Love, life and Ruby: Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton share insight on new film, ‘Ruby Sparks’
By Michelle Tennis
With sharing a great passion for music, and after producing numerous music videos and documentaries for bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction and Oasis, it’s no surprise that passion of directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris has orchestrated and translated seamlessly onto the silver screen. Following the success of their first full-length feature film, “Little Miss Sunshine,” the pair is embarking on their next wave of success with the release of the film, “Ruby Sparks.” “Ruby Sparks” is the story of a novelist’s vision who inexplicably comes to life, only to prove far more complicated than even he could have imagined. With a light touch and a dash of magical realism, it is the first screenplay from actress and playwright Zoe Kazan. The film takes an unpredictable route into fantasy, identity and the ways we invent love – and how love can reinvent us.
CinemaCLIPS recently participated in a roundtable interview with Dayton and Faris about the film and more. Below are some highlights from that interview.
(Q): Do you prefer feature films to working with rock bands?
(A-Faris): They’re both really fun. I miss doing videos and loved working
with bands. But one of the pleasures of doing this film was collaborating
with Nick Urata who is in a band [DeVotchKa]. Working with musicians is
so much fun and music is really one of our first loves.
(Q): What was the significance of the main character using an old-fashioned typewriter throughout most of the film, but moving on to a Mac near the end?
(A-Faris): I think that is symbolic of him moving on and entering a more open life. He’s joining the rest of world. He’s getting out of his head. With a computer you have access to the rest of the world. It’s just symbolic of him opening up a little and being less reclusive.
(Q): Now that you have your second film under your belt, what was easier and what was harder this time around?
(A- Dayton): It was exciting to have something else to say. We love ‘Little
Miss Sunshine;’ we’re really proud of it, but we didn’t want that to be
our legacy. That was really about exploring families and this is more about
exploring what happens in romantic relationships. So, it felt really good
to stretch it to a new area and yet still have that mix of humor and emotion
as ‘Little Miss Sunshine.’
(Q) As husband and wife, how would you describe your working relationship and would you write any changes for each other?
(A-Faris): We’re parents and we worked together for over 20 years. We
just kind of have a method. It’s a lot about the way we finish each other’s
sentences. It’s a constant dialogue about whatever it is we’re doing and
problem solving together. I think most filmmakers have somebody they problem
solve with on set. It’s a collaborative medium. It starts here and then
it filters to everybody we’re working with.
For more information on “Ruby Sparks,” visit Foxsearchlight.com. Check local listings for showtimes.
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