Tommy Lee Jones' new film, which he not only stars in, but also directed, is called The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. In this Boston Globe article, he discusses his artistic inspiration....guess who?
Flannery O'Connor matters to this movie first because Jones wrote his cum laude thesis at Harvard on her. Second, family members of the film's coproducer, Michael Fitzgerald, are executors of O'Connor's literary estate. ''So we both knew our O'Connor rather well, and it was just a natural approach for me."
''O'Connor is important to the way this movie is constructed," he continues. ''What you do is you consider some so-called religious thinking without the didacticism of the classical approach. You look for the allegorical intentions of what we're taught in the Bible, and then find some way to have it revealed or expressed by common experience. You'll find this happening over and over again in O'Connor, who was a rather classical Catholic thinker who wrote about nothing but backwoods north Georgia rednecks."
''Ecclesiastes is essential to the movie as well," he says. ''It has to do with the passage of time. You want to start thinking as an actor that the past, the present, and the future are occurring simultaneously, and God requires an accounting of all three."