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Appropriate Behavior | Director Desiree Akhavan

Appropriate Behavior

Attention, our audience’s and our own — it’s a valued commodity these days. We struggle to command our audience’s attention, for them to discover our work and then, once they’ve discovered it, to actually focus on it. Meanwhile, we struggle to focus our own attention, to fight our society’s weapons of mass distraction so we can not just see our work to completion but fully discover the meanings within it. What role does attention play in your work? Can you discuss an instance where you thought about some aspect of attention when it came to your film? 

My editor and I were particularly sensitive to the audience’s attention span during the film’s sex scenes. I am very much a product of being raised by television and keep my work moving pretty fast, but when it comes to sex I like to give the shots room to breathe. There’s a threesome sequence in the film that several people thought ran too long. I tried cutting the scene down, but at a certain point I had to ask myself what kind of film I was interested in making. I think sometimes discomfort gets labeled “boredom.” I didn’t cut the scene and I think it’s the most powerful sequence of the film.


[PREMIERE SCREENING: January 18 at 6:00 pm – Yarrow Hotel Theatre, Park City]

Sundance 2014 Responses

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