Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger discuss “Marlowe” as Neil Jordan’s film world premieres in San Sebastian

Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger arrived at the San Sebastian Film Festival on Saturday to support the world premiere of Neil Jordan’s “Marlowe,” which closes the festival tonight.

Jordan and William Monahan’s adaptation of John Banville’s novel The Black-Eyed Blonde is about Raymond Chandler’s famous detective Philip Marlowe and, like Chandler’s books, is set in 1930s Los Angeles.

Jordan said calling it a film noir was confusing. “First, it’s shot in color,” he said.

Even though it’s set in the past, it’s a futuristic film that served as a reference point for the look of this film.

“To make a film like this, you have to reinvent the image. As a reference, I chose Blade Runner, which is set in LA in the future. I’m making a film that’s set in LA in the past, but it’s sort of a sci-fi film. […] It was a good reference for the designers and camera crew.”

The film was mostly shot in the Barcelona hills, which reminded Neeson, who plays Marlowe, of LA

“I used to live in Laurel Canyon and where we were shooting in Barcelona was a replica of Laurel Canyon,” he said.

The film began with a then unpublished book.

“The book was written by a dear friend of mine,” Jordan said. “We bought the rights to the book and William Monahan wrote a wonderful script, but I felt the script wasn’t complex enough and asked if I could try it. We ended up with the script that we have.”

He chose his cast well.

“I really wanted to work with Jessica Lange,” he said. “The thought of Jessica Lange playing a retired screen goddess was incredible. Luckily, she agreed to play the part.”

Neeson was referring to previous actors who have played the role of Marlowe when asked about preparing for the role.

“There were some amazing actors like Bogart or Elliott Gould in Robert Altman’s ‘The Long Goodbye’ was great,” he said. “And of course Robert Mitchum played him in the early ’70s (“Farewell My Lovely”). I’m an avid reader, but I had never read Raymond Chandler. Then I just gobbled it all up on my best friend’s Kindle. But I’ve never been intimidated by it. I’ve worked with Neil four times. I knew Neil would give it a certain quirky twist and cast it brilliantly, which he did. Diane and I acted together in a film we shot in Berlin 12 years ago. Neil has put together a wonderful cast. That was intimidating.”

For Kruger, the chance to star in the film was a rare opportunity.

“We don’t often get to play these types of characters or do these types of films,” she said. “I jumped on a zoom with Neil. I knew he was going to do something classic but with a twist. We shot in Barcelona, ​​which was great.”

What drew Jordan to this story?

“It’s not so much the genre,” he said. “It’s the whole landscape of the film. I thought if I could make a movie about a Marlowe who is hired by a beautiful woman to find her lover and he doesn’t know it’s meant to kill him, well I haven’t seen that.”

The LA he filmed is gone, although Chandler’s legacy remains.

He added: “We’ve made up for our time in Los Angeles. We had to invent an imaginary city because when you go to LA, there’s nothing left of that time. They destroyed it.”

The film is being produced by Alan Moloney, Gary Levinsohn, Mark Fasano, Billy Hines, Philip Kim and Patrick Hibler. It is a co-production between Parallel Films, Hills Productions and Davis Films with support from Screen Ireland. Sur Film provided production services in Barcelona. Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger discuss “Marlowe” as Neil Jordan’s film world premieres in San Sebastian

Charles Jones

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