Coffee With David Gordon and Emile Hirsche

[wzslider]By Medina Malagic

The director of ‘Prince Avalanche’ David Gordon and one of the main actors in the movie Emil Hirsch sat down today to talk about the making of the movie as part of the ‘coffee with…’ program of the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Set against the natural landscape in Texas, USA, this independent film is about two roadside workers named Alvin (Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsch). The two men are from the city but spend one summer repainting yellow traffic lines along a road that had been damaged by a wildfire the previous year.

Director David Gordon, more famously known for his stream of mainstream movies in the past few years, such as ‘Pineapple Express’, said that he saw this movie as an opportunity to strip away all the grandeur and expectations that go along with big-budget movies. He said that he found this project inspiring, because the movie was made with a small crew of 10 of his friends and another dozen volunteers. It cost very little money, and with only the use of a camera, microphone and the positioning of the sun, Gordon emphasized that it allowed them to ‘utilize the performance aspects of the movie’, and that it was a ‘liberating, undistracted process’, allowing everyone involved to fully employ their creative prowess on a limited budget.

The film was completed in 16 days, and Greene also mentioned that they would make decisions on what angle to use in order to film a scene based on the positioning of the sun.

For Greene, another challenging aspect of making this movie was the joining of two very different types of actors in a movie in which these two characters are placed in a solitary environment and find out more about themselves and each other in a way that is unadulterated by the influences of the modern world.

Since Emile continues to be most known for his acclaimed film ‘Into the Wild’, which took place in a natural setting, Emile said that he found it interesting to go back into nature, but at the same time to play a character in ‘Prince Avalanche’ who expresses an aversion to nature. He described his character Lance as someone who hates being alone, is lazy, and refuses to be self-sufficient. “I enjoy getting to play that opposite guy because I think not everyone is into nature. This is a perspective that you have. I know wise people that do not take off and live in a tent’’.

However, upon an inquiry of the moderator that Lance could be seen as someone who is smarter than Alvin thinks, Emile responded by saying that ‘’everyone is probably a little smarter than other people usually think’’.

“I think that Lance has certain tidbits of wisdom. One of the reasons why Lance is lazier when it comes to Alvin’s demands is because Lance sees Alvin’s hypocrisy, since Alvin sees himself as the ideal version of a man and knows he is not satisfying Lance’s sister’’.

Probably the most interesting aspects of the movie is the title itself. Greene said that the title actually does not have any symbolic meaning connected to the film. The title came to him in a dream. In his dream, he was introduced to a man of royalty. Greened misunderstood his name, thinking he said Prince Avalanche, and was embarrassed at his faux pas. He thought that this would be a ‘cool’ title for a movie.

As a reaction to the big-budget movies that Greene has been making in the past few years, he managed to convey a multilayer dimension to a seemingly simple screenplay, and with the simplicity amplified with the natural landscape as the backdrop for the entire movie.

‘Prince Avalanche’ premiered last night at the summer cinema !hej.

Leave a Comment