Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Interview: 'Touchy Feely' Director Lynn Shelton Talks Her Meditative Film, Cronenbergian Deleted Scenes & More

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist September 4, 2013 at 1:03PM

A different form of improvisation is felt in “Touchy Feely,” the fifth feature from Lynn Shelton; instead of the loose outlines and dialogue of the director’s recent films (“Your Sister’s Sister,” “Humpday”), it’s the film’s subjective and technical experience that feels crafted on the spot and cemented in the editing room. We follow two siblings -- masseuse Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) and introverted dentist Josh Pais – as they adjust to their surroundings following an unexplained shift in personal energy, and Shelton achieves this through use of micro closeups, swirling sound effects, and an exploratory pace.
0
Touchy Feely, Ron Livingston

With your upcoming film, “Laggies,” you went through a period of unfortunately losing both of your lead actresses in a quick period of time. How do you move forward from that kind of development: do you simply push through? Head to another project and come back later?
Well, “Your Sister's Sister” was the first time that happened, and it was specifically difficult then because I had been working with that actress for eight months building the role with her. When I lost that actress, I thought the movie was dead, and then I found out it's very possible – all the work was written down. I was able to write down a character bible, and then fill Rosemarie in on all of those details. And even though we only had a few hours on the phone before we basically started shooting, she kicks ass, and I can't imagine anyone else. So that was a huge lesson: even though it feels like these people are so embedded in a role, you actually can find some one else in a pinch.

With “Laggies,” it was even easier, because it wasn't a part that I had written for that actor. In fact, it was the first film I had made in which the script originated with someone else. We developed it for two years and I gave her lots of notes, but it was a character that she had come up with. There were different versions of Megan to be played, and she would've changed with Anne Hathaway, and then Keira came in and found her own beautiful version of her. I remember Chloe Moretz had just been cast, and because she’s had this happen to her a million times, said, “You know, more often than not it was meant to be in some way." So yeah, I've become a lot less freaked out since “Your Sister’s Sister.”

Touchy Feely Rosemarie DeWitt

One of your skills as a director is taking these tidy concepts, like “massage therapist grows averse to skin,” and breaking them open to find the deeper story. “Laggies” seems to focus on stunted adolescence with Keira’s character; how did you crack that narrative?
It reminded me of my first feature [“We Go Way Back”], about an older woman who sees her 13-year-old self, but one of the thoughts that I had writing that script was, “Well, maybe it doesn't have to be her real self, but more of a proxy. So she could see some version of herself and they'd have some sort of friendship. So I saw “Laggies” as a version of what my first movie could've been.

I loved how everything that happens in the movie is unexpected but believable. I've read so many scripts where you can kind of tell what's going to happen around page 20, but here you don't know, and that's something I'm really attracted to as a filmmaker. I try to make all my films do that -- you don't know what journey it has in store for you. I'm not talking any “Usual Suspects” twists, but yeah, that’s the main thing. I don't really buy a bunch of teenagers hanging out with a 28-year-old, but in the journey in the film, it actually makes sense. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it if it was some raunchy crazy comedy; I wanted to really feel like a believable story. I don't really know why I'm attracted to those types of challenges, but I am.

“Touchy Feely” is on iTunes and VOD now, and hits theatres on Sept. 6th.

This article is related to: Touchy Feely, Lynn Shelton, Interviews, Interview, Interviews, Rosemarie DeWitt, Laggies


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates