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Seven Psychopaths

A booze-fuelled screenwriter becomes entangled in the Los Angeles underworld, in Martin McDonagh's hilarious follow-up to In Bruges.

Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.


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  • Director-Screenwriter Martin McDonagh
  • Producer Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, Martin McDonagh
  • With Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson
  • USA-UK 2012
  • 106 mins
  • UK distribution Momentum Pictures

Martin McDonagh’s follow-up to In Bruges is another wise-cracking, profane comedy, propelled by an endlessly inventive script and bursting with unrestrained characters. Marty (Colin Farrell), a screenwriter with an unquenchable thirst for booze, inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles underworld when his dubious best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) kidnaps local gang boss Charlie’s (Woody Harrelson) beloved shih tzu. Meanwhile, Billy has taken it upon himself to ‘help’ with research for Marty’s latest script, oblivious to the fact that Marty and Hans (Christopher Walken), the leader of the pooch-thieving racket, are now in great danger. As things become seriously derailed (and this hilarious ride is not for the squeamish) each man’s weakness is revealed – Billy’s manic need to prove himself, Marty’s immense fear of failure, Hans’ futile loyalty; even the brutal Charlie is rendered a quivering wreck at the loss of his dog. There are many things to relish about this film – its stellar cast, its audacious and tangible love of storytelling and the fact that you can take it straight-up as a comedy, or you can let its sharp thinking linger. The punchline here is that Seven Psychopaths is a knock-out critique of the psychotic art of keeping your male on.
Clare Stewart

Related event: David Wasco (Production Designer) and Sandy Reynolds Wasco (Set Decorator)

Director statement

I like having towns as characters in a film. In Bruges was obviously that, but I wanted LA to have the same quality that Bruges did for the last one, and hopefully that’s there. [...] I’m quite even-tempered really. I’m never even angry, most of the time. The idea for this movie started with a writer wanting to write about seven psychopaths, so even the script is about that attempt. It’s like a snowball within the story of the script – he gets one, then another, then two more pop up that he didn’t know were already in his life. He wants to write about something he’s seen the other day that’s more about peace and love than it is about violence, and that’s the dichotomy and tension in the story. The Pillowman is in some ways similar to this – stories within stories. There are elements of the story that are quite true to me, but there’s plenty that isn’t. It’s fun to throw my truths into the mix with things that are completely alien to me. At the heart of it, I guess, is a writer who has written violent stuff, but who has issues with the whole thing, which is kind of what I do. So there is a truth to it, I guess.
Martin McDonagh

Director biography

Born into an Irish family in Camberwell in 1970, he acknowledged his roots by setting each of his first six plays in and around County Galway. The first of them, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, saw him awarded the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright in 1996, and the majority of his stage work has been produced in each of Ireland, England and the US. His first non-Irish play, The Pillowman, premiered at the National Theatre in 2003; while his first set in America, A Behanding in Spokane, opened in New York in 2010, earning a Tony nomination for lead actor Christopher Walken. McDonagh’s first film, Six Shooter, won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short in 2006, and his first feature, In Bruges, received the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay and an Oscar nomination in the same category. He has also acted as executive producer on his brother John Michael McDonagh’s feature The Guard.

Filmography

2005 Six Shooter [s]
2008 In Bruges
2012 Seven Psychopaths

Read the Time Out review.

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