The Killing of Two Lovers
by writer/director Robert Machoian
The idea for The Killing of Two Lovers started out as a short film script titled The Drift where a couple in a rough patch sits in a car and talk.
I had met actor Clayne Crawford in 2010. We connected as artists and filmmakers and had similar ideas on the stories we wanted to tell. We attempted over the years to put a few film projects together, but as often happens (just out of the difficulty of this art form needing a lot of funds), they never took flight. So finally I just sent him the short, asking, “could we at least do a short?” He read it and responded that he thought we could make this idea ourselves, and asked “could you expand it into a feature?” and, to consider that “it would be us putting this together with the resources we had, no more asking for permission.”
I went to work and expanded the story. The short had looked at the triangular relationship of a family. You, your partner, your children. The triangle architecturally is one of the strongest shapes, with the ability to bear great weight. When force is applied to one of the corners of a triangle it is distributed down each side. The result is the two sides are squeezed or compressed, and the third side is pulled or stretched. The triangle is used often in building bridges, and trusses for the roof of homes. It bears weight well.
I grew up in a large family, and now with my partner have a large family of my own. What I have learned or tried to learn through both experiences, is that love in and of itself is not as it is defined. Love, as defined by dictionaries, is “an intense feeling of deep affection, a great interest, and pleasure in something, attraction based on sexual desire; affection and tenderness felt by lovers”. I would argue those definitions are as defined, as who I am being defined by my first name. Love to me is as beautiful as it is ugly, as mean as it is kind, and is very challenging, and only, maybe only, easy before you realize you are in love. To me, it is screaming at your sibling at the top of your lungs saying every mean thing your ten-year-old brain can think of, and then an hour later getting ice cream together, and then years later laughing together about your ridiculous childhood. It’s fighting about what playlist will be for the four-hour-long road trip, what place to eat. It’s the secrets each other will carry to your graves. It’s being frightened, it’s acting out of character, it’s feeling safe, it’s being held. It’s knowing often your partner could most likely do better without you, but doing your best to lift them as high as you can. However complicated, and messy love can be, in a family, if done right, it can be a triangle.
The result is Clayne and I, along with actors Sepideh Moafi and Chris Coy, just making a film with what we had. Not asking for permission, but following our gut, our artist instinct is a film that is raw, that is honest, that does not force your hand, but invites you as the viewer to bring your life experience to it, to participate.
Posted May 4, 2021