Production Diary

Day 51: Everything Needs To Be Essential by

star Thure Lindhardt

star Thure Lindhardt

It seems to be a running theme. I’m exhausted. I think it’s the tenth day of 12-14 hour days and, though I’m mostly feeling lucky, today I also feel like I might collapse here in the office. But no time, or interest, in melodrama. Thimios is stuck in Ottawa, awaiting his visa. The locations are sort of finding their way, sort of not.  We get one in the morning (the video porn shop), we lose one in the afternoon (a high end fashion boutique in the Meatpacking District that wanted $3000!—so much for supporting queer cinema). This morning I also cut three scenes and the characters of Paul’s father and sister. A subplot I decided the film could live without. During rehearsal yesterday with Thure—which is basically talking through the script page by page, I don’t actually want to hear the readings—he thought these scenes were cut, which they hadn’t been. I realized in a flash that they could go, be lifted, and that they might be in editing anyway. Once you know a scene can be cut, you begin to lose faith in it. Everything needs to be essential.

Most of this week has been a process of internalizing and discussing Pialat. I spent two afternoons with my friends, comrades, Sandra Kogut and David Barker, watching scenes from L’enfance Nue, mostly. I recognized that one of the ways Pialat works is by making a film all of “middles” (scenes don’t have beginnings and ends), so the audience is always trying to find their way, to catch up. It keeps the film active. I watch the beginning of L’enfance Nue and I see the beginning of my film. The kid in that movie is Erik my mind. We follow him through a series of actions, behaviors, worlds. And eventually we catch up. It’s not unlike the beginning of both The Delta and Forty Shades of Blue. Sequences of “events.” A movie is a series of events.

Like a light bulb going off, I saw the opening of the movie in a new way. I cut lots of dialogue and started working off action.

Ira Sachs

writer, director, blogger

Ira Sachs is a writer and director based in New York City. His films include Married Life (2007), The Delta (1997) and the 2005 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning Forty Shades of Blue. His most recent film, Last Address, a short work honoring a group of NYC artists who died of AIDS, has been added to the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA and played at the 2011 Venice BIennale. Sachs teaches in the Graduate Film department at NYU and is a fellow at both the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. He is also the founder and co-curator of Queer/Art/Film, a monthly series held at the IFC Center in New York, as well as the newly established Queer/Art/Mentorship, a program that pairs and supports mentorship between queer working artists in NYC.

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