After reading this glowing review on LA TIMES I thought Mannion’s work worth a watch and… wow… it’s clear this is a real screen talent worth talking to.
Mannion’s thriller The Defector, Part 1 of an Anthology, is an iconiclastic genre-bending work full of surprises. Boasting stellar production values, and an espionage storyline full of twists and turns, it packs what feels like a feature length of value efficiently into a tight run-time.
We chatted Mannion earlier today about the work:
Advised by many that making a subversive film about real life figure was a risk, Mannion says he had an “done careful work in preparation, so I had single-minded conviction that the idea would work” that motivated him throughout the filmmaking process.
Approaching that process like he was “making a feature film to compete on the world stage”, The Defector is an ambitious short looking to play on its viewers expectations, whilst sticking to the production mantra – ‘respect the audience’s intelligence’.
“A film is an idea”, says Mannion, “the audience is interacting with that idea, and they come to it with different expectations, contexts, and judgments. Add to that their prior interaction with the Holt enigma and you have a real challenge working out the best approach”.
Released on the 50th anniversary of Holt’s disappearance, in an era of “Fake News”, Mannion’s period piece manages to feel both nostalgic and contemporary, it’s a film that feels steeped in history, whilst also being a modern-thought piece (any world leaders you’d like to disappear nowadays?).
Setting out to use “every tool available in film language” to engage the emotions and intellects of his audience, The Defector isn’t a film that spoon feeds its viewers. As you would expect from a film about espionage and the Cold War there are twist and turns, truths and lies, and you’ll need to really invest in the film to take something from it.
Give it the time it deserves and The Defector is sure to surprise and entertain you. And as Mannion so perfectly puts it “The people will be the judge. Everything else is bullshit”