Friday, July 3, 2009

Honey Director's Statement

This is from the old press kit I made when I was (fruitlessly) sending Honey out to film festivals. Forgive the use of the word phenomenological--I just wanted to convey the sense of life as it feels when you're living it, not life as someone else might observe it. The perils of studying even a little bit of philosophy...

When I set out to make Honey, I was motivated by a desire to dramatize the smaller, more phenomenological moments of life, to show how easy it is to miss them in oneself and others. Doing this requires that the film contain moments that cannot readily be defined, moments that the lazy film viewer will tune out because they are "too hard." Important moments in life are not highlighted for us; we must pay attention to them before they are gone. To make a movie about these moments requires incorporating them into the film itself. If you do not pay attention, nothing will make sense.

While Honey is about something, the something it is about is not plot. Its defining quality is its style—a style of storytelling which requires inference on the part of the viewer and an ability to discern things which could easily be missed. I didn't want to make a film about people's insensitivity to others while letting the viewer off the hook, and by not calling attention to details that are important, I hope to create empathy in the viewer, rather than simply suggest it. One cannot shout about silence. One cannot point things out as a means of teaching someone to look more closely. Behind the apparent chaos is a meticulously plotted script--none of the scenes was improvised to any degree.

1 comment:

heythere said...

I don't know where else to send you a comment. Can't find any email for you. Hopefully you check this blog at least once in a while. Dude: you need contact info. That being said...I come to HONEY via Carney's site, I lived in Boston and have met him, I'm plugged into his whole Cassavetes/indie film agenda. That also being said...I can't add any more praise than has been given you so far. What I can add is the contents of my gut, which has been ferociously punched by your film. My wife asked me what I was watching. I said an indie film called HONEY. She asked how it was. I said the film shoves you away for about the first 2 just can't seem to gauge what you're watching...then it grabs you by the front of your shirt and drags you into the room and slams the door behind you. Just really, really good filmmaking and here's why: you keep dialogue to a few oft-repeated phrases, it goes around in circles, the actors bite at the words that they can't seem to escape, all that's left is to tear each other down to try to live. As if one can't live without taking oxygen from the other. I love that you keep details vague or unexplained--the story eventually reveals their meaning. Without the plot to distract, we're left to focus on what's really going on--lovers cannibalizing each other in a million small ways. Anyways, there's more to say but I just wanted to get some of this reaction out. Very, very cool film.