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  

Sam Neill Locked in the Kitchen

Sam Neill Locked in the Kitchen

New Zealand actor Sam Neill talks to the UK’s Observer about shunning fame, putting his latest movie on hold, online cooking … and playing Radiohead’s Creep on the ukulele. Neill, star of…