Surprise Involvement

When the premiere of West of Memphis was first announced for the Sundance Film Festival this year, the participation of Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson was something of a surprise, not only as a producer on the film but also as an active participant in the defence. His behind-the-scenes role had been almost entirely unknown. West of Memphis has its origins in Jackson and partner Fran Walsh watching the 1996 documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills. “We got emotionally entangled with it; it really became something we weren’t expecting it to become,” Jackson said. Jackson and Walsh then began financing an investigation and DNA testing to exonerate the three men, becoming a core part of Damien Echols’ defence team. “The story is far from finished yet. The movie is finished, but it’s not about a movie anymore. And it never really was for us.” West of Memphis opens in the US this week. The film is directed by American Amy Berg (pictured).


Tags: Amy Berg  Fran Walsh  Lord of the Rings (The)  Los Angeles Times  Peter Jackson  West of Memphis  

Jane Campion Returns to Film with Locally-Shot Western The Power of the Dog

Jane Campion Returns to Film with Locally-Shot Western The Power of the Dog

The Power of the Dog marks a homecoming for Wellington-born Oscar winner Jane Campion – with a career-first twist, David Canfield reports for Vanity Fair. Campion’s last feature was the 2009 romantic drama…