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Ben Wheatley wanted to make non-violent film

January 1, 2019

Ben Wheatley was determined to make his new flick ‘Happy New Year, Colin Burstead’ non-violent.

The 46-year-old director is known for his bloody films that contain an element of “violence” - his last project ‘Free Fire’ (2016) was about a shootout between two gangs set in Boston 1978 - but Ben has revealed he made the conscious decision to make a film where “no one had a hand laid on them”.

Speaking to Den Of Geek, Ben said: “I think it’s something to do with an issue with drama. Drama itself demands that things become more and more amped up. Violence and death, particularly in drama, is usually a metaphor for a kind of emotional death that happens in real life but people find a bit too boring to watch.

“I felt I was falling into the trap of maybe going to that point all the time. You see in drama all the time. The go-to thing is killing off children, everyone dies at the end or whatever. I did consciously want to make a film where no one was murdered.

“Not just murdered, but where no one had a hand laid on them, because most people go through their lives without that happening and if it happens its very, very rare. From my own experience, this is a lot lighter than things I have experienced.

“I thought the emotional peak is extreme enough without having to go to those places because that family would never recover if it came to blows.”

‘Happy New Year, Colin Burstead’ stars Neil Maskell as Colin, who hosts a New Year’s Eve party for his feuding family that sees his mum Sandy (Doon Mackichan), dad Donald (Bill Paterson), cross-dressing uncle Bertie (Charles Dance), sister Gini (Hayley Squires) and estranged brother David (Sam Riley) all turn up for the big event.

The British filmmaker also confessed that for this particular project he returned to “contemporary filmmaking” to make a movie that was “current” with the times.

Ben added: “The scale of it is smaller than the last two films but I’ve always jumped backwards and forwards in size of films so it’s not radically different, in terms of going from Sightseers, then A Field In England then back to High-Rise.

“What it’s more [of] is a return to contemporary filmmaking in a contemporary setting, which I haven’t done for three films. That was something I consciously wanted to do because I felt like I had made a lot of films I was slightly dodging or skirting around dealing with what was going on in the country. Even though all the films are political in their way, I just wanted to make something that was much more current.”

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