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SXSW: David Gordon Green Won’t Be Pinned Down 273
Al Pacino plays Manglehorn's title character. Photo: SXSW

Al Pacino plays Manglehorn’s title character. Photo: SXSW

AUSTIN – The conference room that David Gordon Green’s doing interviews in looks like the one in Cloud City in Empire Strikes Back. The one where Lando hands Han over to Vader.

“I actually just showed my 4-year-olds the trilogy for the first time,” Green says. “We played Ewoks this morning.”

Green’s latest film probably won’t play quite as well with the kids. Manglehorn stars Al Pacino as a man so fixated on a lost love that he’s blind to the real family and friends all around him. It’s another tough-to-categorize film from a man whose entire career is hard to sum up. Ten years ago, the Richardson native and Austin resident was an indie darling with George Washington and Snow Angels. Five years ago, he was the king of the stoner comedy with Pineapple Express and Your Highness. And lately, he’s focused on men grappling with their past selves in Joe and now Manglehorn.

“I like to surprise myself. People like to think a director has a particular signature – I’m Alfred Hitchcock and I direct thrillers. Or I’m M. Night Shyamalan and I do this other thing,” he says. “And in a lot of ways, it’s a good business model if you can have that signature. But I don’t have the attention span just to do the same thing.”

One film he hasn’t made yet is one for kids. With those twins in the house, he says it’s not out of the question.

“I have one idea that I’ve been chewing on, but every time I start writing it, it ends up too melancholy for children I think,” he says. “Every time I start doing it, it ends up like The Straight Story – which is a beautiful movie. But you kinda engineer something for a G-rated audience and it ends up more for old people.”

Look for more here from our interview about Manglehorn and directing one of the screen’s all-time icons a little closer to the movie’s June release.