ would spur.”
“Antebellum” should add to that discussion, so mission accomplished on that level. Monae is also quite good in her first leading film role (she did previously star in the series “Homecoming’s” second season), but otherwise, most of the characters remain underdeveloped.