SXSW: Greta Gerwig and Olly Alexander Talk The Dish & The Spoon

by Anne Thompson
March 16, 2011 3:52 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

SXSW is known for introducing Mumblecore to the indie film world, which defines a group of filmmakers and a minimal improvisational aesthetic derived from micro-budget necessity. SXSW-fave director Joe Swanberg discovered Greta Gerwig, who has moved from Hannah Takes the Stairs and the intense The House of the Devil (which severed her working relationship with Swanberg) to Greenberg and Hollywood's Arthur remake.

Like many actors these days, Gerwig has learned that developing scripts with filmmakers often yields benefits. She collaborated closely with New York writer-director Alison Bagnall, who had taken time off after her 2005 film Piggy to raise young kids. Bagnall and Gerwig tried to find funding for a project for which they auditioned 19-year-old Brit Olly Alexander. Bagnall was so excited by the interaction between the two actors that she quickly put together a tiny budget and five-man crew and took off to a family beach house on the Delaware coast to shoot The Dish & the Spoon, which debuted well in the Emerging Visions section here. See the video below.

Thompson on Hollywood
Gerwig plays a woman who is raging with anger at her husband for cheating on her. She wails and cries and yells and acts out in a fearless and often hilarious performance. Hiding out at her parents' chilly vacation home, she runs into a younger wandering soul (Alexander) and takes him under her wing. The two actors have a great time, and Bagnall (pictured) knows how to get the best from them. Gerwig is a revelation.

Thompson on Hollywood

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  • Ryan | March 23, 2011 4:43 AMReply

    That's a bummer. I'm sure they'll both do fine--especially Gerwig.

  • Ryan | March 20, 2011 6:33 AMReply

    Or do you just mean she worked with someone else? I couldn't tell if that was supposed to mean they weren't friendly any more.

  • Ryan | March 20, 2011 6:31 AMReply

    I've been scouring the internet and can't find any article or interview that explains how The House of the Devil "severed [Gerwig's] working relationship with Swanberg."

    Could you explain what happened?

  • Anne Thompson | March 20, 2011 5:07 AMReply

    I spoke to various folks close to Joe Swanson and Greta Gerwig at SXSW. Clearly, they fell out after working together on The House of the Devil and odds of them working together again are slim.

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