Director Richard LaGravenese talks to The Moveable Fest about his musical The Last Five Years, which leaps around chronologically using subtle cues like hair and makeup.
He explains, “After every screening while I was editing it, I would have people come in every two weeks and I was always having the audience filled with people who knew the show and people who didn’t. I didn’t want to put titles of years, and they would have made it easier, but after every screening, I would go to the front of the house and I would say, ‘Putting aside whether you liked the movie or not, do you want me to put [the time of] where you are [in the story], what year?’ And 90 percent of every audience went, ‘No, please, don’t. Don’t spoon feed us that.’ And I said, ‘Were you confused?’ And they went, ‘Yes, but it didn’t matter because emotionally I always knew where I was.’ And I thought, well this is interesting. It’s a movie you have to actually interact with. I’m not going to help you because the more you see it the clues are all there. The clues are in the lyrics, the costumes, the color palette, the hairstyles, and the locations. But you have to work a little bit for it.”
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