Film Festival Today

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The Art Of Improvisation

Written by: FFT Webmaster | November 3rd, 2011


Actors have long prized the treasures that can be mined from the art of improvisation. In the film LIKE CRAZY, a romantic tragedy directed by Drake Doremus, the film’s two leads mainly improvised their roles on site without the benefit of a fleshed out script. Starring breakout young stars to be Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, the film has opened theatrically via Paramount Vantage after winning the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

In an article in the New York Times, the actors expressed the freedom that working with a set script meant for developing their characters and adding an element of spontaneity to the film. “It created an intensity that really helped us get into the characters and really create a truthful relationship”, Jones expressed. Her fellow actor Yelchin said that by going with the flow “it was a gift, having that freedom to create while the cameras are rolling.” The film tells the tale of a British woman in Los Angeles on a student visa who falls madly in love with a budding American furniture designer. When her visa expires, she temporarily goes back home, only to find that her attempt to return to the U.S. and her lover are rejected by the US immigration officials. The romance turns into a complicated hell of recrimination and regret, all of which was improvised by the actors, who lived the story instead of simply reciting lines. The story is partly autobiographical, director Doremus has said in past interviews, based on his own experience with a long distance love. He previously directed such indie faves as SPOONER (2009) and DOUCHEBAG (2010), but LIKE CRAZY is definitely his biggest release so far and one that looks to open doors for its director and its wildly improvising young stars.


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