The cast and crew of the exhilarating crime drama Animal Kingdom take time out to talk about their favourite crime movies.
Animal Kingdom will be released on the 3rd of June through Madman Entertainment.
Ben Mendelsohn (Andrew ‘Pope’ Cody)
What is your favourite crime film?
When I think of a modern, or semi modern crime film, Heat stills stands out. Particularly the shoot out scene, with the movement, and the shooting of the rampart division robbery thing, which was a real thing in L.A. The development on that, the procedure of that that, the coldness of that...it’s just a really crime film. And it’s about the relationships between often these kind of men and their women. That’s really it, masquerading with crime.
You can’t go past the two Godfathers...in terms of heist films, there’s The Big Steal, of course. The (Sam) Peckinpah stuff...The Getaway...there are some great heist films...even the stupid bits from the Oceans films have some good heist sequences in them, which are fun. And you got stuff like The Killing, Stanley Kubrick’s old film. There are so fucking many good crime films.
Have you seen At Close Range?
It has the single best shot of acting Chris Penn ever did in his life, when his dad’s (Christopher Walken) gonna kill him. At Close Range is a fucking great film. Chris Penn in that film is just incredible...you’re digging abck in the alley to find a really good one. The way that Walken plays the role is great. Sean Penn is good in that, but Chris Penn is better. He is the one in that film. He is really amazing, and Walken is good in that film. Sean Penn is great, but it is really...Chris Penn was a profoundly underrated actor. He was a brilliant actor.
When I was watching Animal Kingdom, I was thinking a lot about At Close Range...
I understand what you’re talking about, because of the psychological development and stuff. But we go much further, and we’re much tighter. At Close Range has some great stuff in it, buts its looser. When we hit, we lock you in, and you can’t go away from it.
Sullivan Stapleton (Craig Cody)
What are you favourite crime movies? The Usual Suspects. Scarface. Heat.
What was it about Scarface and Heat that you like so much?
With Heat, it’s the set up and how the pulled it off. Makes me think “I want to do that” (laughs). Then I wouldn’t have to work...it’s just great boysy action, shooting stuff...it’s fun.
Luke Ford (Darren Cody)
What are your favourite crime films?
I really enjoyed Heat, but I also enjoy anything Scorsese does.
Any particular Scorsese crime film? Goodfellas was fantastic. But Heat for me. I really enjoyed it...it was a great story.
Are you a big Pacino / De Niro fan?
Not so much, to be honest. I mean, I thought they were fantastic in that film, but I lost a little interest in them as actors. I think they’ve decided not to...you know....but I enjoyed the way Michael Mann directed that film.
Ben (Mendelsohn) said that he believes Heat is primarily about the relationship between these men and their women. Would you agree?
Yeah, that is true. It goes with the saying: “I don’t run my business, my wife does. But when she’s away, I run my business”. I think in some way that is very true.
So you are a Tarantino fan?
I just love him! He’s a god, I reckon.
What is it about his film that appeals to you?
They are so bold, and out there, and daring...he takes huge risks that a lesser director might not come off.
James Frecheville (Joshua ‘J’ Cody)
Do you have a favourite crime film? Raising Arizona, to an extent. I watched it for the first time a few weeks ago, and watched it a few times since.
David Michod (Writer/Director)
Which crime films stand out for you?
I think the big classical ones. The Godfather, Heat, Scarface, Goodfellas...crime films are my favourite because they’re kind of grand, operatic, and they take themselves seriously. They fully mime that obviously dramatic, rich terrain of the criminal world, where they stakes are incredibly high, and there is a level of drama, and anxiety, and desperation in them that those films mime so well...and I actually think (Australian miniseries) Blue Murder works on the same level. It’s beautifully written, and almost beautifully operatic.