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RUST AND BONE

From The Filmmakers
In Craig Davidson's gripping short story collection Rust and Bone, individual lives and destinies are blown out of proportion, intensified by drama and accident. The stories depict a harsh modern world where fighting is the way the physical self finds its place and escapes its fate.

Ali and Stephanie, our two characters, do not appear in the short stories; we took ideas from Craig Davidson's stories as a point of departure and wove them into a new story. Davidson's collection already seems to belong to the prehistory of the project, but the power and brutality of our tale, our desire to use drama, indeed melodrama, to magnify our characters all have their immediate source in those stories.

From the very beginning of our adaptation, 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, clashing images in order to further the melodrama. We had in mind an echo of the Great Depression. We thought of old amateur county-fair films, of the dark reality in those surreal visuals.

It is that kind of aesthetic that constantly guided us as we worked on the screenplay. It's pitiless, yet it sustains a love story that is the true hero of the film. It shows the world though the eyes of a confused child. It underscores the nobleness of our characters in a world made violent by economic disaster. And it respects Ali and Stephanie's stubborn attempts to transcend their condition.

Jacques Audiard and Thomas Bidegain

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