Love Story by Filmmaker and Actor Florian Habicht
UK- London | Oct 15 2012 | (23:12:45 - EDT)
With the help of random New York citizens, New Zealand director Florian Habicht (Woodenhead) has created a truly eccentric and original romantic comedy called "Love Story"; endlessly inventive and bucketloads of fun.
After a seemingly chance subway encounter with a mysterious and beautiful woman holding a slice of cake, Habicht (a gangly and disarming presence who uses ‘talk’ the way Buster Keaton used movement) begins to interview strangers about what he has seen.When he relocates the girl, he casts her to play opposite him as the romantic lead in a love story he is making.
Then, in little acts of sheer filmmaking bravado, he sneaks out on their blossoming ‘on screen’ affair in order to invite passers-by, New York street personalities and occasionally his dad (via Skype), to contribute to the plot development. Habicht doesn’t just blur the line between documentary and fiction, he brazenly distorts it in this riotous affair with the camera, New York and the idea of romance.
In my first week in NYC, a psychic told me to never get in front of the camera. ‘Stay behind the camera, don’t ever go in front of it!’ This advice inspired me to do the opposite, and eventually Love Story was born. It was exciting to make a film where the script is a collaboration with complete strangers. It was an adventure and not always great for my insomnia levels as we had no idea where the film was going to go. It was exciting insomnia! In real life I’m a very cautious person, but when making films, I love taking risks.
I didn’t audition Masha Yakovenko for example, I just met her, and later during the filming discovered that she has huge special talent. The conversation at Mars Bar in the film was our first conversation in real life. The way I operate best is by not intellectualising too much. I just do it and think about it afterwards. All the people in Love Story (except for my father and co-star Frank) were met for the first time on camera. I love people. I love talking to strangers. We are all connected. Problems begin in the world when we forget that! Filmmaking takes up most of my life, I love it, so my real-life and filmmaking worlds are always entwined.
My previous films Woodenhead (2003), Kaikohe Demolition (2004) and Rubbings from a Live Man (2008) all blur the boundaries, and Love Story takes this to the extreme. Masha and I both liked the challenge of not knowing where the film was going to go. There is a lot of trust in this film, with us and the people on the street, and I think there is honesty in our performances. Love Story was a personal challenge too. When New Yorkers would give me these often wild ideas, Masha and I had to be receptive and open to where they took us. At one stage I thought I was going to end up marrying my psychic. There were some pretty wild suggestions from the streets – an artist from the East Village suggested I make love to my audience, so we filmed a love scene between myself and the audience. It didn’t end up in the film. (And won’t end up on the DVD.)
Love story premiered at the London Film Festival last week. To view more films debuting at the London Film Festival (going on through Oct. 21, 2012) see the LFF schedule.
Source: London Film Festival
Get up to date news just for Film!(Looking for special offers or news in all categories? Try our General newsletter!)
- The New Classic: Julia Belanoff
- HWKN’s Project: Winner of Young Architects Program
- Custo Barcelona Presents X-ray at NY Fashion Week
- 10 Interesting Concepts Revealed at NY Auto Show
- C'est Magnifique! Paris Couture by Chanel
- Lower Blood Pressure & Reverse Age with Marine-D3
- Annuity Harmony: Helping You Plan for Retirement