Light of My Life press Conference with Casey Affleck, Anna Pniowsky and Teddy Schwarzman
During the Press Conference for Light of My Life at the 69th Berlinale Film Festival, Casey Affleck, Anna Pniowsky and Teddy Schwarzman unpacked the restrained apocalyptic drama.
The initial embers for the film were sparked from Affleck’s own foray into fatherhood. “The film evolved over the course of many years. It began with stories I told my kids. Over time they collected together.” For example, initially, the science-fiction conceit didn’t exist in the script. Rather, he adds, “it sort of evolved from something about the dynamic about me and my kid. The adjustment to parenting alone was very tricky and you have to find your legs in a certain way”.
Casey spoke of the inevitable difficulties in his triple role as writer-director-actor. At once it was organic as the ideas all emanated from one source but with great power comes great responsibility. Affleck had to navigate the flip side of taking the helm, confessing “every time I found a flaw in the script it was my fault. Anytime I felt the scene was lacking some chemistry it was my fault”. Teddy Schwarzman chimed in lauding Affleck’s ability “to calibrate where his character was both narratively and emotionally. Those important moments tended to be more lyrical”.
Questions inevitably circled to the political undercurrents of a woman-less world. When asked if he considered the movie a feminist movie Affleck shrugged, “It probably is,” noting, “I’m not an expert on what would define that”. Nonetheless, he admits that the values present in Light of My Life could be identified in such a way. The director was clear on his intention not to necessarily make a political movie but to tell a story about a father and child. “It is about a young woman asserting and defining herself.” With that, Anna Pniowsky added, “it is showing that women are critical in this world. Rag definitely wants to tell her own story and in the end she gets to.”
There is a certain fascination with the apocalyptic movie and the heightened stakes of survival. Affleck didn’t see it as necessarily symptomatic of our time but sees it as cyclical. Apocalypse stories will always be something people return to: ”It leaves room for a story to become sparse and metaphorical. Everything becomes life and death.”
Photo: Andreas Rentz/WireImage/Getty Images
Read more reviews from our Berlin Film Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Berlin Film Festival website here.