Diane’s director Kent Jones discusses how his film “is not trying to be unorthodox” at Locarno 2018 press conference
Kent Jones’s first feature has received a warm reception at Locarno 2018 for its frank depiction of guilt, grief and regret. Diane, in his words, “is not trying to be unorthodox but follow the way life moves, [while] the majority of films behave in a similar way”.
A close friend of Scorsese, the director learned a lot from being on set with the iconic auteur. But Jones’ character study is a world away from the work of his counterpart.
Diane is the story of a woman wracked by a past betrayal. She feeds off it. While her son is a heroin addict, the eponymous protagonist, as Mary Kay Place put it, “is addicted to guilt”. Place, who stars in the title role, noted that “we all have moments of regret but her identity is wrapped up in what she does for others”.
This has a corrosive effect on her sense of self. Place suggested that ultimately Diane “succeeds in learning and gets some clarity” as her son recovers from drug abuse. She has “more time in her head”, and in the feature “symbols of the dream world come from the unconscious [in which] ecstasy and guilt are released”.
Jones wanted to show the way addiction morphs over time: “Addicts able to get out, their drug problem disappears but the addiction doesn’t”. In the film, Diane’s son Brian becomes a born-again Christian. “It’s not uncommon to look for a directive, a governing power. Often this happens when making amends in AA”.
The mother solicits help, support and advice from the strong family and community around her. Some of the characters were based on a family the filmmaker knew. “The aunt [played by Estelle Parsons] is based on real life. These people were tough; they went through the Depression. But they were funny, compassionate”.
Place stated that the dream elements spoke to the “mystery of things”, and that, importantly, Diane “learns to forgive herself.” It’s a sentiment acutely expressed in the film.
Diane does not have UK release date yet.
Read more of our reviews and interviews from the festival here.
For further information about Locarno Film Festival 2018 visit here.