On Tuesday 10 March 2009 I interviewed writer/director Warwick Thornton and producer Kath Shelper in the JOY 94.9 studios in Melbourne. The pair had just begun promoting Samson and Delilah, a film that has since generated an enormous amount of interest and was recently selected to screen in Official Selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
Listen to the interview:
Thomas Caldwell: Samson and Delilah is being described as a love story and yet it is not exactly what audiences expect when they hear “love story”.
Warwick Thornton: It’s an Indigenous story from Central Australia. What’s the best way to see a film about teenagers living in an Aboriginal community than through love? Because with love there are no barriers, there are no walls, it’s not black and white, it’s not male or female. Love works absolutely across the board. It’s soul rather than issues. As far as getting a film about the kids in Alice Springs out there to a wider audience, I think love is the best place to set it.
Thomas Caldwell: Is that where you are from originally? Alice Springs?
Warwick Thornton: Alice Springs born and bred and I live there still today.
Thomas Caldwell: And the film was obviously shot on location.
Warwick Thornton: Yep.
Thomas Caldwell: I can’t imagine how else you would get those incredible visuals.
Warwick Thornton: Yeah, we went to LA and the whole thing was done in a studio –
Thomas Caldwell: – in a massive postproduction house. If you look closely Nicholas Cage is in there somewhere.
Warwick Thornton: He has a cameo as Gonzo.