Opening in theaters and VOD on January 23, Song One centers on Franny (Anne Hathaway), a woman who returns to Brooklyn after her musician brother Henry (Boardwalk Empire’s Ben Rosenfield) slips into a coma after a car accident. Initially judgmental about Henry’s career path, Franny sees her sibling in a truer light after listening to his music and revisiting his old haunts.
Part of Franny’s journey includes meeting Henry’s music idol James Forester (Johnny Flynn, who’s excellent in the role), and their unexpected bond forms the basis of this narrative.
Filmmaker/writer Kate Barker-Froyland, who met Hathaway as the director’s assistant on The Devil Wears Prada paints Brooklyn with a nostalgic and resonant eye, and much of the movie is shot during the dead of night, when the city’s music scene comes alive.
During the Song One interviews, I asked Anne Hathaway if the perception of Los Angeles as an industry town and New York existing as an artistic haven holds true. Hathaway, who has resided in both areas, said comparing the two cities isn’t the way to go, and she also elaborates on why she’s found a home in Los Angeles.
L.A. was an industry town for me until I made friends and that took a really long time to kind of find my group and now that I have it, it’s not an industry town. I have a wonderful and vibrant life out here.
Click on the media bar below to hear Anne Hathaway talk about her thoughts on Los Angeles and New York:
Director Susan Seidelman‘s cinematic heyday, at least from an outsider’s perspective, were the 1980s, when she helmed such engaging narratives as Making Mr. Right, Cookie, She-Devil, and my personal favorite from her body of work – Desperately Seeking Susan.
But filmmaking is a continuing, ever expanding process, and it’s great to see Seidelman still working behind the camera (she directed 2013 release The Hot Flashes with Brooke Shields).
“Set against the exciting backdrop of competitive ballroom dancing, MUSICAL CHAIRS is about Armando (E.J. Bonilla) a Bronx-bred Latino who aspires to be a dancer but whose only way in is as a handyman at a Manhattan dance studio, and Mia (Leah Pipes), an Upper East Side princess who is the studio’s star performer. Though worlds apart, their shared passion for dance promises to bring them together until a tragic accident changes Mia’s life forever, and she finds herself wheelchair-bound at a rehab facility, with her dreams of a dance career shattered. Fortunately, Armando has enough dreams for both of them and, when he hears about a wheelchair ballroom dance competition that will soon be held in NY, he sees a way to return something to Mia that she thinks is lost forever.”
To purchase the offical DVD of Musical Chairs via Amazon, please go to: http://amzn.to/1wvz0rC
Since the advent of cinema, indie filmmaking has always been a labor of love, and director Pieter Gaspersz’s debut feature After snugly fits into that category. Set in 2002, the drama centers on a middle class family in upstate New York who are trying to keep a tragic secret from their matriarch (Kathleen Quinlan).
With a bare bones budget and a 20-day production schedule, Gaspersz’s biggest creative coup was landing a grade-A ensemble to anchor the narrative. John Doman (The Wire, Damages) brings a heartbreaking gravitas as the seemingly strong as an ox patriarch, while Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black) and Adam Scarimbolo also do fine work as the dad’s diametrically opposed sons. From top to bottom, each member of the ensemble (which also includes Diane Neal and Tracy Howe), are up to the task.
During the interview, Gaspersz talked about working with Quinlan. “You’ve prepared your shot, you’ve protected your actor,” said the director. “Kathleen and I were side by side – any time there was an intense moment, no one was allowed to talk. It was her and I on set and ready to go. You get into it, and her performance – her magic takes over. The director side disappears . . . and you’re just grateful to be there with the camera capturing it.”
Quinlan’s distinguished acting career started in the 1970s, and several of her most recognizable films include I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, Apollo 13, and The Doors (If you’re a fan of nuanced, coming-of-age dramas, check out Quinlan, Sam Rockwell, and Mischa Barton in Lawn Dogs).
“I was attracted to After because there was an actual story,” said Quinlan. “And there was an actual character and something to play which gets more and more difficult to find. Certainly, it’s always the writing first and Sabrina’s a fabulous writer. Each character is not just talking – they are speaking as a character.”
For Sabrina Gennarino, crafting After’s script began with painful self-reflection. “It was a healing process for myself,” said Gennarino, who also stars in the feature. “We lived the event – three blocks away. The whole works. It’s my take on how my family would have reacted if that was me . . . It is from mine and Pieter’s personal experience on where this story comes from. So I wrote what I knew.”
In the following audio clip, Kathleen Quinlan talks about the difference between fame and actually doing the work as an actor:
After is now available On Demand, iTunes, and Amazon Instant. For more info, check out the film’s official site.