Director Mia Hansen-Love talks to Film Comment about her latest film Things to Come about a middle-aged woman whose life is thrown in turmoil. Hansen-Love admits that she partially wrote to film to explore her own fears of aging.
"The subject matter of the film—facing difficult situations at a time of your life when it’s really not easy to reinvent yourself and start from scratch—actually terrifies me," she says. "It does. I’m not a computer; I’m not a robot. When you make a film about something, whatever it’s about, it affects you. If it’s sad, it makes you sad. I’m really like a child with that, and I guess many artists are. You’ve got to live with it for the two next years, you’ve got to talk about it, it’s going to be part of your life. It exists in the most real way. So when I start working on a film I’ve got to be sure I’m strong enough, that I have what I need in order to face whatever the film is about. More than any of my previous films, this film scared me. I was very pessimistic about the conditions of women, without actually being feminist. Or not that I was aware—maybe I am, I don’t know. I don’t care about the word. But it was a tough film for me, [living with] the brutal truth of what it is for a woman to be left alone when she’s past 50. Now I am 35, and I was 30 or 32 when I wrote the film, and you think you’re not concerned about that. But you actually are. Even I was 17 already I was scared. I was scared for my mother, but also scared as a woman about the human condition. I’m not saying it’s only tough for women, but this is more specific to women. So I wrote this film is because I was working on Eden, a film that, even though it’s very melancholic, is about youth, hype, music, partying, being 20 with everything right in front of you. Because I had this, I could write [Things to Come] on the side. You have these little tricks for dealing with the things you fear."
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