Love, Antosha is currently playing in New York and Los Angeles. Ahead of director Garrett Price and producer Drake Doremus’ planned Q&A session tonight at Quad Cinema (they are also doing two Q&A sessions on Saturday at the venue), they did a phoner to talk about their must see documentary.
The bad news is that I had to cut the phone interview short because we had a bad connection, but the good news is that a couple of comments were salvageable and they are featured below.
Love, Antosha centers on the life of Anton Yelchin, an actor and artist who died at 27. Though I was initially hesitant to check out the documentary due to my absolute love for Yelchin’s work (Green Room, 5 to 7, Charlie Bartlett), that fear ended up being unfounded.
The documentary is not a heavy handed, sugary tribute to an artist we lost all too soon, but rather it’s an inspiring look at a person who, though he had cystic fibrosis, was determined to live a life of hard work and passion. Yelchin’s exploratory and diligent pursuit of his art, which also included music and photography, is also explicitly detailed in the project (the documentary’s soundtrack is filled with Yelchin’s songs).
For more information on the documentary, and to keep up on the news if or when it hits your respective city, go to the doc’s official site.
One of Yelchin’s most acclaimed performances was in director Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy, and I asked the filmmaker about his personal bond with Yelchin:
We became very close, very quickly. It almost felt like to me like we were very obsessed with the same thing. (We were) obsessed with exploring the same ideas and the same things about humans and why we’re here and how things work and how great things are. We bonded over that and I think that’s what this movie is about – it’s (about) how great things are and how not black and white they are and how complicated they are.
I think a lot of the things we did and talked about are things that I’m still obsessed with and exploring today. I think about it every day when I’m going to work.
I knew when I started to make this, it’s about his life and it’s not about his death. Anton is the definition of living a life to its fullest. But he worked hard at it. He put the work in and the research. He was always looking under the hood of everything. That is what I connected to and that’s what drew me in to telling this story. – Drake Doremus
I relayed my trepidation at watching Love, Antosha to director Garrett Price but remarked that I found it to be inspiring. Here is his take on his documentary:
I think anyone who has any creative bone in their body, they can relate to his story. Even if you don’t – just being a better parent or child, you know what I mean? There are just so many ways people can relate to Antonj. You say the word “inspiring” – and sometimes that it is a generic word. But it is an inspiring story. I’m glad that’s what you’re connecting with.
I think a lot of people are nervous going in watching it because they think it’s going to be a really sad experience. And yes, the emotions are always going to be inherent in this story. But in the end, people are coming out more inspired than sad and that is incredible. – Garrett Price
Love, Antosha is now playing in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles. My review of Love, Antosha starts at the 27:10 mark of CinemAddicts: