By Other Voices voices@moviecitynews.com

LETTERS FROM LARRY

..Sundance 2010
..Letters: On the Way
..Letters: Day One
..Letters: Day Two
..Letters: Day Three

DEAR DAVID:

Brian Poyser’s Lovers of Hate is the kind of tiny brilliant gem that low-budget indie films ought to be and so seldom are. Three no-name actors, (four speaking parts over all) star, half the movie shot on one practical set (located incidentally, in Park City, the action taking place in a three day period. The budget undoubtedly less than catering costs on a studio effects picture–the narrative combining elements of romantic-comedy psychological thriller, and slice of life character study, combining to produce a completely unclassifiable hybrid that is an authentically personal cinematic vision. Bravo!

Cooper and his programming team for finding this and if they could find five movies this good at this budget, in any one year’s program you’d know that American indie cinema was enjoying an artistic renaissance. I simply can’t start describing this film in detail without getting into damaging spoiler territory, but suffice it to say that you will think you’ve seen the set up and the situation before but I promise you that you haven’t. Every stock situation plays out in a quietly fresh and different way than you expect or assume If the multitudes in Park City know what is good for them, cinematically speaking, they will run not walk to the next screenings of The Lovers of Hate..

Quite a good deal more later.

Larry
Sent from my iPhone

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Larry Gross is a 25 year screenwriting veteran and Winner of Sundance’s Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for his most recent release, We Don’t Live Here Anymore.

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“A shot is a story. A shot on its own should be a piece of a story. Which is why I talk a lot about watching films, even the films we’re working on, with the sound off. Just to analyze how the film works, because a film should work for an audience without any sound. The biggest problem I see is that someone may have a superficial understanding of what a shot is propositionally, but they don’t have an understanding of how all of these shots are part of a family that needs to connect, and so you’ll get something that’s like a sentence arranged poorly with six nouns in a row. That surprises me, because I think that’s something that can be learned. Some things can’t be, but that can. It’s a grammar. In a classroom I could walk somebody through the difference between a sequence in which the filmmaker has a deep understanding of how images connect, and someone who doesn’t. It’s not really an intellectual process. Some people are just born with it and are just sort of savants at that deep mathematical understanding of shot construction.  I’m better than I used to be, but there are some people I’m just never going to catch. Spielberg. His staging ability. I’m never going to catch him. But when you’re trying to figure out how to get better—I’m not competitive in the sense of looking around at other filmmakers and comparing myself to them. What I do have to think about in trying to navigate myself through a career is: what can I get better at, and what do I have that I can enhance that somebody else doesn’t have?”
~ Steven Soderbergh

“It’s not going to be huge. He and I had been corresponding for a while. When I finally met him, he said, ‘We should collaborate.’ When John Ashbery says that to you, you don’t say when, you just say yes. It has not been easy to conjure this out of nothing. Sean Price Williams and I spent time with him, and it will appear on FilmStruck before the year is out…. I have figured out how to streamline things. I still have dreams of making movies with bigger budgets, and they might be considered to have more of a voice in pop culture. I don’t want to let go of that. I also realize that you grow up a lot of your life with wishful thinking and waiting. I have figured out ways to avoid doing that. I am working on a bigger movie about Nikola Tesla, set in the past, so it is not an easy film to make. I am also working on an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise.’ That seems more likely to catch fire.”
Michael Almereyda Steps It Up