Interview: Lynne Ramsay On ‘You Were Never Really Here'

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I spoke to Lynne Ramsay for The Playlist. The full interview can be found here.

"Ramsay’s latest film, “You Were Never Really Here,” packs a whole can of worms in its thin 89-minute running time. In the film, Joaquin Phoenix plays a war veteran who now works as a hitman. His attempt to save a young girl from a sex trafficking ring becomes very complicated once he uncovers a political conspiracy lurking beneath it. The directing and editing (courtesy of Joe Bini) are the real selling points here, as Ramsay tries an experimental approach. Through quickly snipped flashbacks and ambiguous voiceover, the director finds ways to show as little as possible, but say as much as any big or small studio film out there. She builds up her main character in ways that feel like the story is being told through his disturbed, frenetic and PTSD-filled subconscious. Heady stuff, but masterfully done."
"The 48-year-old Ramsay, with her rare, unique directing voice, is not new to risk-taking, starting with her staggering debut “Ratcatcher” to the disturbing, and profoundly devilish, “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” the filmmaker’s career has been marked by one great movie after another. She refuses to adhere to Hollywood conventions and thus her art goes places that have never been seen before on-screen. Driven by a unique and affecting inner, auteuristic voice, that is almost impossible to describe, Ramsay feels like an oasis in a sea of muck, which makes “You Were Never Really Here” a welcome addition to her oeuvre.  I spoke to her about the film, the influence of graphic novels on her work, and the brilliant enigma that is Joaquin Phoenix."