Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete is one of the most spellbinding and gut-wrenching films of 2018. If, like us, you walked out of the film wanting to know how it came into being; how it fits into Haigh’s larger oeuvre; and how it engages the tropes of western films, this compilation is for you.
Interviews with Haigh, himself, as well as the film’s editor, cinematographer, and production designer reveal how they worked creatively as a team. Clear-minded, insightful essays illuminate Lean on Pete‘s relationship to Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy and the role the film plays in extending Haigh’s longterm fascination with homecoming.
These are articles you will return to again and again, as both an essential complement to the film and a way of naming its cultural contribution.
Listen to the podcast
Preview the eBook with our podcast discussion on the film and some highlights of what we learned from researching and writing the book.
Essay: Looking for home in the films of Andrew Haigh
An essay by Alex Heeney on how, in Lean on Pete, Charley’s search for home moves the plot, but the emotional journey to find home is at the heart of all of Haigh’s work.
Interview: writer-director Andrew Haigh
Andrew Haigh discusses his meticulous blocking and how he used it to express the journey of a boy searching for home in Lean on Pete.
Interview: Editor Jonathan Alberts
Jonathan Alberts discusses the long, painstaking editing process on Lean on Pete, from screening dailies on location, to creating a sound temp track, finding the best takes, choosing minimal cuts, and finding the right rhythm.
Interview: Cinematographer Magnus Jønck
Cinematographer Magnus Jønck approached Lean on Pete as a modern western, keeping the focus solely on character and de-romanticising the landscape.
Interview: Production Designer Ryan Warren Smith
Production designer Ryan Warren Smith discusses how he created rich, detailed environments that subtly reveal character.
Essay: Haigh and Reichardt are modernizing the western
An essay by Orla Smith on how Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete shares DNA with the films of Kelly Reichardt — both filmmakers deromanticize tired western tropes.
About the Authors
Seventh Row’s Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney started Seventh Row to provide a platform for thoughtful, longform film and theatre criticism. Years later, the site is still going strong. Alex has covered Andrew Haigh’s work in the past, reviewing 45 Years and interviewing Haigh for the film.
Seventh Row’s Associate Editor Orla Smith is a filmmaker and film critic, with a wealth of experience interviewing multiple department heads for films (e.g. You Were Never Really Here and On Chesil Beach) to piece together how these collaborations work and how the pieces all fit together. Orla has written several pieces about how films subvert their genres.