The Webs We Weave: An Interview with Nash Edgerton

The short films of Nash Edgerton exist on the border of overlapping genres, cinematic categorizations simultaneously flexing their muscles to subvert audience expectations. One of the founding members of Australian collective “Blue Tongue Films”, Edgerton is a jack of all trades – director, actor, editor, and long time stuntman for Hollywood. His short films are hyper kinetic in the most potent sense, consistently driven in one direction by fast paced editing and impressive stunt work. But each packs a different kind of tonal wallop, whether it’s the devastating karmic ending in Spider or the tragically horrific metamorphosis in Fuel.

Edgerton’s debut feature film The Square, a contorted Neo-noir that twists everyday characters into dangerous psychological knots, exists in a collective quicksand box where deception and murder seem to organically spring from the best of intentions. The Square is now touring the United States after being a smash hit in his native Australia. I sat down with Nash Edgerton after a screenings of his short film Spider and The Square to discuss genre, the production process, and his future endeavors.

GLENN HEATH, JR: Many of your short films, from Loaded to Lucky, all contain an incredible amount of forward momentum in the narrative, no matter if it’s during chase scenes or dialogue driven moments. This stems not only from your fast paced editing but extreme physicality in the stunt work. Why was this approach so important to you as a young filmmaker?

NASH EDGERTON:I always liked the idea of movement and rhythm and I felt like filming it in that way gives the audience a sense of what those characters are experiencing. For me filmmaking is such a visual medium, I didn’t want it to be just about talking. I wanted to try and tell stories visually.

GHJ: Especially in the short film format, where you don’t have a lot of time to achieve this goal. There’s a real difference between your short films and THE SQUARE.

NE: With The Square, the story lent itself to a slower build, and if someone barraged you in that way for 90 minutes it would be quite hard to take. I set out with The Square to create a whirlpool effect, I mean to me Ray’s character is drowning, and I want to make it feel like it’s slowly creeping up on him and eventually his life starts spiraling out of control, and I wanted that feeling to come out in the film as more and more people get involved. Continue reading