Interview with Filmmaker Anne Flournoy – The Louise Log

The Louise Log is a dark, funny, weird yet relatable web series about a woman, her life, her men, and her inner voice. The series has recently gained attention as a topic of interest for Roger Ebert on this twitter page. Producer and writer of the series, Anne Flournoy, is no stranger to getting attention and accolades for her works in video. Her first film, Louise Smells A Rat was invited to be in the New York Film Festival. Variety called her third short Nadja Yet “a nine-minute showstopper”. Anne has shared insights about her series in this FnS interview.

All of your video projects focus on the inner consciousness. Is that your “thing”?

The ‘unseen’ is one of my burning interests– that and the discrepancy between what appears to be and what is.  

It may not be true for people in their teens and 20′s today who seem very at ease being ‘transparent’, but when I was growing up we were trained in wearing a mask, sort of like an emotional Sunday Best.  That makes for a lot of conflict but a rich inner life.

Much of The Louise Log is unpredictable, and even irrelevant. Is this symbolic, or is it written as a stream of consciousness, as the narrative sounds?

We’re talking about the voiceover here, right?  The voiceover is sort of the secret weapon of The Louise Log.  It started out as a way to salvage a first episode which looked pretty and had great music but which needed something more.  Years ago a friend who’d taken a class in graduate school with Emir Kusturica learned about (and passed on to me) the marvel of ‘the third thing’.  If a scene isn’t working, say between a man and a woman, add an angry cat.  Etc.  I’d seen and been haunted by a wonderful Godard film Two or Three Things I Know About Her.  No matter how many times I watched it, I couldn’t seem to grasp it.  I’ve probably seen that film more than any other and it has an extended whispered voice-over.  

So getting around to answer your question, usually, the voice-over gets added after the picture is cut as a way to make sense of the ‘action’ and sometimes to fill in essential information that isn’t in the picture.   There’s a temptation for the VO to just react to the action but this seems to be less successful than if the voice-over has a ‘theme’ of its own– and often one which wasn’t even considered in the shooting script.   In Season 2, my co-writer Sandra Vannucchi was more careful about making sure the VO was written in but even so, sometimes it changes in the editing.  The VO does a balancing act of doing a lot of jobs.  If it sounds like a natural stream of consciousness, I’m happy.  

So which came first? Louise’s loss of attraction to her husband, or her neurosis about her relationship with him? What is the origin of her “frustrated ego”? [Read more...]