• by Writer/Director David Gordon Green
Think about those moments when the sight of someone makes your heart
thump or the memory causes your stomach to feel like it’s either
starving to death or it’s stronger than ever. For me, it’s
always a bizarre adventure when the emotional meets the physical. I
reflect on what could have been if only someone had been hungry to
take a risk…or maybe I wish we hadn’t. When I read a good
book, I pull from impressions of my life. I’m sure we all do.
We attach ourselves to scenarios, or see ourselves in the leading role
and we discover that these self-indulgent illustrations are drawn from
a swirl of our experience and imagination.
When I first read Stewart O’Nan’s book Snow Angels, I was
immediately stung not only by the characters he had created, but also in the
world I could personalize. Here were three generations of love stories, but not
burdened with the clichés of a traditional romance novel. They felt genuine
in their connections and disconnections. The humor and optimism were not forced
and the treatment of emotional gravity was presented with awkward recognition
as it often is in reality.
It made be want to make a film that painted the somewhat
distant charms of my early love and tackled the anxieties I have as
into the highwater slacks of adulthood. In as much as we all have
different interpretations of the landscape and subject matter of
a story, I was given the opportunity to make decisions and aim the
film version of the project toward my own aesthetic. It was an exciting
and uncertain road that became a labor of love.
With the script as a blueprint, and the book as a resource, we recruited
wonderful actors like Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell, Michael Angarano
and Olivia Thirlby that embraced the intimate, peculiar details beyond
the page and were willing to expose elements of their own lives and
understandings through substantial improvisation.
Snow Angels is
a film that we wanted to be a grounded portrait; the evolution from the
naïve to the cynical and the strange beauty
of the heart in between. My goal was to open a window and look back at
the relationships of our youth and peer forward to the mystery of the
ever-changing dynamic of those we hold close.