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Emma Forrest Untogether

IONCINEPHILE of the Month

IONCINEPHILE of the Month: Emma Forrest – Untogether

IONCINEPHILE of the Month: Emma Forrest – Untogether

IONCINEMA.com’s IONCINEPHILE of the Month feature focuses on an emerging creator from the world of cinema. This month, we feature journalist, novelist, screenwriter turned filmmaker Emma Forrest who saw her directorial debut Untogether which stars Jamie Dornan, Jemima Kirke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lola Kirke, Billy Crystal, Alice Eve, Jennifer Grey, and Scott Caan. We previously had the chance to sit down with Emma at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival for this lengthy interview. Freestyle Digital Media folks release the film on February 8th. Make sure to check out Part 2 of our profile – with Emma Forrest’s Top Ten Films of All Time list.

Emma Forrest

Eric Lavallee: During your childhood … what films were important to you?
Emma Forrest: The first time my sister and I saw The Craft on VHS, we immediately rewound it and watched it again. It was so perfect, from The Smiths cover that kicks it off to Fairuza’s eyeliner. My Dad and I usually watch Mulholland Drive together about once a year or so. He loves it when the old people shrink themselves and chase Naomi Watts to her death, he just finds it delightful. My Mum and I have watched The Best of Everything together a few times but the best was when one of us had had surgery and we split the vicodin and laughed our asses off at pre behind the scenes Robert Evans as the worst actor of all time.

Lavallee: During your formative years what films and filmmakers inspired you?
Forrest: Hal Hartley, Jim Jarmusch and Allison Anders. And as much as I loved Spike Lee, I think I watched the opening credits to Do The Right Thing about a hundred times. Rosie Perez in boxing attire is my spirit animal.

Lavallee: As a filmmaker parent, I was wondering if you could detail film and book curation, how it is for you to engage on this level and what have you learned about yourself in the process?
Forrest: I’m lucky because my kid’s first cinematic love, when she was under a year old, was Audrey Hepburn. She found her soothing. We watched Roman Holiday and Sabrina on repeat the times she couldn’t sleep. I thought maybe she just loved Golden Age stars so I tried her on Marilyn, but she couldn’t watch her…she was very attuned to Marilyn’s anxiety and insecurity. It upset her.

Lavallee: What inspirations outside of film did you draw upon for the look/style, aesthetics of the film?
Forrest: The Siouxsie and The Banshees video for Kiss Them For Me, where Siouxsie plays Jayne Mansfield. That was the touchstone for Jemima’s look: punk but in pink angora.

Lavallee: Can you discuss the collaborative process you had with your Set Decorator?
Forrest: Chilly Nathan was our Set Decorator. One day I was stretching not to go into over time and we were shooting Jemima (as Andrea) in bed in her treehouse, when she’s just had a horrible, screaming call with Jamie. I was about to call “action” and Chilly begged me to wait so she could race in and pull up the jade green floral throw on the bed so it could be seen. I said “It doesn’t matter! We have to shoot!” And Chilly said “But that throw is SO Andrea”. I understood and was really moved by how invested Chilly was in the characters and what she was trying to communicate about them through the objects they owned.

Freestyle Digital Media release Untogether on February 8th.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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