After the murders of 13 women between 1962 and 1964 in the Boston area, the writers and directors found the topic intolerable. Before the murders were solved, Victor Bono was cast as the serial killer in the 1964 movie Boston Strangler. The Honorable William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Marathon Man, The Princess Bride(A book was published that same year about the story, and in 1968, two films about the murders were released)There is no way to treat a lady And Boston Strangler). And this was about the matter, give or take a made-for-TV movie.
Six decades later, the case seemed ripe for re-investigation in today’s truly crime-saturated media climate. director Matt Ruskin takes on the story with the new Hulu movie, Boston Strangler, although he takes a different path than everyone else. Instead of focusing on the killer and depicting each crime in gruesome detail, the film delves into the story of two journalists who have taken the story to the masses and arguably do a better job of investigating it than any member of the police department.
The film stars Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon as Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole, respectively, two women who wrote for Boston Record American and ran a four-part investigative reporting series where they give the Boston Strangler his name and put together the disparate pieces of his crimes. Ruskin spoke with MovieWeb about it Boston Strangler and the importance of its unique perspective.
Matt Ruskin is chasing a true crime thriller
Ruskin has directed several films Booster And Hip Hop ProjectBefore gaining more recognition and acclaim with his excellent 2017 movie, Crown Heights. The film stars Lakeith Stanfield, telling a true crime story that was previously documented in an excellent episode of the popular radio series, This American Life. Now, Ruskin is back with another true crime story, one that delves into the past but retains the same commitment to character as his other works.
Make no mistake – Ruskin is not limited to this genre. “I think it was kind of a happy accident,” said the manager. “I’m not looking for that exclusively as a filmmaker. But I certainly like true stories, and one like this I couldn’t make up if I tried. And so, when I get my hands on a really moving story, I think I’ll always chase it.” The tale of the Boston Strangler is undoubtedly a poignant one, so Ruskin couldn’t resist chasing it down.
“I had just finished a movie, and was looking for the next thing to write. I’ve always heard of the Boston Strangler,” Ruskin explained. “I knew nothing had been done for a long time and I started reading about the case, and I was totally taken in by this really cool story with all these different suspects and different theories of the case, and a story that was as far as it was about kind of changing the identity of the city at that time as well. So it was There are many layers that I find interesting.” The angle and perspective that Ruskin posits is quite unique, however, and resists the usual tropes. Ruskin explained:
I thought this would make a great movie, but the hard-boiled detective story telling didn’t make much sense for this because, in many ways, it’s questionable whether or not the Boston Police Department actually got the guy. So it didn’t really click until I found out about these journalists, and in trying to find information on them, I discovered that I actually had a personal connection to one of their families. And so I was able to form a real personal relationship with them, and get to know who they were both as people as journalists.
Boston Strangler tells the story in a new way
Ruskin’s distinctive choice of photography Boston Strangler Through the lens of the two female journalists who broke the story, it’s not only refreshing, but essential; It’s almost like a “real crime of revision,” in the same way that there are revisionist Westerns. Previous images of this tale simply avoided this angle and went the more obvious route. “I saw Boston Strangler A movie from the late 1960s, a Tony Curtis movie. Having grown up in Boston, I had heard of the Boston Strangler all my life, but knew nothing of the case. Reading about it, I started researching this movie, and discovered this strange murder mystery at the heart of the story.”
The result is an interesting mix of Horoscope And Hidden characters with a lot of All male presidents (Written by William Goldman, who also wrote a 1964 book about the Boston Strangler.) It’s a captivating yet patient look at real journalists and their lives, and the way this serial killer case is never open and closed. “What I didn’t know was that no one had ever been charged or convicted of any of the Boston Strangler murders. There’s this incredible gray area, and I don’t want to give anything away, but I found it all really unexpected twists and turns in the story that I didn’t. It’s not portrayed in the movie after, which is kind of out of the scope of a Tony Curtis movie from the ’60s.” Follow Ruskin:
I thought it was going to be a really compelling movie, but I wasn’t really sure how to approach it until I discovered these anchors, Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole. They were among the first reporters to relate the murders; They really broke the Boston Strangler story. The more I know about them, the more I like them as people. The challenges associated with being a woman in the newsroom in the early ’60s, a lot of that still exists today, but it was a much more male-dominated environment. I was inspired by their stories and the work they did as journalists, and I thought telling the story, revisiting the Boston Strangler case from their perspective, would be really helpful.
Ruskin on Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon
By focusing on journalists and not giving too much agency to the serial killer, Ruskin avoided many of the tropes that have led some people to accuse the true crime genre of glorifying violence and murderers. Ruskin explained, “I was very purposeful in not wanting to portray violence in a gratuitous way. One, in principle, but two, because this is a true story and I wanted to be respectful of those victims.” “I think the thing I learned making this is that the things you don’t see can be just as terrifying, if not more, as the things you do. And so we used sound and other imagery to try to convey the horror of these crimes without doing something exploitative in any way.”
The downside of not exploring the more exploitative, violent, and gritty details of true crime is that it creates a void in the story that needs to be filled with something. Ruskin chose to put the journalists front and center, filling in the space with their personalities, their lives, and the personal nature of their investigations. Knightley and Coon are quietly excellent, guiding the movie through every scene. “They’re just incredibly talented actors, and they came in really well prepared, and they did a lot of their own research as well as absorbing everything I shared with them,” Ruskin said. “They really inhabited these characters, and you let them drive that process […] They made my life so easy that day.”
Knightley and Coon go to great lengths in portraying two women with similar passions and lives, but very different backgrounds and personalities. “That was one aspect of the story that we all really liked,” said Ruskin, “is that the characters of Kira and Carrie, and Jan and Loretta really approach their work in very different ways. Because they have a completely different background.” Loretta studied journalism at Boston University, unlike Jane Cole, who started working in the newsroom right out of high school when she was 18. She started as a copy boy, basically an assistant, and they both had to fight for every junk they got, But they’ve come down completely different paths. And I think some of that is reflected in how they approach their work.” Ruskin explained:
So they both ran with that and brought that kind of background difference to life, I think in a way that was really effective. I love journalistic films, and I really respect and admire good journalists and good journalism. I think it is, unfortunately, just as important and relevant today as ever, the need for reliable reporting and institutions committed to the truth. So I think there is an important topic today as ever.
Although six decades have passed, it’s true – Boston Strangler It is closely related to the present moment, which is very exciting. Produced by 20th Century Studios, Scott Free Productions, and LuckyChap Entertainment, Boston Strangler It will be available on Hulu starting March 17th.