You may not have personally lived through a summer where ‘everything changed’, but if you’re anything like me, then you’ll have found that whilst new memories quickly disperse into the ether, those endless summers of minimal adult supervision and unbridled reckless adventure seem to grow denser with each passing year. Those halcyon days play host to Felix Thompson’s debut feature King Jack, which sees a scrappy fifteen-year-old attempt to navigate the pitfalls of the neighbourhood bully and teen desire, with his less than cool younger cousin in tow. DN grabbed Thompson for an interview at the London Film Festival to talk the Sundance Creative Producing Labs, the power of pitching and why he wanted Jack to experience a ‘moral’ rather than ‘pure’ victory.
King Jack (2015)
Jack is a scrappy fifteen year-old kid stuck in a run-down small town. Trapped in a violent feud with a cruel older bully and facing another bout of summer school, Jack’s got all the problems he can handle. So when Jack’s aunt falls ill and his runty younger cousin must stay with him for the weekend the last thing Jack wants to do is look after him. Unfortunately no one really cares what Jack wants. Set over a hazy summer weekend, King Jack is a tough and tender coming of age story about friendship and finding happiness in rough surroundings.
One of the most dangerous things as a director is you can learn how to say nothing with a million words.