Fatherhood has clearly changed Joe Swanberg. It’s not only transformed his personal life, but also his filmmaking. Describing his latest work, Happy Christmas (out in theaters and on demand) and one female character’s struggle to find balance between parenthood and career, Joe admits that “a couple of years ago I probably would have tackled that subject matter by looking at myself, and about how having a kid affected my filmmaking and my process. Instead it’s much more focused on other people.”
Indeed Joe’s artistic evolution can be seen through the arc of the 4 films that recently became available on Fandor, and which include The Zone, Silver Bullets and Art History (all made in 2011) and All the Light In The Sky (2013). The latter three films comprise what Joe refers in our conversation as the Full Moon Trilogy. In them he looks at the dynamic between filmmaker and actor, playing a variation of himself, a somewhat narcissistic sometimes slimy film director. The idea was at once to explore the themes of working on a low-budget film set but poke fun at his public persona. All the Light in the Sky shows a filmmaker looking outward, exploring themes of aging and the environment, not so surprising for a new parent.
Listen to Filmwax Radio: Joe Swanberg