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BAMCinemaFest: Ry Russo-Young Talks Creating Complex Characters & Collaborating With Lena Dunham For 'Nobody Walks'

Photo of Cory Everett By Cory Everett | @modage June 21, 2012 at 12:07PM

With BAMcinemaFest kicking off this week, New Yorkers who didn’t get the chance to attend Sundance, Cannes or SXSW this year will have a opportunity to sample the best of both fests alongside other cinematic special events. The lineup includes festival favorites “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Compliance,” and “Nobody Walks" among many more (check out the full lineup here). And while the latter hasn’t generated quite as much buzz as some of the other entries just yet, we called it “a sensual, emotionally complex film” and “one of the best at [Sundance.]” The third feature from writer/director Ry Russo-Young centers on a young New York artist who comes to stay with a Los Angeles family while she completes her short film and ends up affecting the lives of each family member.
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Some of the most memorable moments in the film involve Krasinski’s character, Peter, who works as a sound designer, collecting and mixing sounds with Martine (Thirlby) for her short film, which result in some unexpectedly sensual moments. The origins of those sequences came from doing sound work on her previous film. “I had to ADR a scene from scratch for ‘You Won’t Miss Me’ and... I was amazed by the detail and the artistry that went into that," she said. "Sound is so awesome and [can be] the thing that makes a moment incredible but we don’t necessarily recognize it because we’re so consumed by the visuals and the all encompassing power of the movie itself that we don’t stop to think about it. So in a way, it’s part of my love of moviemaking and all the things that contribute [to that process], the details and the psychology that is often not noticed but very omnipresent.”

Russo-Young also cited Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation,” Brian DePalma’s “Blow Out” and Jerry Skolimowski’s little-seen cult film “The Shout” as influences for “Nobody Walks,” specifically the way that the sound can play a role to “make the story come alive.” She said, “Anytime where you have to stop a movie and go ‘Listen to that, listen to that’ is noteworthy in a sense, because it’s not often to be noted.” For the film’s dreamy L.A. score, the director once again tapped indie duo Fall On Your Sword (“Another Earth”) who had previously scored ‘YWMM’ for “music that would work in the same world so there wasn’t much of a distinction between what was sound and what was score.” “We talked about [composer] Terry Riley very early on and then we kinda moved on to Pink Floyd and then Grizzly Bear. And I think what came out is some sort of interesting hybrid that has its ancestors in all those people but is also nothing like them whatsoever.”

As for what’s up next for the young filmmaker, Russo-Young said she’s currently developing a pilot along with another writer for an unnamed cable network and writing another film as well but was hesitant to jinx either by spilling any details just yet. If you’re not in Brooklyn this weekend to catch the film at BAM, Magnolia picked up the film back in January and will release it on VOD September 7th with a theatrical release to follow on October 12th.

This article is related to: Ry Russo-Young, BAMcinematek, BAMcinemaFest, Nobody Walks, Interviews


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