John MacLean

After taking the UK film world by storm in 2012 with his BAFTA-winning short Pitch Black Heist, John Maclean followed up with acclaimed feature debut Slow West. We catch up with him as he travels with the film to Santiago, Chile


What’s your connection to the British Council?
We worked together with my short film Pitch Black Heist, the film department supported me to travel out to Tribeca. You are very kindly supporting me again with my feature film Slow West, I'm heading out to SANFIC to present the film, be on the shorts jury and give a masterclass.

What’s your current project?
I'm writing my second feature film, it's early days...

What or who originally turned you onto film?
Firstly my dad taking me to see Star Wars. Then seeing Mean Streets in the Cameo cinema in Edinburgh, then going to see Tarantino talk when Reservoir Dogs came to Edinburgh.

What has been your career high so far?
A woman who made seven films with Sam Peckinpah telling me that Sam would have loved my film Slow West

What was your first job in the film industry?
Ripping tickets in the Cameo cinema in Edinburgh for four years while I was at Art College

If I knew then what I know now…
If your best friend is not a writer, then start writing asap!

What is your favourite British film?
Withnail and I because it is great, it is funny, and it could only have been made in Britain.

If you could have directed/been involved with any film ever made, which one would it be?
Chinatown because it is perfect

What’s the first film you remember seeing?
Cactus Jack, a bad Kirk Douglas western - it was my first time in a cinema

What’s your favourite line from a film?
My fave line has to be from They Live - "I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubblegum'

Favourite screen kiss?
The Usual Suspects, when the two men arguing square up to each other and nearly kiss

Who’s your favourite screen hero and/or villain?
Hero would have to be Indiana Jones and villain would be the baddie in McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Who would play you in the film about your life?
I would play me