Director Jennifer Lynch talks about Surveillance, the cast of characters, actors, and how the film came about. Available on DVD 6th March 2009.
A taught thriller in the tradition of the great Akira Kurosawa’s Rashômon, Jennifer Lynch’s Surveillance marks a long awaited return to the big screen for this definitive, and often surprising, filmmaker. Borrowing a page from the Japanese master, Lynch has crafted a stunningly detailed story told from the perspectives of three witnesses. In pure Lynch fashion, however, nothing is as it seems—even at the final moment.
“At its core,” explains Lynch about her film and its genesis, “I’m fascinated by the idea of what it is that an individual sees: primarily what it is to have your life and to see something specifically through your eyes. It’s a completely different experience than anyone else has.
“So, in this story, we have a road between point A and point B. Three different groups find themselves on that road. Certain things happen to all of them. All are forced into one ultimately unfortunate situation where they are obligated to retell what happened.
“Each is a liar and each holds a truth,” continues Lynch. “But the shame that each feels and the reason each one is lying is at the heart of their character. So as we go back in time we realize they are lying, but at the same time we get to know them more deeply.”
The three main groups of characters couldn’t be more disparate. Officers Jack Bennett and Jim Conrad are the fanatic cops who Lynch once described as the kind of men who might watch COPS while drinking a beer and stroking their guns. These officers always wanted to be heroes, but have made certain dark decisions in their lives. Dark decisions that have turned into dark secrets meant to be hidden.