Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

LAFF '08 INTERVIEW | "Largo" Co-Director Andrew van Baal

By Indiewire | Indiewire June 25, 2008 at 4:10AM

[EDITOR'S NOTE: indieWIRE is profiling the Narrative and Documentary Competition filmmakers who are screening their films at the Los Angeles Film Festival as world premieres.]
0

[EDITOR'S NOTE: indieWIRE is profiling the Narrative and Documentary Competition filmmakers who are screening their films at the Los Angeles Film Festival as world premieres.]

Screening in the Documentary Competition at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Andrew van Baal and Mark Flanagan's "Largo" looks at the Hollywood club of the same name, which had a reputation among both performers and fans as "a place where what's on stage truly matters." Featuring interviews with Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Sarah Silverman, E from the Eels, Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, and Jon Brion, "Largo" takes an intimate look at a club and its performers. Co-director van Baal talked to indieWIRE about the film and its premiere at LAFF.

What initially attracted you to filmmaking?

My first involvement with filmmaking was running around my house and suburban neighborhood in western Michigan as a boy with an early-80's video camera cabled to a VCR. I think what appealed to me about it then was the aspect of creating an adventure for myself, that somehow an activity like exploring my basement or the weeds behind my house was more exciting and imaginative if it had a purpose, if I was making something tangible out of it. To this day my attraction to filmmaking is pretty much the same, but also deeper, more varied. The possibilities of cinema continue to develop and expand for me as I get older, so I've been able to maintain my passion for it over the years.

What was the inspiration for this film?

The inspiration for this film was more Flanagan's than mine (Flanagan is the co-director and owner/impresario of Largo the club). He asked me to shoot some performance clips for the club's website in late 2005, came in and watched some of the footage and felt it was something that could be interesting and worthwhile as a movie. I think he was also encouraged in that regard by Paul Thomas Anderson, who saw a DVD of some early shots/edits and felt that it should be a movie as opposed to clips on a website or a TV show or whatever. I was more than happy to go along with that and felt honored to be the one doing it, not only because I was/am such a fan of the performers, but also because the club had a strict no-photography policy and I knew that, despite a few aborted projects, nobody had really been documenting it over the years.

Please elaborate on your approach to making the film...

Making this film was like Flanagan and I having a secret that we gradually revealed to people. The secret was: we've been making a movie right under your noses. By that I mean the shooting was very inconspicuous - just me with a little DV camera in a dark corner of the club. Flanagan wanted to do it with a single camera so the artists weren't self-conscious about being filmed, and also to enforce a simple aesthetic upon it. And then the editing was just the two of us in my little editing room in Los Feliz. So even though there are a lot of people in the film, in many ways the making of it was very insular.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in making the film?

For me the biggest challenge was the single camera restriction. Though I do think it was very effective in translating the intimacy and singular focus the audience has on the stage at Largo, it made some of the editing pretty difficult in terms of having to fake the coverage from time to time. On the flipside though it also made some of the editing very easy, for the performances that play out in their entirety as a single shot. It was also a challenge to structure a movie that doesn't have a narrative, that's essentially a really long montage. We thought and talked a lot about the importance of having a structural arc that would maintain interest/keep the momentum going from one performance to the next. Hopefully it's successful in that regard.

What are your goals for the Los Angeles Film Festival?

To celebrate the community of Largo, expose the secret of our movie to LA and the world, and hopefully get some people in a dark room to laugh and cry and get excited together, which to me should be the highest goal of any movie.

Get the latest from the Los Angeles Film Festival in indieWIRE's special section.

This article is related to: Features, Documentary, Interviews






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More