Cannes Film Festival
Short Film Corner 2021
Two lost souls turn up in an old Rambler Wagon on the outskirts of New York City. No more than superficial acquaintances before, they find themselves sharing confidences, reflecting on past failures, and observing the shifting sands of their neighbourhood - and the world at large. Their time together culminates in an unexpected transcendent experience that leaves them to embrace each other despite their differences.
Hi Vincent, thanks for talking to The New Current, how have you been keeping during these strange Covid times?
Strange times indeed! Thank you for having me. I’ve kept my head all right thanks to family, friends, my sister (who is also my partner), my wife and daughter who’ll be turning two this August.
Has this time been offering you any new creative opportunities or inspiration?
Oh, sure. Being shut in for so many months afforded nothing if not a wallop of perspective. Ideas, projects that I’ve gestated, some for years, were finally given the time they were owed.
Geri and Rick was one such project. Despite the great losses we all endured, either directly or indirectly, from the entropy a new generation of creativity will soar.
Next up, the team and I have two follow-ups to Geri and Rick, also shorts, scripted and ready for preproduction. Though we may not reuse our titular characters, we welcome any opportunity to collaborate with the singular actors who made them real, Tammi Cubilette and Kenny Borland.
In 2018 you won Best Debut Filmmaker for Victor Goodview at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, did you imagine you would get such a response for your debut feature?
My team and I – consisting then of my partner Jerome Raim, my sister Alena Turturro and I – were incredibly lucky to gain the exposure we did for Victor Goodview. It was a topsy turvy journey, finding distribution before navigating the festival circuit. This unconventional (might we also suggest unwitting) strategy furnished us with some of that much-coveted buzz – not an overwhelming amount but enough to make our maiden voyage a fortunate one and us deeply appreciative debut filmmakers.
Since winning this award how has your approach to your films changed?
But of course! I believe Carpenter or Cronenberg said offhand (I could verify via google but I’m choosing to do this interview cold!) that filmmaking is like a drug. After you do one, sure you’re exhausted but the interval is rather short before you’re rarin’ to go again. It’s been medically proven that my team and I do in fact carry this gene! And I believe we get better and better each time we get together on something. Better conceived, better prepared, better synergy on set (geez did I just use the word synergy? – hey, it’s applicable, right?); better all the time.
Congratulations on having Geri and Rick part of this year's Short Film Corner, how does it feel to be able to present your short film at Cannes?
Thank you! It’s about as auspicious a start as one could hope for for their film.
"I hope, nay I have every confidence that people will be dazzled by Tammi and Kenny, our Geri and Rick."
What was your inspiration behind Geri and Rick?
The cup, the idea, the original inspiration lies with the music sequence. The film was reverse engineered, built outward from that concept. However, it did not initially occur to me that Geri and Rick (characters that I had previously developed and had been living with for quite a while) would be such an uncanny fit for the piece. That lightbulb moment, as it were, put meat on its bones, gave the cup its handle. (the latter is quite the nifty metaphor cribbed from none other than the great Stephen King!)
Looking back is there anything you would do differently on this film?
Schedule another shoot day
Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?
My father showed me Raging Bull when I was in the 4th grade, I was forever changed.
Do you have any advice or tips you would offer any emerging writer/director who is thinking of making their own short?
Did you happen to catch that bizarre Shia LaBeouf green room YouTube performance-art thingy? JUST DO IT! Hell, that’s Nike, too, isn’t it? Point is, money is not nothing but you shouldn’t wait around for some phantom patron or stakeholder to give you a bunch of it. Raise what you can, work, sock away some of your own dough, assemble a good team, write write write write, talk about it less (at parties) and JUST DO IT!
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Geri and Rick?
As I’ve mentioned compulsively in cover letters, when talking about the film, already in this interview, etc: Our leads Tammi Cubilette and Kenny Borland are the pride of this piece. I hope, nay I have every confidence that people will be dazzled by Tammi and Kenny, our Geri and Rick. They are superb performers, and – well, back to synergy – they inspired such a sublime, exciting atmosphere on set. How that has shone through in the finished product, I’m at a loss to effuse about – it simply must be seen, felt, experienced.