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TIFF14: Questions, Questions...

Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää
I could spend hours interviewing actors/filmmakers about their work. As an interviewer I rarely feel as if I have asked all the questions I want or need. I always have the basic questions in mind going into to the interview, but as I don't use a script, the conversation can flow in any direction. If my subject becomes passionate about an aspect of their work, I don't cut them short; my next question is not as important as what they are presently sharing; as a result, I sometimes end my 15-20 minute chat with questions unanswered.

Today, for example, after interviewing Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää (They Have Escaped) for example, we began talking about the sound in the picture. It was on my list of questions that I had wanted to ask, but other elements of the filmmaking came up that trumped the question. I didn't turn my recorder back on because we were having a natural conversation and pulling out the recorder would have intruded on our conversation, even though what we were talking about wasn't private. 

I always think filmmakers as being confident in their vision but, as JP shared, watching the first cut of his films is always a "humiliating experience" where he feels uncertain about the film he is making. As for the sound elements, it wasn't until the last few weeks of the editing process that he felt he had the right mix for They Have Escaped. I was quite taken by the sound elements in his film and was happy that he was content to answer a question that fascinates me: how directors deal with silence. As JP agreed, "silence has a sound" and he worked very hard to find the right piece from his collection of sounds to use.

I'm satisfied with the recorded content of my interview, which will air post-TIFF on The More the Merrier (date TBC), but even as I said good-bye to JP, I realized that as usual, I had even more questions to ask...

The next screenings of They Have Escaped are:
WED Sept. 10, 4:00 pm, Scotiabank Theatre
SAT Sept 13, 10:00 pm, Scotiabank Theatre
Finnish with English Subtitles
My Warning: not for the faint of heart. It's in the Vanguard section!

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