Celine Song’s directorial debut past life has been overwhelmed by *) Since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, it has received rave reviews and is deeply loved by audiences. In 10 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
“Screenwriter Celine Song takes a stunning step forward in this decades-spanning romance,” THR‘s review summary.
Movie starring Greta Lee ( Russian Doll , Morning Show ) plays Nora, whose family moved from Korea to Canada and later to New York City, mirroring the moves Song experienced in real life. The film also stars Korean star Chang Yoo ( decides to leave ) as Hae Sung, Nok Nora’s Korean childhood soul mate, John Magaro ( Big Short , Carol ) as her American husband Arthur.
In Karlovy Vary, Song explained to THR how her theater background helped her write dialogue, Why her story is so common, what she asks of people who go to the movies.
Judging by the strong reaction of the audience here in Karlovy Vary and other festivals, Past Lives This Life is one of those personal stories with universal appeal. Have you started thinking about this goal?
My professor once said that if you do something, you will Self is very excited and passionate about something or you love yourself very much and you believe and you think it is true because you are a human and not an alien and there will be other people who connect with it fellow human beings . I think that’s ultimately what guides me through everything I do. At the end of the day, I know that when it comes to what I do, my standards for what’s bullshit and what’s real are going to be higher. No critic knows better than him when I’m talking bullshit. So, in that sense, the only things I’m after are things that I can be interested in or that I can consider honest. Once you do that, you just want other people to see that too and see that this is not just one person’s story, but a story that can exist in their own lives. That’s what I can do as an artist.
How much of this story is based on your own true experiences or the experiences of others?
There is a bar in the East Village, I ended up going because I live there. I was sitting there with my childhood sweetheart, who flew in from Korea and is now friends, who only speaks Korean, and my American husband, who only speaks English. I sat there trying to translate these two people trying to communicate, and I felt like something very special was happening. I became, in a way, a bridge or a gateway between these two people, and in a way, a bridge or a gateway between these two linguistic and cultural worlds. Something in that moment really sparked something, and then it made me really think that this could be a movie. So it all started with a very real thing that happened to me. But, of course, in making a film, it comes from a subjective experience that sparks the whole story into one object, the screenplay, and from there, the film.
Since I used to live in New York, I must ask you where you went to the East Village which bar?
Please don’t tell. (The author said: “I know!”) Did you know! ? with phone booth. But this scene was actually filmed at the Holiday Cocktail Lounge on Eighth Street. You’re probably just passing it, and it doesn’t look like much from the outside.
That bar opening scene where the three main characters are sitting in the bar and someone wonders what’s going on between them relationship, which is a conversation I’ve had with my friends before. How do you craft dialogue that feels so natural and real?
I think it’s from the drama. I have worked in theater for a long time. It’s really the only thing you can count on in the theater. Because in theater, you don’t really have set design, there’s nothing that can really help you. All you have is dialogue and actors. So for me, I’m a veteran and I know what to do.
You can really feel awkward in some scenes, such as the scene where two people meet for the first time. How do you do that as a director?
I’m not going to set off any fireworks or do some VFX or improve the faces of the actors thing. This means that the entire film must live on the faces of the actors. So I did a few things.
During prep for the film, I kept the two male actors apart until we shot the scene where the two of them meet for the first time. It takes a little logistics, but the two are separate. And, I also asked Greta, who played Nora, to tell that person when she was rehearsing with everyone that she was rehearsing with another person. So they’re both forming ideas about who the other is and developing expectations of each other. Of course, we had fun when they first met. Because we wanted to start rolling when they first met — the actors and the characters. When that happened, that shot was in the movie, the first shot of them looking at each other was in the movie. It’s amazing because they can feel all expectations crumbling, right? But at the same time, they also have to tolerate each other and try to understand. Because it also has a lot to do with how we perceive another human being. I’m sure you’ve seen my photos before. Of course, in a way, meeting me in person is a whole different thing.
This is also important in the movie because this is a movie about the extraordinary