Q + A with "Affections" Writer/Director/Star Bridey Elliott
The narrative short screens in the Tin block on Sunday, April 3 at 2:45pm at 7 Stages.
Complete this sentence: “If you liked _____ or ______, you’ll like my film.”
Party Girl or Muriel's Wedding
If forced to choose a different role in making this film, what would it have been and why?
Affections was all about multi-tasking for me as the writer, director, and actress, so in that sense I was pretty scattered. I would have loved to have been the set designer. We kept things very simple and clean, but if we had had a larger budget I would have loved to transform the spaces with some small details. I love when, in movies, you catch something in the background that's so slight, but was obviously put there on purpose, like the David Bowie posters in the record store scene in The Man Who Fell To Earth that Rip Torn quickly walks by.
What's the most challenging part of making a film for you? Do you enjoy that challenge, or is it something to be avoided?
The biggest challenge was time. We had a quick 48-hour shoot and we had to truly move fast. I wish we had more time for the actor's sake, to allow for more improvisation and freedom to try even more ideas out. It felt as though just when we were having the most fun, we had to move forward, but that might be just how it always feels.
What were you doing in 1976?
I was still in my past life.
Name three films you consider under-appreciated and explain their hidden genius.
Somewhere by Sofia Coppola's, hits me on a level that I can't explain. It is so beautifully simple and meandering in the greatest way possible. I admire when films can wander away from plot or even dialogue and you're still so invested because the emotion of what you're seeing is so visceral.
The Dark Backward, a film by my friend, Adam Rifkin, is one of the most insane movies you will ever see. Judd Nelson plays a struggling comedian who can never get a laugh, and then one day an arm begins to grow out of his back. You have to see it to understand how wonderfully funny and dark it is. Also the cast is unreal: Judd Nelson, Bill Paxton, Rob Lowe, James Caan, Lara Flynn Boyle, Wayne Newton, and more. This movie doesn't get enough credit for the amount of laughs it gives and just the over top performances; all the actors are so committed to this deranged world.
Quick Change is one of the funniest movies ever starring Bill Murray, Randy Quaid, and Geena Davis. It's a bank robbery movie about the three of them trying to get out of New York City. I am always so surprised at the amount of people who have not seen it. There is laugh every two seconds. Sometimes I avoid comedies in this genre and period (late 80s/ early 90s) because in general they seem somewhat formulaic and dated now, but Quick Change is timeless. Also, my grandfather, Bob Elliott, plays a security guard that gives Bill Murray crap when he's trying to rob the bank.
You're building a grilled cheese with three different cheeses. What do you use?
Minced cheddar, stiff brie, and charred muenster.
Of the filmmakers working today, whose talent would you most like to steal?
This question is deviant. If I steal it, will they still be able to speak? I think I would steal Todd Haynes's talent. I love all his films, they're all so different but so uniquely him. He is so wonderfully sensitive and attentive in his character portraits, so all his films carry this intimacy, but he still manages to build an exterior world that is just as evocative as the characters inside it. Usually there is a trade off in terms of a film that contains a subtle character study, there's less action or less outer complexity, but he manages to do both. His films seem to come from a place of what interests him, not other people, and I respect that of someone so successful.
What's your favorite place in Atlanta?
I have only been to the Atlanta airport for layovers, and while they were lovely, I'm very excited to explore outside the airport and eat mostly.
Why did you submit your film to the Atlanta Film Festival?
The Atlanta Film Festival is known as one of the most fun festivals in the country. I'm very excited to be part of this incredible lineup.