“I Don’t Know If I Believe in Evil”: Director Amy Berg on ‘Every Secret Thing’ and the Film Hollywood Wouldn’t Touch
The transition from directing documentary to directing narrative is one of the trickier moves in the movie business, one that has tripped up plenty of fine filmmakers, from Errol Morris (The Dark Wind) to Michael Moore (Canadian Bacon) to Joe Berlinger (Blair Witch 2) to Steve James (Prefontaine). And while Amy Berg is one of our most consistently interesting nonfiction directors — her credits include the Oscar-nominated Deliver Us from Evil, the history-making West of Memphis, and the forthcoming (and controversial) An Open Secret and Prophet’s Prey — she makes the switch to fiction storytelling seamlessly in Every Secret Thing (out this Friday). It’s a very good film, perhaps because it’s so well written (by Nicole Holofcener, adapting Laura Lippman’s novel), perhaps because it’s so sensitively acted (the ace cast includes Elizabeth Banks, Diane Lane, and Dakota Fanning). But Berg is also an adroit storyteller, and if the form is new, she’s still exploring the primary preoccupation of her films thus far: the nature of evil.
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