The summer may be over, but Cinema East is still working hard to bring you indie movies that normally wouldn’t get a run in Austin theaters.
Their fall series kicks off with a screening of Ry Russo-Young’s Nobody Walks on Monday. Though a certified indie film, Nobody Walks still has plenty of faces you’ll recognize, like John Krasinski, Jane Levy, Dylan McDermott. Russo-Young also co-wrote with Girls writer/star Lena Dunham.
The movie tells the tale of a Silver Lake, Calif. family, very similar to those adorable Austin families you see brunching at hip spots on the weekend, whose equilibrium is suddenly challenged by a young filmmaker staying in their guest house.
Nobody Walks marks the third feature from the young filmmaker. You may have also seen her acting in last year’s Cinema East screening of The Color Wheel.
We had the chance to do a brief interview with Russo-Young about the film and the current state of indie indie.
CultureMap: You co-wrote the movie with Lena Dunham. How did you two tackle the project together? Where did the story originate?
Ry Russo-Young: Writing with Lena was a complete joy and pleasure. We'd sit together with tea and our shoes off and have conversations about what it means to be a young female artist and the sticky situations we've both found ourselves in when trying to make a path for ourselves.
I think it's really complicated because, as a young woman, you are coming into your own sexual power and yet it's confusing to know how to wield that power, especially in the work place. The creative work place tends to be particularly tricky because working hours are unconventional and the environment can be more casual and, as a result, intimate.
CM: I just flew back from LA and more specifically Silver Lake yesterday, and I can attatst that the film really captures the place beautifully. The film deals with filmmaking, which makes LA an obvious choice. But what other qualities does the city have that you feel fit in with your movie?
RRY: In some parts of Los Angeles, like Silver Lake, there's a sense of openness and liberalism. The movie deals with the boundaries we think we don't need; and yet when they are tested, we discover how important they are to uphold.
CM: The movie;s distribution is in a very experimental phase right now. Your film is being released through VOD, and this week's Cinema East screening is a very local DIY event. What direction do you think movie distribution is moving towards?
RRY: It's a shame that going to see a movie in the theater is less popular than it was in the past because it's such a magical and transportive experience. At the same time, there's something liberating about people having full time access to films — features, shorts, all kinds — at home and on the Internet. I love the fact that if I want I can re-watch Olivier Assayas' CARLOS on Netflix any time I want, be it at midnight or during a blizzard.
CM: As a filmmaker, does it change the way you approach a film?
RRY: This doesn't change the way I approach filmmaking, but it certainly effects the number of films I watch which might end up changing my approach to filmmaking after all.