Xavier Dolan on Heartbeats
February 25, 2011, 2:02 am
Filed under: Film

About three weeks ago, I met Xavier Dolan to record an interview with him about his new film, Heartbeats. Xavier lives and works in Quebec and was in New York for a short time to promote his latest movie. I could tell he’d been spending his whole time here in press coverage, but he seemed in good spirits.

His story is riddled with interesting circumstances that have raised much anticipation for Heartbeats. There’s three reasons for this, A) Xavier’s first film, J’ai Tue Ma Mere (I Killed My Mother), received loads of international recognition from Cannes and was even Canada’s submission to the 2009 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Feature. However, it was never released in the United States and can never be because of an unfortunate distribution contract. B) Xavier was 19 years old at the release of I Killed My Mother and is 21 at the release of Heartbeats. It’s interesting, to be sure, that Xavier has met success at such a young age. What’s more interesting is that his age does not show through in his works (except for the fact that he stars in them and you can literally see it). It’s a discredit to his talent to consider his age before the story he tells which is complex and intricate in and of itself. C) Check out the trailer:

Xavier is smart. You can hear it in the interview. He might be a little bit jaded already, but his thinking is sharp and fresh. That he exhibits these qualities at such a young age is logically sound. Most people who are intelligent and aware often are throughout their whole lives, what’s rare is that they have the means or ambition to make a feature length film that reflects their intelligence. Xavier’s in that very position right now and I am personally excited, based on Heartbeats, for his career to unfold just because I’m excited to see more of his movies.

Heartbeats begins its run at IFC Center here in Manhattan on Friday, February 25th. The film stars Xavier Dolan, Monia Chokri, and Neils Schneider. Written and Directed by Xavier Dolan.

Here’s the interview-


Lucas Green

Matt Sullivan and Ken Cro-Ken
February 17, 2011, 5:17 am
Filed under: Art, Music | Tags:

The first thing I noticed when Matt Sullivan and Ken Cro-Ken came to the studio a few weeks ago was that they obviously knew each other extremely well. As they discussed the way the sound of Matt’s oboe plays off Ken’s live-painting and video to create a complete sonic and visual performance, I really understood how collaboration in art nourishes personal relationships and vice versa. The way they describe their time released performances really shows their dedication for keeping their art moving and alive. After all that is the worst that can happen to art: for it to stand still and lose its playfulness.

They will be performing a time released performance called “Multiple Oneness” at Symphony Space at 2537 Broadway on the Upper West Side in Manhattan this Monday February 21st at 9pm during the Music of Now marathon. For more information,  check out Symphony Space’s website.

Here is “Leaves,” the piece Matt mentions in the interview:


February 12, 2011, 5:13 pm
Filed under: Life!


Guys, I have left the country and the show for the next four months. I just want to take this chance to say a temporary farewell before I go really intense all over South America. Which is where I am right now, in Buenos Aires. Basically, I am starting my Summer four months early and will continue it through August. Yes, it’s Summer here.

You’ll hear my last show for some time on February 23. So tune in to hear my interview with Xavier Dolan, the 21 year-old who wrote, directs, and performs in Heartbeats, Canada’s submission to the Academy Awards and recipient of several awards including some from Cannes. It should be a good interview when I’m finished editing it. It’s a great film.

In the meantime I will be over here devotedly listening to Zoe and Sedera every Wednesday evening at 7:30. I miss you guys, I’m excited to hear your shows over the next couple of weeks.

If you want to know what I’m doing, I just started my travel blog. I’ll be wandering the continent, taking classes, and researching Walt Disney. Here’s where you can see what’s up:

So long New York and WNYU and Citywide, I love you all.

Lucas Green

Zishan Ugurlu and Larisa Polonsky for PURGE
February 9, 2011, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Activism, Literature, Theater | Tags:

When Zishan and Larissa walked into the studio they were perfectly pleasant, but both possessed a quiet intensity about them.  As our interview proceeded, I came to understand why.  For the past few weeks,  Zishan and Larissa have been vicariously living in the world of Purge, a play set in 1992 Estonia which was then newly freed from Soviet occupation.  The play, first a novel by Finland’s Sofi Oksanen, explores the themes of freedom, memory, and the past, which concurrently binds yet distances those who’ve survived.

Purge follows the story of two strangers, Aliide Tru and  Zara, played by Larisa. Zara, a sex-trafficking victim, comes to Aliide’s home on the run from her captors.  Through a series of waltz-like dialogue, the women discover their pasts share more similarities than not.  Purge shows us a world damaged by physical and mental occupation.  Zishan, who directs, and Larisa have embarked on a brave feat unsilencing the silenced, for which we can only thank them by sharing Purge’s message.

Purge will be running at La Mama‘s first floor theater on E. 4th Street between Bowery and 2nd Ave from February 10-20.

Zoe Rosenberg

An interview with Aaron Katz who made “Cold Weather”
February 3, 2011, 3:25 am
Filed under: Film

Aaron Katz is exactly the person who made Cold Weather. Yes he is. I know it sounds trite, but I stand by the statement as the most efficient way to describe Aaron’s relationship to his movie. Though… I should explain-

Film as an artform involves more permutations of the passage between idea and outcome than any other mainstream visual art. The amount of directorial decisions a filmmaker must (can) make are exponential compared to those of the painter or the photographer. The filmmaker is afforded/burdened with that many more variables to influence (lighting choices, casting choices, performance, locations, dialogue, etc…). The film can incorporate or deny the elements of color that make a painting, the nuances of writing that make a narrative, the selection of moments that make photographs, and the poetic juxtaposition of all the aforementioned. As such, though the end product in film may potentially convey a sense of realism to the audience unreachable by any other artform, it inevitably faces the danger of that final reception by the audience taking place at a great phenomenological distance from the original idea or sensation the filmmaker aspired to.

The traditional narrative historically involves the greatest number of these permutations (as opposed to more experimental films which limit their concepts to fewer or singular variables of narrative or visual action). And in film, these elements are usually carried out by separate teams or separate people; you know your gaffers, and your cinematographers, and your editors, and producers. So not only is the film beleaguered  with the onset of the arbitration of innumerable artistic possibilities, but each time one of these is implemented so is the risk of interference from another mind.

You can listen to songs or look at paintings where the humanity is somehow absent, where you can tell a person started making it, but veered in their path of conception to expression. When the process of making a film is as complicated as it is and each step so specialized, it would be essential that the filmmaker either master every step or make careful decision as to who to entrust those steps to. With the technology available, this has only recently been made possible to people who have not spent any less time than decades gathering the resources and expertise they need to make a masterful movie.

Cold Weather is symptomatic of a new era of filmmaking where those specializations are compounded by mature technologies so that the vision in all its calculated complications carries through fewer vessels than what have dominated the past and so manifest what is, in that a complicated transmission has come from one person to the next, a more pure movie.

I met Aaron Katz and I watched his movie and he is exactly the person who made it.

Anyway, Cold Weather was written, directed and edited by Aaron Katz. It opens at IFC Center on Friday, February 4th after premiering at South by Southwest in March. The film stars Cris Lankenau, Raúl Castillo, and Robyn Rikoon. The film has a very nice score by Keegan Dewitt. It’s the music you hear in the interview. The score will soon be downloadable from Keegan’s website.


Lucas Green