Jack Reynor, who recently starred in A24’s “Midsommar,” made his directorial debut with the short film “Bainne.” The film’s trailer, which debuted Thursday, shares a brief glimpse into Reynor’s vision, featuring black and white footage of actor Will Poulter in ominous conditions, set in the Irish countryside during the great famine.
“I’m really proud of it, you know. It was my first opportunity to really get on the camera and to design my own shot list, to think about the composition of a frame and everything that I could use within it to say something,” Reynor recently told Variety’s Marc Malkin on the “The Big Ticket” podcast.
“Right off the back of ‘Midsommar,’ I came home and then went into production,” the actor recalled, saying that the film was a “personal one” for him.
“I shot it all around my home in Ireland. And I mean, nature and the landscapes are really kind of like one of the stars of the show,” he said.
Reynor also wrote the film, which was inspired by his love of Japanese cinema, particularly Masaki Kobayashi’s film “Kwaidan,” an anthology of four ghost stories.
“The guy who wrote the material that ‘Kwaidan’ is based off was an Irishman actually by the name of Lafcadio Hearn and he lived in Japan been 1890 and 1904 when he died. And he’d been brought up in Ireland in a time after the great Irish famine when there was a lot of superstition and there was a lot of ghosts,” Reynor explained.
Reynor adapted one of the Japanese folktales that Hearn recorded into “Bainne,” noting the “culture of shame and a culture of silence” associated with surviving the Irish famine that influenced Hearn’s storytelling.
Reynor also shared that the entire production was made up of friends and some previous collaborators, including his “Midsommar” co-star Will Poulter.
“He very graciously came over to do this with me,” Reynor said of Poulter, laughing in agreement as Malkin compared the duo to Laurel and Hardy since “Bainne”marks the young actors’ fourth collaboration (after “Detroit” and “Grassland.”)
“Bainne” debuts at the Galway Film Festival on July 13.
Listen to the full “Big Ticket” interview with Reynor below: