“The words written in the script are really just for my reference. I never show the actors the screenplay. I find I always get better results with the dialogue if we do some improvisation and run through the scene a few times.”
A big influence on me was Edward Hopper, because I look at his paintings and you have two or three objects in a room, but they combine to create a mood and a whole story. Suddenly a lamp become important, or a poster or a piano, and you choose more carefully.
There were times when the existential dread was so rough that I would have traded some good old sexual anxiety for it. It is a pretty horrific thing to discover that we might be finite mortals. There were moments in college when I would have given anything to be a struggling queer Christian.
“When we do have representations of older people onscreen, it’s usually for comic, rather than dramatic effect. There’s a notion that once you get past 60, you stop thinking, and stop trying to evolve. This film is about two people still dealing with their choices and feeling that there are more choices they can make.”
“I am not a political commentator. But as an artist, I feel that the authorities must allow dissent. There has to be a space for protest in society. There has to be freedom of expressing our disapproval of the state of things as well. This right cannot be taken away from the people.”
“We were like mediums at a paranormal séance, the whole presentation is spoken in our voices. What we chose, what we didn’t choose, what interested us, what we riffed on, sometimes what we just dreamt or felt, or hated, or wanted to strangle…”
“It’s hard to be direct. For me, when things are direct, they make me start to think of other forms of media, like literature, or a scholarly paper. For me, film is different. It’s something that stirs curiosity or emotions, and it’s only later that you discover what was underneath—or maybe not!”
“We were living everything at the same time and with the same intensity, without priorities or differences—a photograph by Frank or Walker Evans would have the exact same power for us as a film by Godard or John Ford or a song by Wire, the Clash, or Gang of Four.”
”When I was starting to make Eden, people told me that my main character was too passive or too negative; when you write scripts and try to get financing, that’s the sort of thing that you’re told not to do, or that people don’t want to see that. People said that it should be a success story.”