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BAMcinemaFest: Ry Russo-Young, Lena Dunham & 'Nobody Walks' Cast Discuss The Film At Lively Q&A

Photo of Cory Everett By Cory Everett | @modage June 27, 2012 at 1:56PM

BAMcinemaFest is now in full swing and Brooklyn cinephiles are getting a chance to sample some of the films they might have missed at Sundance, Cannes and SXSW. Though the festival is already halfway over, there are still plenty of interesting films coming up, including So Yong Kim’s “For Ellen,” Josh Radnor’s “Liberal Arts” and Craig Zobel’s “Compliance” among others. Check out the full line-up here. One of the highlights of the fest so far has been Ry Russo-Young’s “Nobody Walks.” The dramedy centers on young artist Martine (Olivia Thirlby) who comes to stay in the pool house of a Los Angeles family while she completes her short film.
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4. Though Thirlby’s character Martine does some unlikeable things in the film, Dunham felt that her behavior would’ve likely been viewed differently had the role been written for a man.
“I think Ry and I talked about is ideally how would you view the behaviour of a character like Martine if she were male.” Dunham said, “There's a sense that when a man sort of mixes work and sexuality he's a man, and when a woman does it she's a whore, and I feel that when women make the moves that they need to get their work done, that they're somehow, it runs counter to the idea of like being a mother, being a nurturer, and sort of like, somehow people act like serious professional women, women committed to their work in that kind of primal way, that there's some sort of missing chip or broken link, and... I don't know, that's for me what I was interested in looking at and talking about. It's like a topic I think about all the time, and my feelings about it shift constantly. And also the way we also both talked about the fact that we both make work that's about our life and sort of rides the line between reality and fiction and how you wanna try to do that in a way that's considerate and doesn't fuck with people, but that can be a real challenge. The idea of this character that sort of life is her work, and her work is her life, and they're all mixed up together in her, and her attempts to be moral are made harder. Yeah, it's really rich territory that I hope to always be exploring.”

Ennenga mentioned that the director had told her that she saw all of the female characters in the film as being potentially different points in the life of a similar type of woman. “I think that something we – Ry and I – talked about a while ago was looking at the three women in this house, living together, and how they represented in a strange way very different point in a sort of similar life,” Ennenga explained. “There's the teenager [Kolt], and then the 23-year-old [Martine] and then the completely grown-up woman [Julie], and how the sexuality of the characters changes over that time period is really interesting, and I know that going in, at least, I didn't necessarily see it that way. But then I think that being in the house with everyone and working on the scenes, I really came to understand that that was a big part of the story, which is really important for me and my role, and I found that very interesting.”

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5. The cinematography & intimate sound design helped achieve the intimate feel of the film, which features several sexually charged scenes between the characters.
For inspiration Russo-Young and cinematographer Chris Blauvelt (“Meek’s Cutoff”) looked at “The Long Goodbye,” “Short Cuts,” “Shampoo,” and “Bob & Ted & Carol & Alice” for how to shoot L.A. “In terms of the cinematography we looked at a lot of films that felt like Los Angeles to me when I'm there. [And ] just the feeling of this was this sundrenched world that almost like days go by and wouldn't necessarily notice the difference between the days and there's something about Los Angeles that feels like it sucks the time away, almost in a wonderful way and almost in a scary way simultaneously.”

Since Krasinski's character Peter is a sound designer, sound was a crucial element for the film. Rich Bologna (“Inside Job”) was responsible for the sound design on the film, which gets the spotlight thanks to extended sequences of Peter and Martine gathering sounds for her short film. “Rich was so incredible in the bug scenes [in Martine’s short film] and make those come alive with this kind of psycho sexual sort of textures and sounds,” Russo-Young said. “But then also in terms of making the recordings seem really grounded – not only believable in the reality but also impressionistic. So I think that also Rich in terms of the sounds worked really well with our composer Will Bates [of electronic duo Fall On Your Sword] and I think that for me it was really important from the beginning to have the sound and the music, sometimes seem interchangeable [so] it was like an omnipresent texture of the movie”

Thirlby added that she thought the sound was an especially important feature in this film because it created an intimacy between the characters. “I think that sound is really intimate, and that if we were all to decide to sit in silence and really open our ears and try to listen for a specific sound, it would suddenly start to feel really intimate,” Thirlby said. “And there's something about having to open your ears and kind of leaning closely, especially between two people, I think it sets the groundwork for a lot of accidental intimacy, and I know that had to be intentional somehow.”

"Nobody Walks" will be released on VOD September 7th with a theatrical release to follow on October 12th.

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


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