Interview: 'Mud' & 'Take Shelter' Director Jeff Nichols on Storytelling
by Alex Billington
April 24, 2013
"My job is how to affect people..." Meet Jeff Nichols, the Arkansas-born filmmaker responsible for three great films so far: Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and recently Mud (all featuring Michael Shannon by the way). After falling in love with his new film Mud at the Cannes Film Festival last year, I wrote a glowing review, which ended up getting me quoted in the official trailer. Earlier this week in New York I went to see the film again and met up with writer & director Jeff Nichols afterward for a discussion on storytelling, his background, how exactly he makes his films, plus the main motivations behind all three of his stories so far.
I've been looking forward to chatting with Jeff since I first saw Mud last year (and saw Take Shelter the year before that). There's something unique about his films, and I had to ask him about that feel and much more.
Here's my full video interview with Mud writer/director Jeff Nichols, recorded in New York City:
Thank you to Jeff for his time answering my questions and to Roadside & Ginsberg Libby for arranging the interview. I'm glad I finally got to catch up with and speak to Jeff Nichols and ask him some of the questions I've been wanting to ask. For reference, the films he mentions as pivotal in his life are Terrence Malick's Badlands, Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train and David Gordon Green's George Washington. Mud stars Tye Sheridan & Jacob Lofland as Ellis & Neckbone, two young boys living on the Mississippi who encounter a drifter with a sordid past, played by Matthew McConaughey. The official description calls Mud a riveting mystery thriller set in American river country with a stellar cast by one of our greatest new cinematic voices.
Roadside Attractions is releasing Nichols' Mud in theaters starting April 26th, this weekend, check your local listings. It's one of the best films of 2013 so far, and we recommend seeing it when you have a moment.