×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lowery: Texan talent is Sundance-bound

10 Directors to Watch 2013: David Lowery

David Lowery had directed a feature before, but never like this.

“You show up on day one and there’s 50 trucks and a crew you’ve never met,” the young helmer says of “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” a Southern Gothic-tinged drama set to bow in competition at Sundance. “It was strange at first. I’m used to making films for $15,000 or less.”

He’s not kidding. Lowery’s last movie, 2009 indie “St. Nick,” was a nearly dialogue-free story of two young siblings who run away from home and try to survive on their own. It cost $12,000.

The self-taught filmmaker (“I was always stubbornly independent; I never went to film school”) started out learning the ropes with P.A. gigs and assistant director stints, gravitating toward editing and amassing a string of credits as a splicer.

“There’s an alchemy to it,” he says of editing. “You’re taking things that already exist and smashing them together to make something new. For me, that’s where the magic in film comes from.”

“St. Nick” preem-ed at South by Southwest, and that film plus the Sundance 2011 showcase of his follow-up short “Pioneer” — about a father telling his son an epic bedtime story — paved the way for “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.” “Pioneer” producers Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston took the brewing “Bodies” to the Sundance producers lab, and Lowery subsequently worked on the script as part of Sundance’s screenwriters lab, later casting Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster to star.

Lowery had originally wanted to pen an action pic, and traces remain in the final product. But eventually he pared the tale back to the archetypal bones that would let him explore the facets of filmmaking that have always attracted him.

“What interests me is the characters,” he says. “I want to watch them in all the little moments between the big moments.”

Homebase: Dallas
Inspired by: Paul Thomas Anderson (“He’s matured so much from film to film, and it pushed me to mature, too”), Robert Altman (especially “McCabe & Mrs. Miller”), David Fincher (“because he makes movies I could never make”).
Reps: Agents: Craig Kestel and David Karp (WME); Lawyer: Victoria Cook (Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz)

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Gavel Court Placeholder

    Netflix Movie Scammer Admits to Defrauding Investors Out of $14 Million

    A California man has admitted to defrauding investment groups — nabbing $14 million — by falsely claiming the money would be used to produce a feature film for Netflix. On Oct. 18, Adam Joiner, 41, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court, according to federal authorities. [...]

  • Tio-Yim

    Morelia Film Festival Highlights Mexican Indigenous Women Filmmakers

    This year’s Morelia Intl. Film Festival (FICM), with support from a FilmWatch scholarship awarded by the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will host a Mexican Indigenous Filmmakers: Identity and New Narratives forum for women directors. Issues such as diversity, identity, gender equity, inclusion and broader topics such as the challenges of film [...]

  • lighthouse

    Festival Winners, Oscar Hopefuls Vie for BIFA International Award (EXCLUSIVE)

    The long list for the coveted best international picture prize at the British Independent Film Awards includes Cannes Palme d’Or and London Film Festival winners, as well as pictures from Pedro Almodovar, Robert Eggers and Noah Baumbach. Multiple titles that have been submitted to compete for the Oscar for best international feature film are also [...]

  • Parasite

    Mexico’s Cinepolis Launching New Arthouse Distributor with ‘Parasite’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MORELIA, Mexico – There’s a new arthouse player in town. Cinepolis, one of the top exhibitors in the world, is launching a new arthouse film distribution unit in Mexico called Sala de Arte Distribucion. Focusing on auteur films that have premiered at leading film festivals worldwide, Sala de Arte launches in December with “Parasite,” Bong [...]

  • Francis Ford CoppolaFrancis Ford Coppola Masterclass,

    Francis Ford Coppola's Slam on Marvel Films Fuels Debate Sparked by Martin Scorsese

    Disparaging remarks by Francis Ford Coppola have further inflamed the debate sparked by Martin Scorsese and his criticism of Marvel and other comic book films. At a press conference in Lyon, France, where he was being honored at the Lumiere festival, the “Godfather” director said he fully agreed with Scorsese’s assessment and went even further [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent and Elle

    China Box Office: Hollywood Sweeps Up With ‘Maleficent’ and ‘Gemini Man’

    The first Hollywood blockbusters to hit China after the country’s big National Day holiday have, as expected, swept away holdover patriotic titles that had previously ruled the box office. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” edged out another new release, “Gemini Man,” to lead the pack with a $22.5 million opening weekend. While Disney’s “Maleficent” arrived in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content