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Post Info TOPIC: Director Roger Donaldson Leads us Down the Dark Path of Seeking Justice

Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

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Date: 1:55 AM, 03/20/12
Director Roger Donaldson Leads us Down the Dark Path of Seeking Justice

This is a thought provoking insight into Seeking Justice from the director, Roger Donaldson, courtesy of btlnews.

Director Roger Donaldson Leads us Down the Dark Path of Seeking Justice

March 19, 2012 | By Scott Essman


From left: Guy Pearce, Nicolas Cage and Roger Donaldson on the set of Seeking Justice.

Director Roger Donaldson has been making Hollywood thrillers for the better part of three decades.  From the political machinations of No Way Out and Thirteen Days, to more character-driven fare such as The Getaway remake, The Recruit and The Bank Job, Donaldson seems comfortable in creating tales that ratchet up the onscreen tension.  His newest, Seeking Justice, forges ahead in similar territory, one that the Australian sees as a fresh attempt each time out.  “I think the challenge of making a thriller is that you know instinctively that the story can play out by the characters in front of you,” he said. “You don’t know which way it’s going to go.”


The Nicolas Cage-starring film concerns an intricate revenge fantasy, one that Cage’s teacher character becomes swept up in and soon finds the character in over his head while Guy Pearce co-stars as a mysterious figure leading an unnamed vigilante group. “The challenge is to keep surprising the audience if you can,” said Donaldson. “The more you can surprise them, the more the audience can enjoy it. You present them with options that you make — you lead them down a dark path a little bit. The jeopardy can pop up where you least expect it.”

Cage is not presented as any manner of action hero in this new project; if anything, he’s positioned as an everyman, which the director noted was intentional.  “You want to create a character who you do feel on one level isn’t necessarily going to be able to handle the threat, but by the end you feel that they can do it,” he said.


Nicolas Cage in Seeking Justice.

Donaldson noted that with such powerhouse performers as Cage and Pearce, rehearsal is preferred but ultimately unnecessary. “You try to get as much opportunity to do some rehearsals before you shoot, but the way that movies are scheduled these days, it’s hard to get much of a chance to talk to Nic.” he explained. “By signing on for the movie, he is saying that he understands what he can do with the character: a teacher turned into a tough ruthless killer.”


In traveling down a path of vigilante-driven revenge, Cage stands in for any average person who might want swift justice in a bogged-down legal system.  But Cage is quickly in too deep and fails to understand how he got there. “He goes down the road of revenge and realizes the nightmare that it’s turned into.” elaborated Donaldson about his 17th feature. “Revenge is one of those responses that one is appalled by.  It’s not the human spirit at its best.  But we all know that burning desire to even the score.”

As Donaldson noted, Seeking Justice revisits themes that have been prevalent in much of his other work. “I love stories that are about moral dilemmas,” he said. “The same things about The Bounty attracted me to this movie: characters under pressure. Every story has an element of suspense in it. That’s what drives it ultimately.”

Like many productions of late, Donaldson shot this new film in New Orleans, a relocation from the original script’s setting which mandated a rewrite.  But Donaldson was positive about the overall experience. “I was in New Orleans for three months.” he said. “The city was amazingly cooperative.  It’s small enough to get around easily and quickly.”


Guy Pearce in Seeking Justice.

Certainly, Donaldson has ventured beyond the thriller — cases in point are theAnthony Hopkins-starring mesmerizing character study, The World’s Fastest Indian, (“If it were in the hands of a mainstream distributor, it could have been one of my most commercially successful films,“ said Donaldson), and the sci-fi send-up Species, (“I was always fascinated by the Carl Sagan SETI project and the telescope in Puerto Rico,” he noted).  Indeed, he stated “my interests aren’t in one particular direction,” even though he continually makes thrillers. “The key is to find something that you are really connected to,” he said of his tenure in Hollywood. “You never know what’s going to find traction.”


Born in Australia but making his earliest films in New Zealand, Donaldson made an early living in commercials and “blew my money doing short films and documentaries. It gave me the credentials to make Smash Palace and bring me over here.”  He has been in Los Angeles ever since.  He madeSeeking Justice in New Orleans over 44 shooting days and is already planning the next one.  “Every film is different and they have high points and low points,” he said.  “Making them is a very different experience to releasing them.”

Donaldson’s next film, early in pre-production, he described as “likeTraffic but about money,” and will be filmed in multiple countries.  The working title is Cities.





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Posts: 6722
Date: 2:44 AM, 03/20/12
RE: Director Roger Donaldson Leads us Down the Dark Path of Seeking Justice

It is interesting, and he has also some things to say that I find pertinent to the way films are made and presented today. Much as I love a good blockbuster movie I still desire to see the smaller indie or character driven stories, and this one sounds right up my alley. Especially with Nic waiting there for me! I think revenge is a powerful theme for a movie, it hits people in the solar plexus, because anyone can relate to that desire or thought at some time in their life.

Well my dh just fullfilled one of his adult fantasies and ordered a big screen 3-D tv, so it will be interesting to see how the movies that I have will look on that big thing! Maybe I won't care if I go to the theatre anymore, though I doubt it. On the other hand I may not be able to afford to go to the theatre. cry



Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

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Posts: 8403
Date: 3:39 AM, 03/21/12
RE: Director Roger Donaldson Leads us Down the Dark Path of Seeking Justice

We are lucky that Nic as an actor continues to deliver that variety in film Lady Trueheart...I cannot think of any other actor who does that so consistently and so enduringly. Perhaps this is why Justice appealed to me so much when I saw it, it is a compelling piece and it is a piece, which is not something i could say about for example GR:SOV (which has merits all of it's own too), This film ticks that box but also in terms of their being something both that we have seen before in maybe earlier movies.. and something entirely new, something, i don't's subtle, intimate, close up,  (for me) in the sense that there is a depth, a nakedness maybe (these words make it sound sensual but i dont mean it in that way at all, i mean in terms of truth)

Interesting that with both (seeking) Justice and Trespass we are taken on that journey by those raw themes (solar plexus, i like that Lady Trueheart, so..... true!)


3-D tv? wow, i am on my way over!  




Special Agent Cagealot

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Posts: 1496
Date: 5:45 AM, 03/21/12
RE: Director Roger Donaldson Leads us Down the Dark Path of Seeking Justice

thats an intersting article thanks


Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

George Carlin



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