How Tom Holland Seeks Revenge in ‘The Devil All the Time’ | Anatomy of a Scene
NYT, 18 Sep 2020
“You got time for a sinner?”
That line from the vengeance-seeking Arvin Russell (Tom Holland) is delivered with a sense of both weariness and foreboding. The weight of tortured souls confronting evil from all corners is at the heart of “The Devil All the Time,” the period drama that also stars Robert Pattinson as a not-so-faithful preacher.
Antonio Campos directed the Netflix film and, in this video, walks us through a scene that begins like confession but gives way to threats of retribution. The components are simple: two characters, a church and a gun. But those spare elements lead to an extended scene of both quiet nuance and sustained tension.
Campos talks about the challenges of pulling the scene off, both in the performances and in the assembling process. His editor, Sofía Subercaseaux, is also his wife, and he says they worked on this scene, on and off, for nine months to get it right.
He also discusses how sound design played a role in portraying a character’s nervousness (amplifying the clank of the shaking gun) and how certain camera angles help to tell the story from individual characters’ perspectives.
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