Rhode Island International Film Festival

RIIFF: Q&A With Writer/Director Keith Boynton

The writer/director of Seven Lovers answers our seven questions before the film's world premiere

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Seven Lovers has its world premiere on Saturday, August 8 at the Metcalf Auditorium in Providence as part of this year’s Rhode Island International Film Festival. The film follows the interwoven narrative of a young woman’s efforts to find herself through the course of seven different relationships, each shown through a distinct genre (found footage, animation, 1930s musical, etc). Before the film’s debut, we sat down to ask writer/director Keith Boynton seven questions about Seven Lovers.

The seven lovers of this film are each depicted through very different, visually distinct cinematic styles. What came first, the character or the genre that represents them?

The genres came first.  It was almost spooky the way the characters fell into place once I knew what the style was.  The idea for Seven Lovers knocked around in my head for years, but once I started writing it all came pretty quickly. I wish it were always like that.

Were there any genres you wanted to dip into but couldn’t make work?

I would have loved to do science fiction, but I think it would have unbalanced the movie.  Luckily, my next film is a sci-fi comedy – so I’ll still have my chance!

What genre would your perfect real-life romance be?

Talky indie romance. Something like Before Sunrise, maybe. Lots and lots and lots of talk.

What were some of the biggest challenges, in terms of production and telling a narrative, that came with moving between these seven genres?

Keeping the pace up was a real challenge.  I knew that if we spent too long in any one genre, we’d lose track of the bigger picture – but at the same time, each segment had to be long enough to move the story forward.

I thought I had solved this problem in the screenplay, but I ended up having to slash quite a few scenes in the editing room – including scenes I really liked.

Which character/characters and experiences did you find the most of yourself in while writing this script? 

I started out kind of impartial, but by the end I had a clear favorite.  I don’t want to name a name, in case it proves to be a spoiler, but I’ll give you a hint: it’s the guy who just can’t shut up. 

Seven Lovers’ tagline is “It’s hard to find love when you’re still looking for yourself.” Were you looking for a part of yourself while making this film?

I didn’t know I was – but yes, absolutely.  I think one of the hardest things in life is believing you’re worthy of love, and writing Seven Lovers was a way to convince myself that I could be deeply flawed and still be worth loving.

What are seven films that inspired the making of Seven Lovers? 

When Harry Met Sally, Notting Hill, Top Hat, Annie Hall, Runaway Bride, Kill Bill... and The Blair Witch Project.

Tickets for Seven Lovers
Metcalf Auditorium – RISD Museum, Chace Center
20 North Main Street Providence 7-9pm