Wristcutters: A Love Story Trailer in multiple formats
I have the trailer for Wristcutters: A Love Story in various sizes and formats for you as it is due to be released in the UK on the 23rd of November.
The film is based on a short story by Etgar Keret who was willing to give the rights to the Director Goran Dukic for free, if he came up with a good script, and he did. You can read more about his vision of the film in a lengthy statement he's made on the film and the process.
Here's the blurb for Wristcutters: A Love Story which stars Shannyn Sossamon, Leslie Bibb, Shea Wigham, Patrick Fugit, Will Arnett, Tom Waits and John Hawkes. It's followed by the trailer links and the Director's statement.
From the moment Zia (Patrick Fugit) cuts his wrists and enters a bizarre afterlife reserved for suicides, Wristcuters transforms into a strangely uplifting, darkly comic tale about a journey through the hereafter. This is a world where Zia searches for his long lost love with newfound friends who form an uncommon bond in their quest for happiness.
In an environment where movies are becoming more and more alike, and where the majority of distributors are weary of putting anything original into movie theaters, it can be very disheartening to try to make a movie that doesn't fit into a standardized box. Having an original vision might be more like a curse than a stroke of talent.
Nevertheless, that's what I'm interested in doing when making a movie: To try something that's never been done before, to find uncharted paths to the audience's heart and to tell unique stories in a unique way. When I read Etgar Keret's short story that this film is based on, I felt I'd never read anything like it before and I immediately knew it was my kind of story. I just loved the unusual mixture of humor, melancholy and warmth. I loved how uplifting it was despite its dark setting. I felt I knew the characters and I felt close to them.
I liked the originality of the story, but more importantly I loved what the story had to say: Appreciate life while it's there and don't give up when you have problems because wherever you go you, you'll only take those problems with you. I knew there were people out there who'd share my enthusiasm for this story. People hungry for movies they don't have an opportunity to see in the movie theaters. I contacted Etgar Keret immediately and asked him for the rights to his story, as well as let him know that I was broke and couldn't pay for the rights. Etgar replied, "It's not about the money, Goran. I have really good offers from France and Germany but I tell everyone the same thing-Write a script and if I like it I'll give you the rights." Nobody was crazy enough to write a script without having the story rights, but I was. And luckily Etgar loved the screenplay and that's how it all began.
One of the best things I did while writing the script was take a road trip through the desert with a friend of mine. I was trying to experience what my main characters, Eugene and Zia, would go through. That's where many ideas were born into the script: The black hole (we kept losing things under the seat), the breaking of the gas pump (we broke the nozzle), and the decision to use the NY punk cabaret band Gogol Bordello as Eugene's band (we kept listening to a Gogol Bordello CD). I find it very important, if not necessary, to bring personal experiences into the stories I'm trying to tell.
Creating an alternate universe on a low budget movie was not an easy thing to do. A world just like this one but a little bit worse… All of the exteriors in the movie were real locations in or around Los Angeles (what a coincidence).
The general direction I gave to the Art Department was that every prop, every car, every apartment should be the one no one would like to have. Every cup had to be chipped, every car had to be beat up, every table or chair had to have one leg shorter, everything needed to feel uncomfortable. It was important to feel that by committing suicide our characters didn't accomplish anything except for ending up in an even worse situation.
One of the things I added to the story was that no one in the afterworld could laugh or smile. This was incredibly challenging for the actors and myself. It was very risky because the actors had to learn how to express their emotions in many other ways, but I found it very effective in showing that all of the characters went through a trauma that left deep emotional scars. Also, not smiling resulted in a very interesting and unusual performance, a kind of deadpan type of humor, which I felt was very appropriate for the world we were creating.
Though the setting of the story was grim, I felt the story itself was uplifting and bright and I wanted the image to express that sentiment. My cinematographer, production designer, costume designer and I did some very interesting tests in creating the color palette of the afterworld. In the end we chose to desaturate all the colors of the afterworld except for the outfits belonging to the characters (which we made vibrant). We wanted to show that the only things alive in this dead world are the characters themselves and their emotions.
Another important element in creating the feel of the afterworld was the music. I decided that all the source music in the afterworld should come from musicians who had committed suicide (except Eugene's music because he is a fictional character). Since these musicians would now inhabit the afterworld it only seemed appropriate that that's what would be playing on jukeboxes, radios and record players in that world.
Creating the original score, composed by Bobby Johnston, was entirely different story. I really wanted the score to sound otherworldly and unfamiliar to the audience, so my main direction to Bobby was to use unusual and primitive instruments. If he really wanted to use conventional instruments, like the piano or guitar, he used them out of tune and in unusual ways. And so it turned out that the most-used instrument in the final score was - the kazoo (although most people wouldn't know).
What really excites me about filmmaking is the team work. The director needs to inspire an entire team to work towards the same goal, to share the same vision, and to give their maximum in that process. I think that's one of the hardest and most important things for a director to accomplish, and if successfully done, the director's initial vision will be enriched and empowered by the talents of many gifted filmmakers working on the project. It was a great feeling to see this happening on Wristcutters: A Love Story.
And I can't wait to do it again.