‘Past Lives’ | Anatomy of a Scene

“Hello, my name is Celine Song. I’m the writer and director of ‘Past Lives.'” [MUSIC PLAYING] “So this scene is between Hyesung played by Teo Yoo and Nora played by Greta Lee, and it’s a story about two characters who haven’t seen each other in person for 24 years. And they’re kind of reunited in New York. And the focus of this scene is how Hyesung seems so lost and lonely and so small in New York City, a city foreign to him, the city he came here as a tourist. And of course what we’re trying to capture here is a certain sense of unease and excitement, kind of a combination of both feelings of waiting for an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time. I don’t know what’s going to happen to him, and I wanted him to look like a kid in the scene, when he’s touching his hair to fix it, he just wants to leave a good impression. And we’re seriously talking about capturing this moment where Nora screams her name and turns around, and this whole shot was primed for this turn.” [CAR HORNS] “Hesung!” “And then we get to really experience the kind of stunned look and awe he has when he sees Nora. And I wrote this in the script.” is as if he sees a ghost and she sees a ghost, it is as if they see a ghost in each other, and this ghost transforms into a physical body. Not only is she a real human being with her, she’s also walking towards him, and it’s meant to be a little scary.” [FOOTSTEPS] – [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] “So, for them, this is a moment in the past when they were childhood sweethearts. , sort of breaking down and crossing the barriers between them, and this sound design is also about New York crashing into them as New York reaches out to hug him.” [TRAFFIC] [CAR HORNS] “There’s very little dialogue in this scene, which means a lot of it had to happen due to how they try to live in the moment and work through their feelings. And this particular shot was me and the shoot. Director Xavier Kirchner pulled out of Kore-eda’s trick, the so-called swing camera, here we are with Hyesung and we are so happy to have met him and to have this experience through him. I’m excited, but I miss Nora, so the camera moves so I can see Nora.” [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] [MUSIC PLAYING] “And now we’re so happy to meet Nora and really happy to have experienced this moment with her. And though, we’re happy to be here, but I’m starting to miss Hyesung. So it creates a bit of a longing.And then we moved there and met Hyesung again.And I’m so happy to see Hyesung again.And that feeling is exactly what we wanted. I think it’s because I’m going to miss Hyesung again this time, and I’m so happy to meet Nora. It’s kind of an emotional state, and that’s what the scene is all about, and of course they’re so happy that we sort of kick them out of the place.” [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] – [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] – [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] – [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] [LAUGHS]

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