Watch: A better look at the Devil (and a few spoilers?) in a longer version of the Last Days in the Desert featurette

Watch: A better look at the Devil (and a few spoilers?) in a longer version of the Last Days in the Desert featurette April 28, 2016


Two days ago, I mentioned that very little footage from Last Days in the Desert had made its way online. Now I wonder if there might be too much footage out there.

Paste magazine has posted a longer version of the featurette that I posted two days ago — the new one has a running time of 4:36, whereas the other one runs 2:52 — and it includes a few clips that I can only assume come from fairly late in the film.

You can watch the video — which, in addition to writer-director Rodrigo Garcia and co-stars Ewan McGregor, Ciaran Hinds and Ayelet Zurer, also features co-star Tye Sheridan and producers Bonnie Curtis, Julie Lynn and Wicks Walker — here:

Meanwhile, my old CT Movies colleague Brett McCracken has written up an interview with McGregor for Relevant magazine. A few key bits:

McGregor is not a religious man. As he describes it, the extent of his faith experience was “a very brief religious moment” when he was about 14, back in Scotland.

“It didn’t leave any mark on me except that I was sort of glad it was brief,” he says.

The son of two teachers who themselves “weren’t really religious,” McGregor’s childhood experience of church mostly consisted of special occasions related to school or attending Sunday school because it “was just something to do.” . . .

McGregor says his family life inspired him in the making of Last Days, especially the Jewish faith of his wife. In preparing for the film, he says he drew more on experiences of her Judaism than his experiences with Christianity. Observing men praying in the synagogues, feeling the things they were praying and the way they prayed helped him get inside of the mind of the Jewish Jesus, who prayed a lot in the desert.

And here’s a bit about the very, very end of the film that might be kind of spoiler-ish:

When it came time to assume the iconic posture of Christ on the cross (yes, the film has a crucifixion scene), McGregor expected to have some sort of transcendent experience or religious connection. Yet, when the cameras were rolling and he saw crewmembers and wires all around him as he hung on the cross, it all felt disappointingly mundane.

“There was something ordinary about it that was pushing against my hopes and expectations,” he says, adding that he was frustrated and annoyed that he couldn’t just have his moment on the cross alone, apart from all the cameras and crew.

“That’s such a stupid thing to say, but it’s how I felt. I wasn’t having the experience that I wanted to have on the cross, because, of course, it was just another shot in a movie.”

During a 20-minute period of downtime as they waited for the light to change, the crew asked McGregor if he wanted to get down from the cross. He said no, and as he stayed on the cross, he realized everyone behind him had disappeared and the crew had suddenly become very quiet. As they filmed the shot, McGregor found a bit of what he’d been looking for.

“I felt a connection in that moment,” he said. “It was quite special.”

Paste magazine says it will have an interview with McGregor, too, in a couple weeks.

I linked to earlier interviews with McGregor here, here, here and here.

Check out earlier trailers and other videos here:

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