'Love is Like Life but Longer' is an original short film by Manhattan-based photographer and filmmaker Poppy DeVilleneuve, which has been commissioned by Morgans Hotel Group to celebrate their latest opening, the Mondrian SoHo. Written by Simon Van Booy, and starring the up-and-coming young actor Jeremy Strong, the film's cast has a rich heritage in American theatre through actors Joan Copeland (Arthur Miller's Brother) and Maya Kazan (granddaughter of Elia Kazan, who worked with Arthur Miller on 'All my Sons'). In it, a blind young author and a nun fall in love after a chance meeting in a hotel lift and must rely on faith alone to find each other again. The film will be shown tonight at a screening at the hotel to a select crowd drawn from New York's fashion and arts scene - but Dazed Digital can offer you an exclusive first look...
Dazed Digital: Being born in London, what drew you to live in New York and what is it about the city that inspires you?
Poppy DeVilleneuve: I think it's important at a certain age to live in a different city to the one you were brought up in, to move away from your family and get to grips with a new place and who you want to be in it. Many things about New York inspire me, the light, the streets, but mostly the way strangers interact with each other, theirs is a freedom here that is particular to New York.
DD: Hotels have a history of being used as the setting for a chance encounter in romantic movies, what is it about them that inspires this?
Poppy DeVilleneuve: Hotels are transient places, they are for new beginnings and become your home for a short period of time, they are also like a blank canvas, anything can happen there. I think that is romantic.
DD: You have some amazing talent in the film, what was the casting process?
Poppy DeVilleneuve: Jeremy Strong is a friend and a tremendous actor, he was very involved from the beginning and Simon Van Booy wrote the part for him. Jeremy suggested Maya Kazan as I'd not worked with her before and I was incredibly fortunate she was available, she has a wonderful sense of herself. Joan Copeland, who is Arthur Miller’s sister, is in her late 80s, she is also a friend and I’d seen her do a one woman show about her life a couple months ago, she has an incredible history and she's amazing, she has the most wicked sense of humour and says wonderful, inappropriate things which make shooting hilarious and a complete joy!
DD: Love and faith seem to be key themes of the film, how are the two related and what is the message of the film?
Poppy DeVilleneuve: I think we are always changing and love is a strange thing, you never know when it's going to hit you...these seem like too very unlikely characters to fall in love, but it happens, even if it is somewhat fantastical. The message of the film, is that you don't always know where you will find love, but when you do you have to take the risk and run with it.
DD: What is your favourite romantic movie?
Poppy DeVilleneuve: Brief Encounter
Mondrian SoHo, 9 Crosby Street, New York NY 10013
Directed by Poppy de Villeneuve
Written by Simon Van Booy
Producer Lisa Kjerulff
Cast Jeremy Strong, Maya Kazan, Joan Copeland
Director of Photography Nick Bentgen
Score Krishna Venkatesh
Editor Ruth Mamaril
Colour Correction D Touch
Sound Mix Gramercy Post