Spotlight: Who Loves the Sun

  • Making Of Who Loves the Sun

    The Scoring of Who Loves the Sun

    Music Video: Older Summers

    Q&A w/ Director Matt Bissonnette

    1. Introduce yourself and your film
    Hi, I’m Matt Bissonnette, and this is my film, Who Loves The Sun, she’s a bit shy, but a pretty good dancer!

    2. How did you become interested in filmmaking?
    Like most kids, I was a big movie fan, Caddy Shack, Jaws, Halloween, Star Wars, and so on. In my early teens I was introduced to the first generation of great American independent filmmakers, people like Alex Cox, Penelope Spheeris, Spike Lee, Jim Jarmusch, Hal Hartely, and from there to the French new wave directors, classic hollywood cinema, foreign films, basically the whole shebang, but I never really thought about making one myself.

    Then, as luck would have it, around the time I was being strategically removed from my legal career, an old friend who knew I had been working on a novel asked if I would help him with a screenplay, and by the time we were done, it was decided we would direct it together, and so the first time I was on a film set, I was calling action, which is kind of funny, but mostly stupid. In a happy surprise, the movie turned out pretty well, and I just kept going from there.

    3. Tell us about your inspiration and vision for the film.
    Who Loves The Sun is a film about the people we love and how much we hate them.  We hate them because they get in our way; because they stop us from being ourselves; because they keep us from being happy. Conversely, we love them because they show us the way; because they mold us into ourselves; and, because they make us happy.

    The film is also about sex, and the ensuing tensions that can arise within the confines of friendship and the extended family. There have been many films that spell out the destructive force of sex on friendship, family and the social order. Who Loves The Sun is not one of those. The characters behave badly, but in the end they do not suffer sufficient punishment, and there is no clear judgment passed upon them, and so much the better. People make mistakes all the time, and even more often when it comes to sexual matters.

    The idea for the film, or the first image, came from “Come On Up to the House”, a song on the Tom Waits’ album Mule Variations.  That song was concerned with acceptance and surrender in the face of desire’s demands and life’s lousy odds. Around the same time I read an article concerning a group of scientists who had graphed and measured human existence, and empirically determined that life was too hard to endure. Blind hope, they concluded, was the only thing that kept the human race going. Stories, it seems to me, have a lot in common with blind hope, which is one of the reasons I like them, and don’t like them, and one of the reasons I wanted to make this film.

    4. What were some of the biggest challenges in making and completing the film?
    We were fully financed, so the film wasn’t that hard to make. In my experience, anytime you have all the money, you don’t have that much to complain about. That said, shooting on water is difficult, and the bugs, in mid summer, in Manitoba, really have got to be seen to be believed: it’s like being in a blizzard, except the snowflakes are sucking your blood!

    5. If this is your 1st film, what will you take away from the experience that you can apply to the next?
    It’s always the same: find more money!

    6. What’s next?
    We’re making a movie that involves teenagers tree-planting, marijuana and sasquatch, it’s sort of like Dazed and Confused meets King Kong.

    7. In the spirit of independent cinema and Gravitas Ventures, what is your favorite indie film?
    That’s tough, but since we’re in the middle of a recession, I’ll go with Repo Man.

    January 24th, 2011 | Joe Wilka |

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