'Margin Call' Director: 'We as a Country Are All Acting Very Greedy Right Now' (Berlin)

Zachary Quinto and Director JC Chandor

At the film's Berlin press conference, Kevin Spacey likened the economy's collapse to the current state of independent film.

BERLIN -- The excess of capitalism and rampant greed were on the agenda as the stars and filmmakers of in-competition film Margin Call gathered to discuss the drama about the recent economic collapse.

Much of the assembled European press seemed to be gleefully ready to hear of American culpability, with one reporter pointing out the symbolism of this movie being shown in the land that birthed Karl Marx. A Ukrainian reporter asked if a closing scene of a dog being buried equated to the burial of capitalism.

Director J.C. Chandor, producer Neal Dodson and stars Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany and Zachary Quinto (who also acts as a producer) didn’t bite the proletariat apple but certainly didn’t shy away from the failings in today’s society.

“We as a country are all acting very, very greedy right now,” Chandor said. “It’s not excessive, but when an entire culture is based on that, that’s when you have systemic failure.”

With Irons talking about a need for morality to balance unchecked consumerism and Chandor expounding on the misuse of bright minds by banks who invade the institutions of higher learning to squire away talent, aspects of capitalism had dirt thrown on it.

Spacey threaded the economy’s collapse to the present state of independent film and the studio’s unwillingness to bank on anything other than tentpoles.

“I have nothing against the big tentpole franchise movies but I wish [the studios] would take some of the proceeds and make 10 great small films about stories that should be told,” he said.

Dodson, meanwhile, acknowledged the irony of trying to raise money for a movie about the financial collapse while the financial collapse was going on.

“We tried to make the financially responsible financial crash movie,” he said.

There was some levity amongst the bashing, as when Bettany said he couldn’t talk about his acting process.

“I don’t know how I do it,” he said. “It’s like sex -- it’s a lot of fun to do but awful to talk about.”