For director Ira Sachs, every film he makes is personal and his latest, FRANKIE, is no exception. Sachs stopped by Angelika New York to discuss how FRANKIE was inspired by his experiences witnessing women in his life struggling with cancer. Sachs described how he “can only make films at the moment that” he does and how he developed FRANKIE after forming a relationship with Isabelle Huppert and writing the title character, Françoise Crémont, or Frankie, specifically for her.
The resulting film is an intimate look at a family on a vacation in Sintra, Portugal as they struggle with the their matriarch’s terminal illness. From his personal experiences, Sachs learned that “death was never the subject” among families dealing with critical illnesses because “life wasn’t stopping.” Sachs wanted to make a film about a family that was true to life where he explored the personal issues each person was dealing with and how the vacation brought those issues to the surface.
Sachs found that a family vacation was a perfect way to highlight these issues because when people are on vacation they lose their rituals and they “have nowhere to hide from” from each other. Sachs didn’t let his actors hide either, as eighty percent of the film occurs outdoors and he shot long takes between two or three actors.
FRANKIE is a quiet and elegant film with poignant performances and stunning visuals that must be experienced on the big screen.
View the Q&A here:
FRANKIE opens Friday 11/22 at Koko Marina Theatres.