“VICTORIA DAY” writer-director, David Bezmozgis
[PREMIERE SCREENING: Saturday, Jan. 17, 6:00 pm — Egyptian Theatre, Park City]
I wrote the first draft of Victoria Day in 2001 before the existence of YouTube or the invention of the iPod. So, Victoria Day in its conception and execution wasn’t influenced by these things. But even if I were to conceive of it anew today, the story would take the same shape, simply because I don’t believe that the effect I hope to achieve — namely an emotional effect — can be achieved any other way. In my experience, the kinds of stories that I’ve seen told on YouTube and the Internet seem to have as their primary objective the amusement, diversion, or political agitation of the viewer. I’m sure there are exceptions, but given the physical limitations of file size and small screen, I think it’s hard to accomplish much more right now. And so, since what interests me is the telling of stories that engage people emotionally (which I’ll define as the enigmatic interplay between the tragic and the comic), I take as my models other films and stories that have moved me. When I sit down to write a story, my only objective is to faithfully render a feeling or combination of feelings without boring myself and others. (These “others” I have in mind are antipodal to the people who might be satisfied by the material currently available on YouTube.) And insofar as any reactionary impulse informing the making of Victoria Day, it had more to do with the kinds of things I saw in movie theaters and less to do with the kinds of things I saw on my computer.