Check out episode twenty-four of Richard’s web series, “In Isolation With…” It’s the talk show where we make a connection without actually making contact! Today, broadcasting directly from Isolation Studios (a.k.a. my home office), we meet Rod Lurie, a West Point graduate who became a film critic and was once banned from screenings for referring to Danny DeVito as “a testicle with arms.” He is a journalist and author and, since 1999, a filmmaker. In this interview we talk about West Point, why he stood at attention at a screening of “Poltergeist” and, of course, his latest film, “The Outpost.” It’s an intense recreation of the Battle of Kamdesh, a bloody 2009 confrontation that saw 400 Taliban fighters attack Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan, a station manned by 53 American soldiers and just days before it was to be disbanded.
Critics are raving about the film. “IndieWire” said that Rod shot “much of the 45-minute long ambush in hectic, agile long-takes that allows him to capture the Battle of Kamdesh for all of its terror, and with a clarity that allows us to feel that terror in our bones.” The film is also being praised by veterans, including those who fought in the battle, for its realistic depiction of warfare and the life of a soldier.
“The Outpost” is available now on VOD, wherever you legally rent or buy movies.
“I think that my most memorable was in 1982,” he says in the interview. “I was a cadet at West Point. I had leave for the weekend. I went to New York City, and went to see two movies. One was The Road Warrior, George Miller’s film. Oh my god, I was so absolutely excited by that movie. I thought it was so thrilling and I left on such a high. I always knew I want to be a filmmaker and I said to myself, ‘That’s the kind of movie that I want to make. I want to have that sort of effect on an audience.’ I left that theatre, and I went to see another movie, and that movie was ET. And I remember at the end of that movie I was in tears like a baby. I’m this tough military guy and I’m crying because he went home and his heart is beating. ‘I’ll be right here.’ I leave that movie and I say, ‘Oh my god, this is the kind of movie I want to make.’”
Now let’s get to know Rod Lurie…