Landmark Letter by Susanne Bier IN A BETTER WORLD

LANDMARK LETTER by Susanne Bier

"For me, just getting to attend the Oscars made me feel like a princess for a night.  I don’t think you realize how big it is for a small country like Denmark to be nominated for an Oscar.  It’s really, really big. So you feel there really is a pretty big responsibility on you, which I think is different from being nominated in the other categories, which don’t have the national pride aspect attached to them. It’s a kind of redemption that we can tell stories that really matter to the world.  Now having won the Oscar means a lot for the film.  It means a stamp of quality for a movie which is a Danish film, which is almost unknown and now has suddenly become known in a different way.

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Davy Rothbart

My cell phone crows with an odd, frazzled ring when someone shows up as PRIVATE CALLER, and the only two people who ever pop up on my phone like that are Nicole, a woman in Texas I had an intense phone-sex relationship with for a couple of years, and Steve Buscemi, the actor, who I'm working with on a writing project. I made the mistake of explaining this to Buscemi once, and now, whenever he calls, he breathes heavily into my ear and lays on a scratchy whisper: "Hey big boy, what are you wearing?"

So earlier this week, when my phone flashed PRIVATE CALLER, I figured it was either Nicole or Buscemi, but it was actually my 93-year-old grandmother, known as Mimi, calling from her brand-new assisted-care living facility in Philly to congratulate me—she'd heard from my cousins that a movie called Easier With Practice, based on a real-life experience of mine, was opening in theaters this weekend. "What's the storyline, dear?" she asked sweetly.

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EASIER WITH PRACTICE

When I first read "What Are You Wearing?", the GQ article I based my first feature Easier with Practice off of, I knew what struck me about it right away. I wanted to do a serious, uncomfortable and strange phone sex scene and do it without compromise. What I ended up with is certainly the most complex scene in the film, and one that affected nearly every step of making the film. However, it is the scene I am the most proud of in the movie and the one that I think reflects my original intentions of making the film the strongest.

Writing - Writing this scene was certainly one of the most challenging aspects for me. I'm an incredibly shy and relatively private person, so sitting down and writing some nasty sex talk certainly didn't come easily to me. I remember I was writing in a small 'office' which was really a retired copy closet in a friend’s office. It had no windows and no one was ever in there with me. I remember knowing I had hit the right notes in the scene when I looked over my shoulder, embarrassed to make sure no one was reading it, even though I knew no one was there. That was the exact vibe I wanted to bring to screen... I shouldn't be watching this, but I am.

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Michael Rowe

During his visit to London for the UK premiere of LEAP YEAR (AÑO BISIESTO) at the London Film Festival writer/director Michael Rowe discusses reactions to the film.

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Behind-the-Scenes on FROZEN RIVER

The Oscar-nominated and Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning FROZEN RIVER was filmed on location in the Lattsburgh and Beekmantown areas of Clinton County, NY, during 24 wintry days in 2007. Here are some behind-the-scenes photos taken during the shoot, as the cast and crew battled the freezing conditions.

FROZEN RIVER is available on DVD and VOD through AX1 Films.

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