Some documentaries inform about the topic. Others will enlighten you. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll be informed and enlightened. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll be informed and enlightened on a topic you never knew existed. The latest gem from director James Lapine, In the company of Rose, falls very much into the latter category. Lapine, winner of the Tony and Pulitzer Prizes, spoke Newsweek about the film and what makes the eponymous Rose so special.

Lapine directed several films when he first appeared with a camera at Rose Styron’s Martha’s Vineyard home. This is something he almost never does. When asked how well he knew Rose, now the 94-year-old widow of author William Styron, Lapine said: Newsweek“I didn’t know her when I arrived with this camera. I only met her in passing. I knew With because she’s sort of an icon where I live on Martha’s Vineyard. But when we met, she invited me to lunch, and that’s when I brought the camera.

“I wasn’t going to do it movie movie. And then after I spent a year getting to know her a bit and filming the movie, I went to HBO and they gave me some seed money to make a short film about Rose. The thing is, I couldn’t stop walking. I went for five or six years. At the end of the day, I had 22 hours of footage. So I told HBO I didn’t know how to cut it short and just raised the money myself.”

James Lapine and Rose Styron share a moment in the new documentary In the Company of Rose.

Lapine, who is perhaps best known for his theatrical collaborations with Stephen Sondheim, including the critically acclaimed HBO documentary Six by Sondheim, he didn’t start out making movies of any kind. He said Newsweek“I didn’t want to make movies because I hated the process. Because I started when it was a movie [as opposed to video] and you didn’t see anything you photographed until the next night. I thought: This is not for me. When digital came out, I liked it a lot more because it was less valuable. It just was much easier. You never have to call “Cut”. You can just direct it over and over, like you do in a theater, and just keep shooting.”

This Rose was done digitally, however Lapine said “it wasn’t easy. I had a fantastic editor [Miky Wolf]. And it took us a long time to figure out how to do it. We were supposed to go chronologically from the moment I started talking to her, but it didn’t work out. And then we started to be guided by the theme, but it didn’t quite work out. But little by little we started figuring out how to make it float rather than jump.”

Rose gets very personal with revelations about herself and her marriage, some of which may seem shocking in their intimacy, even to a modern audience. Lapin said Newsweek“It doesn’t happen until you gain trust. That’s why it took so many years before she was ready to go on and on. [The Styrons] they were ahead of their time in their relationship.

He also gets into some tricky territory by discussing William Styron’s struggles with depression. His point of view is well documented in the book Visible darknessand Rose shares her point of view here. The ease with which Rose shares some details is disturbing to say the least. When asked how people could be made to open up, Lapine explained: “After a while, they forget there’s a camera there, and they trust you as well. You are no longer some stranger walking with a camera, you are “a friend”.

Another story she shares is about a suggestion she made to her husband about a scene in his novel Sophie’s Choice, and in one breath practically rejects the meaning of this suggestion. Lapine said, “It’s so blunt, yet it really made the book. It was very valuable advice that really saved the book; otherwise it might not work.

“But that’s what’s interesting about Rose: she didn’t think that way. He really loves helping people. That’s why she joined Amnesty International,” which is another important aspect of her life covered in the film.

On one level, Lapine said as he did Rose “was a bit of an excuse to meet someone, to be honest. There were a lot of things that didn’t make it into the last movie. I mean, we went to Carly Simon’s house, we explored the island, and Rose had so many stories I couldn’t put into the film: she was there when Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow got married. She was with the Kennedys when they arrived.

And with all this material came the problem of how to arrange the film.

“I just felt like oh my god, it’s too much for people to care about. Was [the film] will it be about the island? Was it about Rose? Was it supposed to be about Rose’s friends?

“Besides, everything was shot by me, so I don’t have anything to cut to. It was also a real challenge to figure out how to put something together when I never had a camera with me. we started our last photo shoot in year six when we were able to find a way to put it all together.”

Documentary filmmaking runs in the family, but it’s not an obsession. “My wife [Sarah Kernochan] she made two documentaries, both of which won Oscars, and never made another. And I asked, “Why don’t you make more of them?” And she said, “I only want to do it if I’m really interested in the subject.”

“We are not documentaries. We are the people who made documentaries. So maybe someone else will come along when I want to do a third, but it really has to be on topic.”

And it shows in every frame In the company of Rose. Lapine said, “She has a big impact on people who know her. She is also a kind of feminist icon. She is very independent and led an independent life also from her husband.

Like Mary Rodgers’ diary Shyone leaves Rose the feeling that you met someone special, but you didn’t spend enough time with her. She is refreshingly honest, endearing and level-headed. She’s so alert and sharp that you have to be reminded that she’s somewhere between her 80s and 90s in the film and shows no signs of slowing down. In short, it is joy. Rose she illuminates her life, a life of a special person, a life well lived, a life that most people probably knew little, if anything, about. It also leaves us curious to know more about Rose. But ultimately Rose’s greatest gift and Rose that together they give us a reason to reflect on our own lives and how we lived them.

In the company of Rose debuted on November 11 as part of the DocNYC festival in New York.

#James #Lapine #talks #company #rose #life #lived

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *