The other day I reviewed Hide Your Smiling Faces, an incredible indie film that was picked up by Tribeca Film recently (Film Review: ‘Hide Your Smiling Faces’ presents resonant images of darkness and light of life and death). I’m happy to report a more abridged and slightly easier-to-digest version of the review appears in today’s Miami Herald’s Weekend section (read that version here).
Ahead of our discussion at the end of this month with film critic Amy Taubin, I corresponded with the film’s director, Daniel Patrick Carbone. We got to know each other well enough for an interview, which was published in the Miami New Times’ art and culture blog Cultist, earlier this morning. I was struck by how such a loose-feeling film can also tap into such specific, abstract feelings that I take note of in the review. It’s quite a miracle how some smartly directed improvisation and evocative scenes can come across so specifically. That’s why it makes such a great film for the first “Speaking In Cinema” event at the Miami Beach Cinematheque (see more about the event here).
You can read most of my interview with Carbone by jumping through the Cultist logo below, where he shares tips for those trying to fund a film via Kickstarter and how he felt about having his film picked up by Tribeca:
We dove more into the film than what is in that article. Here are some of the outtakes, which are no less insightful:
Hans Morgenstern: We find out the names of the brothers at the center of the film far along in the movie. Why?
Daniel Patrick Carbone: This is simply due to the way people speak in real life. A conversation between two people, especially two young people, rarely includes first names. I wanted the kids to speak like real kids. They had a lot of freedom to improvise their lines and the result is a more authentic style of speaking. Since there are so few characters in the film, knowing their names wasn’t something I needed to worry about right at the beginning.
HM: Is it fair to call this a movie about death? What is your interest in this theme?
That’s absolutely fair, but I’d also add that it’s a film about nature and brotherhood, and using tragic experiences to learn more about yourself and the world around you. I also think it’s a hopeful film. I think the difficult parts about growing up— those unanswerable questions that haunt us as children— are just as formative as the positive moments. I wanted to explore that moment when we realize we aren’t invincible and our actions have consequences. I have very vivid memories of my first experiences with loss and grief, and I think I am better for having experienced what I did. This film is a distillation all of those emotions, good and bad.
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Of course, much more to come, live and in person with Taubin’s inspired voice in the mix (read what she thought of the film in her Tribeca Film Festival recap for Film Comment).
I’ll leave you with one of the clips we plan to share at our discussion:
Hide Your Smiling Faces opens today at 7 p.m., at the Miami Beach Cinematheque. The director will present the film on April 26 and 27, at 7 p.m. On Tuesday April 29, at 7 p.m.,he, New York film critic Amy Taubin and Miami-based film critic Hans Morgenstern will share the stage in the first installment of the Knight Foundation-sponsored series “Speaking In Cinema” to discuss this film and others.