‘A pained love letter to boyhood’: Cillian Murphy and Max Porter on their new film
Their first project saw the actor tormented by a giant crow and pounded at ping-pong. Now the pair have joined forces again for a film exploring guilt and masculinity in an age of mounting dread
When Max Porter and Cillian Murphy first worked together, Murphy got so wired from performing that he couldn’t sleep. The project was a theatrical adaptation of Porter’s novel Grief is the Thing with Feathers, in which a grieving husband and father of two sons is repeatedly visited by a giant crow. Now, the pair have created All of This Unreal Time, a hybrid of film, music and installation. Neither has yet seen the final mix, but Porter says it’s going to be “fucking noisy”. Directed by Aoife McArdle and with music by the National’s Dessner brothers and Jon Hopkins, the piece is a dreamlike confessional monologue exploring guilt, shame and climate disaster.
Cillian Murphy: Grief is the Thing with Feathers was the most satisfying and exhausting thing I have ever done. By a long stretch. Being up there, playing Dad and Crow, going through that cycle of grief every night, was emotionally and psychically draining.