Frankie Stars, Isabelle, Paul Paul discussed on Chosen Family
After front. It's not for me. I'm going to ask him both A. He's to pretend that. Check set by fate sick of this trip for the family. You have a good time for me. Now minsters time together. That is a clip from Frankie the latest film by Ira Sachs. We got to talk to him at tiff. Where he premiered Frankie? So Frankie Stars one of our favorite actresses. The French genius is about your who won the Oscar a couple of years ago for Al.. She plays the title role in the film but Mercer Toe may also ended. Who we love? Love Greg Kinnear. It's just such an incredible cast and basically the film is centered around Frankie. Who is the matriarch of this large and unconventional conventional family? All in Portugal. Frank has sort of gathered all the people that she's close to because she's just recently received a terminal cancer diagnosis Isabel is really just stunning in the film. Then she mostly speaks English which is not something. She's done all that much. She also dips into Her native French and we asked IRA what his French skills were like. I you know I speak Memphis high school French. Okay what is it that my French teacher was from Arkansas. But and I didn't follow up by learning very well but I can like follow French. I can direct but I've also directed in Danish Vietnamese in Russian which I don't speak at all so challenging. It's not because you you get intimate with kind of the movement of the of the script and the words and and it's kind of fun and you start to realize you don't need to micromanage as much as you usually do. So He's bill. She is a French actress. Playing a French. Actress interest She gathers her family in Sintra. Portugal very interesting. You know our current husband Jimmy and in her two previous husbands ends and then her children they all come together. Three generations on paper. It sounds like a very unique and special family like diff- Feminine. That's really different from The usual but they look so normal. onscreen yeah you know. I think it's all about Having a sense that the actors will we'll have some feeling that makes sense together together and they're all really sort of strong presences so you can imagine that they somehow our family and they're certainly a blended family. So there's there's children from different marriages and but they all have a history together. How did you approach writing and casting that family? Well I about ten years ago I saw film by such Jeet Rey. The Indian film director Jour- called Content Juneja which is about a family on a vacation in the Himalayas and Takes Place in one day. There's a sort of central crisis that brings them all together and and I loved the film and I just couldn't stop thinking about it so when Isabel and I started talking about working together This seemed the right project. Because I wouldn't be likely to make a film with Isabelle in France because I really just don't but but the idea that we were all going to be on vacation making this movie and somewhere other than home felt very natural. What was the shoot lake? Well we I was living in Lisbon which was asked. Madonna Iran. Not running to Madonna. But I ran into people talking about Madonna's more than you can imagine. Oh my God really like like a lot like so she just she was kind of well and also Centra wishes she almost bought a. Which is the TAB outside of Lisbon? Where the film is actually set? It's full of castles and chateaus and big things and And she was always going to buy this. This one is going to buy that one or the the fangs. We wasn't right after. She sat in this House for an hour and a half day. Actually she sat in the how I can picture sure that. And then she left because they wouldn't let her put a horse into a castle. I have that trouble to whatever I'm like. I'm out of this country. So you said you had an initial conversation about every time every time you say her name was such a nice accent that I always uh-huh how did you beat. We met because she sent me a fan letter which was very well which I thought was fake. Well she's a pretty mysterious figure. I I feel like for most cinna files and people who've seen her and I think that there's sort of this coldness that seems to sort of surround around her like a kind of aura. Did you find that when you met him got it all. And that's that's really what I wanted to bring to the film. It's actually somewhat similar to when I met John Liska before we made love a strange and I had a long talk with him and I was like this is the person I've never seen you play that I want in this film and it and and I sort of. I didn't ask him to play himself but I asked him to not play someone else. And that's really what I ended up with Isabelle. She's very warm. She loves talk about family. She's really interested in our. She's really easy to talk to. She's chatty wow yeah she's she's She's half Jewish Shen and all and there's like a way of speaking. I felt really comfortable and I think in the film as as she has said she's doing something different I I mean. She's really revealing herself at a in a very Sort of natural simple. You said this. She brings her family together because she has a cancer diagnosis and last year. My mother received a cancer diagnosis. She's okay for now so really connected to that but beyond that I really connected to her relationship with her son in Paul Paul's desire to start over and realizing after being two years in relationship that he's not sure if that's for him and where did that come from for you. That character who always wants to start over he's a very unsettled character Very uncomfortable with himself. I used to be more like that and I also was interested in a film that was sort of centered around this idea of illness. which wasn't what you expect it? I had I had a very good friend who was a filmmaker who died of breast cancer at fifty and she was the first person I really lost. I I loved it. I like. She was part of me. And what surprised me. Is that being around her. It wasn't like we talked about death. It wasn't even like you. You know you would be with someone in in these extraordinarily profound moments in. You'd be thinking about what you had for lunch today or what you had to do later. Like there was a way in which the the high and low or so mixed for me It seemed very human. Not like this is terrible. You should be only talking about thinking about what this profound and moment is but somehow that contradiction and in a way. This film is kind of allowing that contradiction and saying that this is really death is is is really about life right. I was also Quite close to Barbara Hammer. The lesbian experimental filmmaker in the last years of her life and what was incredible about her which which fit very well with Isabelle's characters. She was like living more powerful more like she was doing more than I would ever do. In any year in in in the year before her death she when she died there was a memorial for her and There were six people in the room. who were still collaborating with her? Even though she was gone. And I was just like this and so. That's very much frankie. Frankie is is a lot. Yeah the film is about life. Yeah and I think when you make your always trying to think about Contradictions and films. I mean that's that's like everything like how can you play This and that and and and then how can the actors then play ten more. That SI- So I don't rehearse with my actors beforehand We do we have the script and we talk about that. But I but I don't There's never table read. There's never a wall So really when you're you're watching it you're seeing them receive. Leave the other actors emotion for the first time and have you taken that approach for your other films as well to your process it is it it is and and actors are very used to it. It's not a it's not uncommon. But but it's it's not all the time and they always really in general very go. John Lithgow once said to me. Are I think he's an interview like this that I as a director of the challenge was that I wanted to be for the very first time and like it was was just came from inside him but I wanted him to get all the lines right. You're so tough IRA. It was a wolf and sheep's clothing. I thought Oh but that's and it was interesting. There's the contradiction. Well I think this film as they were describing that I was sorta like and they were. It was his abell she was describing this film and she she didn't say I was a wolf and sheep grazing. That was my father's ex girlfriend. It was another story but she did say that. This film which I think has like a softness on the surface. But it's actually really hard. Yeah I'm trying to winter. I'm almost law. Welcome to chosen family. Every second week we talk about art sexuality and identity with a special guest usually queer but not always I completely struggle coming out to my parents as a comedian being in the entertainment industry for a Middle Eastern people is unheard of effecting. Change requires people to shake it up. Listen to chosen family. Wherever you get your podcasts? What sign are you? By the way I'm an area. Of course I love it. One reason why was really excited to get to talk to. You is to talk about. Keep the lights on. So so it tells the story of Paul and Eric Two lovers. It's early two thousands of New York and we see in the process. That Paul is getting addicted to all sorts of the drugs every new year. She made a resolution to stop. Never happened Paul all of this. You're still my favorite person in the world on a spent Eric is is powerless. Over the disease Keep the lights on was inspired by your relationship with Bill Clegg the memoirs and novelist who wrote portrait of an addict as a young man. The more really moved me in the film really moved me And I'M A. I'm in recovery. Linda had a drink or drug in eight years I think for you. Thank you What did that relationship? Teach you about forgiveness because you you were in the seat of watching someone you love disintegrate trying to help how Bekker's and trying to get that person to recover he also I was also player. I mean not just drugs and sex whatever which was also part of my life life but but also I chose to be in that relationship so it wasn't I mean I think that's why I'm Alanon and learning your enroll in decisions and being being someplace so I think.