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10/19(Sat) Kate and Luke and Chris and Jill: Competition “Drinking Buddies” Press Conference

Drinking Buddies

©2013 TIFF

CompetitionDrinking Buddies” Press Conference
Alicia Van Couvering (Producer)
Joe Swanberg has been a leader of the mumblecore movement when he first hit the scene a mere eight years ago. With “Drinking Buddies”, he’s graduated to something a bit more Hollywoodish, but still firmly rooted in his fiercely independent style involving actorly improvisation and heartfelt looks at the millennial generation.
His producer, Alicia Van Couvering revealed some of his influences. “When Joe Swanberg was designing the film he thought a lot about films from the 1970s, like Paul Mazursky’s “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice”. And Elaine May made a film called “The Heartbreak Kid”. And they’re all very adult movies that are about relationships. It was very clear that we wanted to make a romantic comedy that looked and felt like a romantic comedy, but that had real characters in real relationships.
“Drinking Buddies” revolves around the shifting and slippery relationships between four people, Kate (Olivia Wilde), her boyfriend Luke (Jake Johnson), her co-worker at a microbrewery, Chris (Ron Livingston), and Chris’s girlfriend, Jill (Anna Kendrick). The quartet of actors fills out the details of the story with impeccable realism that based on things out of Swanberg’s life.
Van Couvering explained, “Of course, the entire film is improvised. So he starts with a very very basic idea of who the characters are going to be. And most of his films – he’s made about 10 of them before this one – and they’re very small films that were basically him, a camera and some friends of his. And they’ve almost all been highly autobiographical. Joe himself is a home brewer.”
She explained how Swanberg chose his actors. “There was no audition process. He was just having meetings. “Anyone can improvise”, he always says. It’s not really about skill. He’s looking for people that have a life outside of the movie business – that have insight into their own relationships and things to say about their own relationships.
Drinking Buddies

©2013 TIFF

And more importantly she explained some details about his process, that allows for spontaneity and freshness to take the forefront. “All of Joe’s previous films had been maybe a sentence on a piece of paper. And in those cases he was shooting completely sequentially and they would wake up every day, talk about what the movie was going to be about, talk about what they shot the day before, and then shoot for a few hours and then go hang out and keep getting to know each other. This film also started as a sentence when Joe emailed me and said I want to make a movie about two couples that try to be friends. By the time we were shooting it had been fleshed out, first time, to a 10 page treatment… and then to a 40 to 50 page thing we called a scripment.”
The truly touching story of a group of good drinking buddies, their attractions, their difficulties at drawing the line between being lovers or just friends, and the issues of commitment, needs, and the confusions of being a 20-something are beautifully portrayed in Swanberg’s most bittersweet and touching film to date.
Van Couvering explained why Swanberg’s direction of the actors worked so well, saying, “And after the first take or two they’re not telling the story, they’re in the story.
Drinking Buddies

KEIRIN.JPThe 25th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
25th Tokyo International Film Festival(2012)