Writer-Director Hadi Hajaig talks about his new film, Blue Iguana, which was released in the USA on 23rd August 2018.

Interview by Tom Tunney. Copyright (c) Tom Tunney/UK Film Studio Productions, 2018. This article is freely available, in whole or part, solely for publicity use in connection with the release of the feature film Blue Iguana. All other rights reserved.

BLUE IGUANA presents a crazy, off-kilter London of action, comedy and true love. Eddie, Paul and Katharine are cool, carefree characters in a world of absolute freedoms: freedom to steal, freedom to fire a gun, freedom to kill, and freedom to fall in love. And freedom never to be hurt--at least not seriously. Only the bad guys die.

Sam Rockwell and Ben Schwartz play two London-bound buddies whose outrageous antics never have serious consequences. They always wriggle out of danger, with a wisecrack, a weapon and a smile. Eddie and Paul are two innocents abroad, except they're not innocent at all. They're low-level wise guys who never really have a grip on anything. The controlling intelligence in the story is Phoebe Fox's insecure lawyer, Katherine. She's always one step ahead of the game - but is she ready to fall in love?

Q: What was the inspiration for the film?

'HH: I wanted to make something with a playful spirit, a film that was fun with a left of field romance and a plot that avoided formal conventions, that moved and was resolved in progressively sillier and stranger ways, something with the same fun vibe as the films I watched in the late 1980s on VHS. Movies like the Jonathan Demme gem Something Wild, Jim McBrideís version of Breathless, and the Alec Baldwin film Miami Blues. All happen to be some of the most memorable movies of my youth. These were the films I first picked up and loved in the late 80s. They were different, funny, quirky and they didn't take themselves seriously but, most importantly, they didnít confine themselves to genre rules. They were wilfully and consciously haphazard and I loved them for it. So playing with genre conventions is key in Blue Iguana, playing with standard plot progressions. Who is the protagonist? Is it Katherine or Eddie? And what defined genre is this, if any? Then I had a blast with recurring themes of maleness, emasculation, which I hope are comedic.

Q: So the Eighties was a special time in movies for you?

HH: Those films were very special to me because I saw the possibilities of plots and genre progressing in a new and energetic direction, not being constricted by genre norms or plot expectations, and having fun with these conventions. They were at times dangerous, but maintained a naive and playful vibe.

Q: But lots of people get killed..

HH: Thereís something very funny, something right about showing violence in an over-the-top way. Itís an interesting antithesis, dramatic and intense and funny, which is what you want cinema to be. The film sets up that feeling from the outset, this is the universe these characters inhabit. These guys aren't very good at what they do, and you are meant to go along with the ride. Everything is done in a purposefully naive, playful way. I want people to laugh at those things, squirm maybe, too. Every time someone is killed, it's ridiculous. Compared to so many films what we have is tame and, to be honest, the whole violence in film discussion for me has always been redundant: Iíve always felt violence in films has always been just another element to be utilized in a story, itís simply another dramatic element that can be used and like anything if used right, it can work very effectively.


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True Love and Blue Murder
Sam Rockwell and Ben Schwartz, Blue Iguana Still 1
Phoebe Fox, Blue Iguana, Still 2
Blue Iguana, 2018, US Poster, Still 3