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Victoria Film Festival Interview - "(Untitled)" director Jonathan Parker

No YOU shut up. (Untitled) at Victoria Film Festival
by Jason Whyte

ď(Untitled) is a comedy about love and the creative process. A brooding composer, whose music calls for breaking glass and crumpling paper, falls for a beautiful New York art gallerist who shows artists that break glass and crumple paper.Ē Director Jonathan Parker on the film ď(Untitled)Ē which screens at this yearís Victoria Film Festival.

Is this your first film at the Victoria Film Festival? Tell me about your festival experience, and if you plan to attend Victoria for the filmís screenings.

Yes, itís my first film at Victoria. I have been to film festivals all over the world - San Francisco, New York, Deauville, Karlovy Vary, Cairo, Munich, Mannheim, Woodstock, Austin, Nashville, Palm Springs, Seattle, Mill Valley and more. I will attend the first screening of (Untitled).

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background, and what led you to the industry.

I got started in film through music. I played in a band in the early Ď80s and we made a couple of music videos, and the videos did better than the band.

How did this whole project come together?

I had the idea of a character who is a terribly serious composer but his music consists of kicking a bucket. Iíve performed a lot of new music and this character type is not uncommon. Meanwhile, my teenage son became interested in contemporary art and I became fascinated with that world. Catherine di Napoli (Producer) and I came up with a story that brought those two worlds together.

Please tell me about the technical side of the film; your relation to the filmís cinematographer, what the film was shot on and why it was decided to be photographed this way.

We shot in HD because the movie is about contemporary art and HD is a common medium in that world. We shot in a wide screen format to make it look like a theatrical movie.

Out of the entire production, what was the most difficult aspect of making this film? Also, what was the most pleasurable moment?

Itís very difficult to write a really good and unusual story that will stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Who would you say your biggest inspirations are in the film world (directors, actors, cinematographers, etc)? Did you have any direct inspirations from filmmakers for this film in particular?

I like the early film comedians like Laurel & Hardy, Keaton, Chaplin. Later, Preston Sturges and Jacques Tati. Oh, and Kubrick and Hitchcock are pretty good, too.

How has the film been received at other festivals or screenings? Do you have any interesting stories about how this film has screened before? What do you think you will expect at the filmís screenings at Victoria?

We won awards at Mannheim-Heidelberg and Tallinn. San Francisco Film Festival was very good because itís our home town.

If you werenít making movies, what other line or work do you feel youíd be in?

I would be a brain surgeon.

How important do you think the critical/media response is to film these days, be it a large production, independent film or festival title?

For an indie like ours, you live or die by the reviews.

If you could offer a nickelís worth of free advice to someone who wanted to make movies, what nuggets of wisdom would you offer?

Donít do it.

What do you love the most about film and the filmmaking business?

Writing stories and bringing them to life.

A question that is easy for some but not for others and always gets a different response: what is your favourite film of all time?

Mon Oncle by Jacques Tati.

This is one of the many films playing at this yearís Victoria Film Festival. For showtimes and further information visit

Be sure to follow instant happenings of the festival and updates on my Twitter @jasonwhyte!

Jason Whyte,

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originally posted: 02/05/10 05:28:50
last updated: 02/05/10 05:38:58
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