Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge screened last night on both coasts for SAG and guild members. And two people met for the first time– the screenwriters. Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight wrote the screenplay but from different continents. You could say for the first time they were incontinent.
Knight, who’s Australian, recently said in an earlier interview, regarding Gibson: “there’s a brain going there. It’s a tortured brain but a really interesting brain.” He added: “He was perfectly pleasant to me, but I was irrelevant.”
Schenkkan, the American writer who penned the award winning Broadway play and HBO movie “All the Way,” apparently did the first draft. “Schenkkan’s a great writer,” Knight said. “I just didn’t think it was intense enough.”
Reports from the screening– the first since the Venice Film Festival– were a little different than the first glowing reports. I heard the word “hokey” several times. Also, the movie is quite violent– along the lines of Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ.”
On top of that there were numerous tech issues at the SAG screening last– the sound went out a couple of times, the movie had to be stopped, and so on. It’s not the best way to see a film but it gave the audience time to Tweet and other communicate dissatisfaction.
Some Gibson supporters really want a comeback for him. Some (like me) don’t want to hear his name again. In the end all that will matter is if the Academy voters can stomach the violence.
By the way, “Hacksaw Ridge” also apparently — at least at the SAG screening– appeared to have been filmed in a way that’s also “realistic” or video-tape like. Hmmmm….