Bluebird is a 2013 film that was shown at the New York Film Critics Series at the AMC on 42 Street on Monday, February 16, 2014. The movie starts Amy Morton, of Chicago PD and John Slattery, of Mad Men. Bluebird was written and directed by Lance Edmands. After the showing of the movie Peter Travers of Rolling Stone sat down with the three of them to give a short interview. Edmands had a lot to say about how he created the movie and the world inside of it.
What is Bluebird about?
Bluebird to me was always about a very intimate way of dealing with grief. It’s about these people that are suffering separately. To me it’s about what they have to go through to reach out to each other and realize that to get through something like this they really need each other. It’s about people who are frozen and eventually fall out. It’s an internal movie. The things that are unsaid.
What was it that said I have to have these two actors?
I had this very specific woman in my mind that had to be incredibly sensitive and open. You needed to have an immediate sympathy or connection to her because she wasn’t going to speak a lot, it was all going to be very internal. The same with John, we talked about New England and what that means. There’s a very specific thing that I was trying to capture in New England. An almost puritanical work ethic, a certain distance, and I found that he really understood that
What was the hardest thing to shoot?
There’s a truck full of logs that tips over. We could only do that once for obvious reasons. We ruined the trailer, turned it into a corkscrew, and it took three hours to pick up all those logs off the ground. It had to be a blizzard. I was standing at the monitor, not breathing for two minutes waiting for that to happen. So for me it took a few years off my life, lack of oxygen. But, we got it and it’s crazy.
Having edited short films in the past, how did that prepare you for how to direct your first feature film?
We filmed this on 35 mm film. We were very methodical about how we shot it; we didn’t shoot a lot of coverage. A lot of scenes are one shot that we had planned out meticulously, and I had to know that those were going to fit together. I wasn’t going to be able to go crazy in the editing room with all my angels and remake the scene.
What might be your reaction to this film being atmosphere-centric?
To me the atmosphere and the world you create, that’s where my interests lie. I think the pace of this film is very true to the place and the cadences and the rhythms of this specific location. The film begins and ends with this paper mill which is the heartbeat of this town. You’re seeing the valves of the heart pumping the blood, which is the trees, and they go in one machine and come out as paper. I think that rhythmic cycle that’s established there is something that I really tried to maintain throughout the movie.