Interview…Justin Kurzel on the Madness and Magnificence of ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’

One of the most remarkable films to be released this year is, without a doubt, True History of the Kelly Gang. Directed by Aussie filmmaker Justin Kurzel, and adapted from the book by Peter Carey, the film is an acting tour de force. Full stop. It’s also an amazing piece of filmmaking. Much like the film’s protagonist, anti-hero, outlaw, Kurzel makes his own rules.

From the first frame everything about the production is bespoke. We liked the film quite a bit because it’s different, but you do need to get through it all to really appreciate it. It’s very Kubrickian in that there is nothing conventional about the story/characters, cinematography, music, etc. and Kurzel and his gang made this their own. Even the end credits feel boutique and are in keeping with the rule-breaking, trail-blazing story on display. 

Russell Crowe, as ever, is amazing. His dialog will stick with you, and the same can be said for the imagery. It’s similar to Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson in exhibition and structure, but much more Shakespearean in its theatricality (Kurzel did remake Macbeth a few years ago, so that might have helped). The last 30 mins are downright wild, and getting insight on that (and other pivotal scenes) directly from Kurzel makes the trip even more amazing. It comes highly recommend.

We again joined our good friend Bryan Kluger (of BoomStickComics) on his podcast to discuss the making of the film with the director. It was 7:00 AM in Tasmania but Kurzel was a trooper. We talked about what got him into film, his last few features, and the three of us had a candid and fun conversation about moviemaking, working with family, flaming pancakes, life-changing cinema and much more. Have a listen.


Justin Kurzel’s new film is a fantastic and unique biopic about the young outlaw bushranger in Australia in the late 1800s.

True History of the Kelly Gang stars George MacKay, Essie Davis, Nicholas Hoult, Charlie Hunnam, Russell Crowe, and Thomasin McKenzie to name a few. IFC Films has slated the film for release On Digital and On Demand April 24th.

Click the image below to check out the trailer…

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