David Mackenzie discusses the "Happy Accidents" in new flick 'Hell or High Water'

Photo: Ryan Painter/KUTV

(KUTV) -- It's a hot and humid late morning (as evidenced by the embarrassing sweat ring that has formed under my right armpit) as I drop onto the chair across from Scottish director David Mackenzie ("Starred Up," "Young Adam"). He's my last interview of the day and despite the heat he's surprisingly animated.

With "Hell or High Water" Mackenzie has taken Taylor Sheridan's ("Sicaro") screenplay and transformed it into a visual wonder that explores the bonds that men forge with family and those they work closely with. It is playful, vicious, joyful and devastating. A western set in a modern world where the concept of what is right and what is legal aren't always the same thing.

From Sergio Leone to John Maclean, the western genre is filled with examples of foreign directors tapping into the nature of Americana. The sense of where we've been as a nation and where we find ourselves in the present.

We talk about this tradition, how it is possible that an outsider sees the nuances of the whole picture that we, as Americans, are positioned too close to see.

I asked about landscape, the open nature of both the cinematography (courtesy of Giles Nuttgens) and the room that he gives the actors to explore their characters.

"Hell or High Water" is a film filled with silence. In the hands of lesser talent this could have been a problem, but Mackenzie and his cast take advantage of the wordless exchanges and create something beautiful.

So we talk about silence, space and the unscripted lightning storm that helped create my favorite scene in the film.

It's here that our conversation ends. The conveyor belt pushes me on and another journalist takes my place. There should have been a sunset to walk into, but, seeing as it is now high noon, maybe there's a gunfight to be found somewhere in the Texas dust.

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