Directors’ note on Rust and Bone movie

There is something gripping about Craig Davidson’s short story collection Rust and Bone, a depiction of a dodgy and modern world in which individual lives and simple destinies are blown out of proportion by drama and accident.

They offer a vision of the US as a rational universe with the physical needs to fight to find its place and to escape what fate has in store for it.

"Ali and Stephanie, our two characters, do not appear in the short stories and Craig Davidson’s collection already seems to belong to the prehistory of the project, but the power and brutality of the tale, our desire to use drama (indeed melodrama) to magnify their characters all have their immediate source in those stories.

"From the very beginning of our work adapting it, we were focused on a kind of cinematography that, for want of a better word, we called ‘expressionist'.

"We wanted the power of stark, brutal and contrasting images to further the melodrama: the aesthetics of the Great Depression and of county-fair films whose bizarre visual work sublimates the dark reality of a world in which God 'vomits the lukewarm'.

"It is that kind of aesthetic that constantly guided us as we worked on the screenplay. It sustains a love story that is the true hero of the film.

"It shows the world though the eye of a confused child and it underscores the nobleness of our characters in a world made violent by economic disaster.

"It respects Ali and Stephanie’s stubborn attempts to escape their condition.

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