Tag Archives: Vince Vaughn

Film Capsule: The Art of Conflict (Vaughn, 2012): USA

The Art of Conflict, reviewed by Larry Gleeson during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, is a well-researched documentary directed by Valeri Vaughn and narrated by younger brother, comedic actor, Vince Vaughn. The Art of Conflict tells the acrimonious story of the conflict in Northern Ireland with large wall-sized building murals scattered throughout the various neighborhoods in Northern Ireland. The conflict originated from the territory’s religious, social and economic struggles of the mid to late nineteenth century. Vaughn focuses her storytelling on the period known as “The Troubles” (the early 1970’s) and thereafter brings the conflict into present day.


During the Q & A following the viewing, both Vaughns presented and fielded questions from the audience. Vince tended to dominate the conversation as he began by providing the background to the film’s birth. He happened to be in Ireland and decided to partake in a Black Cab taxi tour. Along the way he began noticing several murals as the cabbie showed him the sights while filling his ears with some local history. As the Vaughns are of Irish heritage Vince became intrigued. This was in 2005.

Without missing a beat, he claims he immediately telephoned Valeri about the possibility of her undertaking the subject matter of the murals as a project knowing Valeri’s early penchant for making documentaries. Valeri acquiesced and agreed to do it.

The Art of Conflict was seven years in the making including several visits to the Emerald Isle. Numerous interviews and many hours of footage later, a very real piece of art began to emerge as the peace process undertaken at the time began showing aspects of progress evidenced by thematic changes in the mural landscape.

Some of the changes were a concerted effort by the two primary opposing groups, the Catholics and the Protestants, as they tried to peacefully co-exist and to allow the peace process to provide some relief from the tensions of an existing war carried out in their respective neighborhoods and business establishments.

It seemed that the Irish Nationalists, predominantly Catholic, wanted peace a bit more. I don’t believe the Vaughn’s depiction of the conflict was tilted towards either side. A point was made during the Q & A that every effort was made to ensure the piece was as balanced as possible.

With the long history of repression, to me it stands to reason, that the Catholic Nationalists would want peace more as they have fought for rights historically back to the Land Use Agreement.

Literally, Vaughn very well could have produced a Burnsian-style documentary detailing the conflict and its origin. On one hand it’s remarkable she didn’t. While on the other hand, it’s remarkable what she did do.

She captured a very unique time in history using wall murals as an impetus for further inquiry. She delved into the major events and characters of the times and bars no holds eschewing historical photographs, archival footage and present day interviews in telling the story of a bloody, soulless conflict pounded home by the murals and their shapelessness and faceless depictions.

It appears Ms. Vaughn has embarked on a journey of storytelling here that is just beginning. Wholeheartedly recommended.

Mel Gibson at Venice Film Festival’s ‘Hacksaw Ridge’: ‘Maybe I’m a Megalomanic’

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Jamie Manelis

(Photo credit: Jamie Manelis)
Mel Gibson makes a triumphant directorial return at the Venice Film Festival with Hacksaw Ridge, starring Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, and Teresa Palmer. This World War II film is not your average glamorized bloodbath. Unlike other war movies where combat and incessant violence may seem gratuitous, Gibson directs like a master composer, creating a visual symphony of war and relationships.

Fans swarmed the premiere of Hacksaw Ridge like starstruck bees to an illustrious honeyhive. Extra security flooded the theatre, escorting fans straight to their seats to protect some of Hollywood’s most revered stars. The film itself is an overwhelming masterpiece. Intentionally and with much success, Gibson juxtaposes the horrific scenes of war with the innocent protagonist, played by Andrew Garfield. Based on a true story, Hacksaw Ridge is about the first Seventh-Day conscientious objector, Desmond Doss, who declined to bear arms. A belief that almost sent him to military prison, but he not only persevered with his faith, he proved the military wrong and single-handedly saved 75 lives in one night. Regardless of any religious affiliation the audience may identify with, the real astonishment is Doss’s naive optimism and selflessness. Gibson is like a seasoned puppeteer, pulling each tiny string with precision and purpose, manipulating any audience into trusting humanity.

“I enjoy directing more…maybe I’m a megalomanic, I just love telling the story and I love to see the story the way I see it.” – Mel Gibson

Although Gibson’s name in the news has sparked controversy in the last ten years, journalists at the press conference neglected to ask him about his personal afflictions and only focused on questions of the film and his future. However, when Gibson was asked if he preferred acting or directing, he responded, “I enjoy directing more…maybe I’m a megalomanic, I just love telling the story and I love to see the story the way I see it.” Although the stories he chooses are directly linked to religion as Gibson is a devout Catholic, he explained that this story isn’t completely about faith. “He (Doss) didn’t regard his life to be any more valuable than his brothers…that’s the greatest expression of love.”

(Photo credit: Jamie Manelis)
Gibson wanted to honor Doss as well as creating awareness of the unspeakable horrors soldiers deal with during and after war. “A lot of attention needs to be paid to our warriors when they come back. They need some love, they need some understanding.” Gibson says with a stern, concerned look. After a brief pause he continues, “I hope that this film departs that message and if it does nothing but that – that’s great.”

(Source: Excerpt from http://www.observer.com)

*Featured photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema

Hacksaw Ridge to premiere at the Venice Film Festival

Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September.

The announcement coincides with the release of the official trailer for the film.

Shot in various locations across New South Wales last year, Hacksaw stars Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn joined by Aussies Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Ryan Corr, Teresa Palmer, Rachel Griffiths, Richard Roxburgh, Luke Pegler, Ben Mingay, Firass Dirani, Nico Cortez, Harry Greenwood, Milo Gibson and Nathaniel Buzolic.

It marks Gibson’s return to directing for the first time since 2006’s Apocalypto.

The film will be released in cinemas across Australia and New Zealand by Icon on November 3 – one day ahead of its North American release.

(source: http://www.if.com.au)