Actor-director Larry Fessenden described himself as a curmudgeon in a recent conversation. Sorry Larry, but I take exception to that description. As I spoke to the horror film impresario, a conversation which took place in the neighborhood of DUMBO, Brooklyn at the production office of his company, Glass Eye Pix, he was mostly about giggling and seemed prone to breaking out in funny voices. No signs of irascibility. Perhaps it was because Halloween was encroaching? Or perhaps he was just exaggerating a passing mood.
Regardless we spoke for well over an hour in an unlit room. As the conversation continued the light grew darker. The conversation went all over the place but one thing was clear: this was a serious filmmaker who likes to have a lot of fun. Oscillating between acting (All the Light in the Sky, Wendy and Lucy), directing (Habit, Beneath) and producing (The Comedy, Night Moves), Fessenden emphasized that his favorite films were those that had a slow approach, films that took their time.
The curmudgeonly part probably comes in to the conversation when he’s describing the industry and technology in general. According to him, audiences have gotten too used to quick cuts and have developed a “go go go” mentality. Larry wants to slow things down.
Filmwax Radio: Larry Fessenden
When describing one his all-time favorite movies, Jaws, he describes its strengths in loving terms. “Look at the film from a cinematic point of view; there are three-minute scenes … in just a simple take. It’s so beautiful and effortless and carefully crafted. There’s integrity in that filmmaking. And you love the characters. It’s a handheld movie that is about a monster. It was a perfect storm for me.”