Movie Review/Interview: Academy Award-Winning Director Kevin Macdonald Dives Into the ‘BLACK SEA’

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Preston Barta // Editor


BLACK SEA | 115 min. | Rated R
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Michael Smiley and Tobias Menzies

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Kevin MacDonald is perhaps best known for directing Forest Whitaker to an Oscar in 2006’s THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND. Since then, Macdonald has tackled documentaries (MARLEY) and political mysteries (STATE OF PLAY). Now, he takes his talents to the dark and thrilling waters of BLACK SEA.

In the film, Jude Law plays a submarine captain who takes a job with a shady backer to search the depths of the Black Sea for a sub rumored to be loaded with Nazi gold.

While this may seem like a familiar story, BLACK SEA delves deeper than one might think. Working with a script from playwright Dennis Kelly, Macdonald delivers a hold fast and gritty thriller. He keeps things dead-simple without throwing in the traditional Hollywood fluff. BLACK SEA gives a down and dirty look at greed, desperation and what one will do to survive.

Fresh Fiction had the chance to sit down and speak with Macdonald as he stopped in Dallas. We discussed the dark and light side of humanity, the crazy things people will do for money, and the tense way in which he shot the film.

BLACK SEA opens today.

About author

Preston Barta

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.