Hello again Film Friends, American Indie film is often too dialogue-heavy -- especially when that dialogue comes at the expense of other cinematic elements like performance, image, sound, time, and process. I have always been drawn to filmmakers who are willing to challenge themselves, and the audience by setting limits to what they provide, helping all of us to learn and grow in the process. With very few words ever spoken, Filmmakers Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky do just that with their deeply moving and highly disciplined first film FRANCINE.
Okay, some may say that when you have Melissa Leo to rest your camera on how can you go wrong. And granted it is rare to witness an actor as committed to her role as Ms. Leo is in Francine. But for me it is the director's approach to that performance that is the real triumph of commitment and discipline. Stripped of all sentimentality, yet still recognizing the emotional impact of camera placement, Cassidy & Shatzky achieve the remarkable feat of getting beneath Francine's skin to that unfathomable essence that explains without declaring.
Why does Francine do what she does? We don't know, but we feel that it is right and true. After all, isn't one of cinema's most remarkable achievements its ability to make us find ourselves and empathize with those with whom we have little in common? Francine is a testament to all humanity, our struggles and confusions, and our incredible capacity to both love and need love, regardless of the obstacles daily life throws at us.
I found myself wondering about all the ways FRANCINE achieved its magic, how I felt that it was a truly honest film. How often do we get to ask ourselves that and why is that? I often feel that filmmakers feel the necessity to deliver the familiar and explain away with attempts at revealing psychology. Cassidy & Shatzky abandon those tropes and instead make the everyday strange again. I am so thankful for their commitment and so moved by the work they have given us. I look forward to you joining me further in discussing it with them at the next "Indie Night".
Order tickets: www.filmlinc.com/films/on-sale/francine Like FRANCINE on Facebook: www.facebook.com/FrancineFilm Check out the website: www.francinethefilm.com Follow the film on twitter: @FrancineTheFilm
See you Wednesday August 1st at 8:00 PM at the Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Q&A after the film with the filmmakers!
Wednesday, August 1 8:00 PM Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center 144 W. 65TH St New York, NY 10023
This night is made possible by the continued support of our sponsors: Royal Bank of Canada & Fandor. Thank you!
Please mark your calendars for upcoming Indie Night screenings: Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 8 PM Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 8 PM Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 8 PM Wednesday, December 19, 2012, 8 PM
Most sincerely, and forever hopeful about film, Ted