In this masterclass with Patricia Rozema which coincided with our free worldwide screening of Mouthpiece, Rozema talks about making the film and her approach to storytelling.
Highlights of the Patricia Rozema masterclass
- Read our LiveTweet of the discussion here.
- Q: Why did Patricia feel MOUTHPIECE the play could be a film? A: “It was explosive. I’d seen nothing like it. It was a whole different language. It didn’t cross my mind to make it into a film because it was entirely itself. I just wanted to work with these people.”
- “This divided sense of self is there for all people, but it’s particularly a female phenomenon, I think, because for a lot of history women have been considered property. Consequently, we have had to view ourselves from the outside because other people decided what our value was.” – Patricia Rozema
- “I find the right method of directing through the verb in the script. If she’s staring at him fixedly, the camera is fixed. If she’s reeling the camera is really.” – Patricia Rozema
- The a capella score for the film was composed with the help of “a 2009 version of GarageBand.” Writer-star-composer Amy Nostbakken calls the ‘lyrics’ of the score “English-ish.”
- Patricia likes to judge whether a film has many “cringe points” which she considers a high bar since a lot of cinema makes her cringe. “It’s a trash heap out there.”
Who is Patricia Rozema?
Adapted from the bio on Rozema’s website:
Born in Kingston, ON and raised in the small town of Sarnia, ON in a Dutch Calvinist immigrant family where television was severely restricted, Patricia Rozema didn’t go to a movie theatre until she was 16 years old. After a brief stint in journalism, she made her first feature, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing. At the 1987 Cannes Film Festival, in the Director’s Fortnight, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing won the Prix de la Jeunesse and was runner-up for the Camera D’Or (best first feature). The film won numerous awards including being ranked in TIFF’s list of Top 10 Canadian Films of all time.
Rozema has since directed a wide variety of feature films: When Night is Falling, Mansfield Park, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, Into the Forest, and Mouthpiece. She’s also worked on a variety of TV shows, from Mozart in the Jungle to Anne with an E.
Rozema’s latest feature, Mouthpiece, was adapted from a play of the same name by Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava who also star in this powerful, funny, and highly original look into a woman’s conflicted psyche in the 48 hours following her mother’s sudden death. The film premiered as the Special Presentation Opening Night Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and was named one of TIFF’s Top Ten Canadian Films of the year.
Where can you watch our Masterclass guest Patricia Rozema’s films?
I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987): Only available on DVD.
When Night is Falling (1995): Stream on Pluto TV in the US. Find it elsewhere on DVD.
Mansfield Park (1999): Stream onNetflix and Hoopla in Canada; Hoopla in the US; and rent on Amazon in the UK
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (2008): Rent on Cineplex, Google Play, and YouTube in Canada; stream on Starz and rent on DIRECTV in the US.
Into the Forest (2015): Stream on Crave, Hoopla, and Tubi in Canada; Netflix, Hoopla, and Kanopy in the US; and Prime Video in the UK.
Mouthpiece (2018): Watch it at our international screening on Thursday, which is available to everyone outside of Canada! In Canada, you can watch it for free on CBC Gem.
Missed the Mouthpiece screening? Or want to rewatch the film?
Join Seventh Row’s book club today, and get access to Mouthpiece (outside of Canada) until the end of October. The film has not received distribution outside of Canada and the US, so this is the only way to watch the film if you are outside of Canada and the US.