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NewsMen Is an Idea That Haunted Alex Garland for...

Men Is an Idea That Haunted Alex Garland for 15 Years

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With Men, Garland intends to simply broaden those impulses while exploring the grossly imbalanced power dynamics between men and women in a horror setting. The film is of course not subtle about that; it’s right there in the title. And the filmmaker is acutely aware of the fact that he is a man telling a feminine story about male menace.

“We gave ourselves a rule,” says Garland, “which is our job is to think about it as hard as we are able to think about it, and sort of investigate it and discuss it between ourselves, and really apply ourselves, and bring other people in who are not directly involved in making the film—but people that we trust—[to give us feedback].”

But at the end of the day, Garland felt no restrictions about tackling these real world horrors, particularly with partners as game as Buckley and Kinnear who come close to exploring every unspoken facet of male and female interactions. Together, this triumvirate attempts to visualize something akin to what Garland feels while looking at the Green Man: an inarticulate dread and horror aimed toward women.

“The dream is that somebody watches this film and does not simply forget about it as they are walking out of the cinema,” Garland says. “And films are often weirdly forgettable. Somebody will say ‘have you seen that?’ and I go, ‘Yeah, I’ve seen that.’ And then they say, ‘Did you like the bit when—’ and I already don’t know what they’re talking about.”

But with Men, he hopes the mysteries he presents, beginning with Kinnear in all those roles, triggers a deeper reaction.

Says Garland, “I’m not saying that question is posed in that way to make the film more memorable. It’s more that I want it to stay alive—not to be remembered as a film, but as a participant in a conversation.”

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