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After a long time away from the director's chair, Steven Shainberg (Secretary) is back in fine form with his new thriller Rupture starring Noomi Rapace (Prometheus).

Two QE faithful's have reviewed the film so far (here and here), but we recently sat down with the director to discuss the film, what excites him about projects and why he's been gone for so long.



First of all, welcome back to directing. It’s been a while since we’ve seen you.

Yeah, well, you know, life is never what you think it’s going to be.

That’s suspiciously vague.
Yeah and scary.

What’s been keeping you away for so long?

Well basically two things- my two daughters were born three years apart and I said I was going to spend the first 5 years of my first daughter’s life with her, and had another daughter so I kind of took the time to develop a relationship with both of these human beings who I like a lot.

After that I wrote a script called "The Big Shoe", which you can go online and see that there were many incarnations of that movie that almost got made, and with Andrew Lazar, the producer of Rupture, we were doing everything humanly possible to get that movie made. Did not get it made.

So that’s basically, other than the fact that while we were trying to get this made I wrote and developed seven other movies. Kind of stood on a stack of material, which is kind on an interesting place to be because we’ve got great producers involved in all the various projects. It’s kind of a time of like re-orienting myself towards my family and also a completely obsessive desire to get that movie [The Big Shoe] made. That’s been the decade.

I guess we can’t be too mad at you for disappearing for just being a good dad and writing some more stuff.

I appreciate it, I gotta tell myself that too.

Well I’m a huge fan of Secretary.

That’s funny because "The Big Shoe" is kinda Secretary on acid. Anybody who liked Secretary would love "The Big Shoe". And yet we still couldn’t get it made despite all that. So we had great actors, and blah blah blah. Things never quite go the way you expect them to.

So having that on the backburner for so long, can we see that in more recent development now that Rupture is completed? Are we getting more projects lined up?

Well yeah, you know I’ve got a lot of stuff, and every single one of the movies has a big producer attached so we’ll see. It’s very hard to get a movie made now. Very difficult. If they’re not straight-ahead, down-the-line. Even a movie like Rupture, which is a genre movie and therefore, in some sense, therefore did get made, it was on the page and is in the movie a big difference from most obvious genre movies. And for that reason, we were able to get a good financier. And it’s not the easiest movie to get made, either. You know, you have a better shot now with a genre movie. And that’s just a true statement.

Was that your intention before going onboard with Rupture? Because it feels like it’s several genre movies. We’ve got sci-fi, we’ve got horror, we’ve got some alien encounter genetic mind-bending sort of thing. It’s a hodgepodge of genre.

I’m not even sure. Exactly. Yeah. That, what you just said, limited its distribution possibilities. You know, a big distributor did not bite on the movie precisely because of what you just said. It’s a thing in and of itself. And it’s not exactly this or that. That fact alone was also confusing to people.

It’s slightly unusual. Not crazily unusual, but just unusual enough that places that are bigger distributors were like, “You know, we’re not really sure what it is.” That’s interesting, you know? That’s interesting if you’re not sure. That’s called unusual or original. Know what I mean? It is what it is. It’s a movie!

A friend of mine recently wrote a book and he was being asked, “Well, what is it?” He’s like, “It’s a book!” I don’t know. I probably doesn’t fly in the world of filmmaking.

That’s the quickest elevator pitch I’ve ever heard.


One of the things I got from Rupture was it consistently felt claustrophobic- intimate shots, crawling through air vents- what was the drive behind that with the film?

Well this movie, for me, came out of a Japanese film from Teshigahara called Woman in the Dunes. Very famous Japanese film about a guy who is an entomologist studying bugs who is wandering in the dunes by the beach and he ends up being trapped in the home of a woman who lives in the dunes. And it’s about the way in which their relationship evolves in sort of a crazy context.

It’s an entrapment movie that turns into love. And you know, you look at a movie- let’s say a bit more commercial like the Stephen King adaptation of Misery, that is a man essentially tied to a bed and how a love relationship, a crazy love relationship, sort of, a perpetration of it in a way, evolves between him and the captor, Kathy Bates. So these kinds of movies have been made over and over again- and I love them! And I love them because the character is forced into these situations totally unexpected for them, where they are forced to experience themselves and transform in a way that is unexpected and would never happen, were it not for captivity. So captivity causes a possibility of a new understanding of oneself or one’s own life or the world, etc. So it’s a very wonderful, bright way of putting a character into a dilemma that leads to transformation and I just love that situation.

So that’s the origin. I love those movies. I just felt- ooh, I want to make a captivity movie! And I actually have another captivity movie that I want to make somewhere down the line. But it’s a long way off.

Oh good! So we’ve got more to come?

Yeah but the other one’s funny.

That will be a relief. So where do you see the differences in character development between forced transition within captivity and letting characters explore themselves through interaction? Do you prefer to see a character forced to explore the depths of their own persona?

I just think the kinds of movies that I’m interested in are where the character is going through an inner journey that causes them to change or recognize the truth of who they are. Experiencing something so unusual or new to them that they, despite being forced upon them, may be something that they were actually longing for.

In the case of Rupture, she wants to go skydiving at the beginning of the movie. And only a person who asked for some sort of change is going to go up in a plane and jump out of it. You want to go out of a plane and land on the ground and feel differently about your life. You have to have some kind of magic realization. That’s going to be the rubric. Why you go off and do such a thing. There’s no way you can possibly go into that kind of experience without that hope. And that’s the thing I’m interested in. What is the thing which makes it possible for people to change? And that can take all kinds of forms. Which is good for me, because then I can continue to make movies.

I’m interested in stuff that happens inside people. The deeper confrontation with self.

Well we definitely get that in Rupture. We’re looking forward to more stuff from you soon.

From your mouth to God’s ears. I wish you were a financier! Yeah, that’d be great. Go get some financing money!

Let me call a few guys.

Rupture is available now on VOD.

Recommended Release: Rupture

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Genius (5 years ago) Reply

I never saw this was it good?


Christopher (5 years ago) Reply

Both our reviewers liked it!

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