The latest film from Edward Burns focuses on a couple, Buzzy and Katie (Burns and Caitlin Fitzgerald), who receive an unexpected visit from Buzzy's sister Linda (Kerry Bishe). The fight-less chemistry of the two newlyweds is tested by Linda's reckless behavior. At the same time, Buzzy and Katie witness the crumbling marriage of their two friends, played by Marsha Dietlein and Max Baker.
Shot for $9,000 and with a small group of filmmakers Burns defines as a "rock band," Newlyweds is the tenth movie he has directed.
I sat down with Edward Burns for an exclusive interview in which we discussed my favorite David Lynch quote, his best cinematic experience, and the wise words about niche marketing that he received from none other than Tyler Perry.
As a person who has said he was done with theatrical releases, and with your movies being available on many platforms, I was curious - have you heard the David Lynch quote about watching a movie on iPhones?
"If you're playing the movie on a telephone, you will never in a trillion years experience the film. You'll think you've experienced it, but you'll be cheated. It's such a sadness that you think you've seen a film on your f**king phone. Get real." Your movie could certainly be watched on a phone. What do you think about that?
I get where he is coming from. In a perfect world, we all have the time and the money to see all of the films that we want to see in theaters. But like lamenting the passing of the LP, times have changed. And that isn't our reality any more. I keep telling people that I can remember being in film school, and falling in love with a number of different films, seeing them really for the first time. But we'll use the case of Godfather and Godfather: Part II. I saw those films on VHS, in the "pan and scan" versions, on a 13-inch color screen TV in my dorm room. [It's] still the most powerful cinematic experiences I've ever had. To this day, I have never seen either of those films in a theater. And they still stand as my one and two favorite films of all time.
So, I can't offer you an explanation as to why, of all the great films that I have seen theatrically, why is it that a version of Godfather in my dorm room holds up. But it probably has something to do with story, character, and emotion. Not surround sound, and the size of the image.
If you could, would you shoot your movies in film? Outside of the economic issues.
If I could, if money and time was no issue, I think that most people would prefer to shoot on film. That isn't my reality, or most folks reality. Not even [for The Hobbit director] Peter Jackson.
We did the poster contest first, and we asked all of my Twitter followers to vote on their favorite poster, and that's how we picked our winner there. For the song contest, I thought, since the Twitter followers haven't seen the film, or know the music that PT Walkley did for the film, we needed to find something that was aesthetically the music that I like, and also fit the other music in the film. I heard his song very early on when going through the submissions. It immediately went to number one on my list of possibilities, and just kind of stayed there.
How do you feel this movie would be received if the genders of the characters were to be reversed? How would people receive its ideas of honesty, etc.?
I'd have to go through each relationship and think about it, but I have two thoughts on that question. One [relationship] that's bizarre is Max and Marsha. Everyone that has seen the film hates Marsha, and thinks that she is a horrible character. They side with Max. And yet when we first meet Max, in the second scene he's already hitting on a 20-something chick in front of his wife. Again, because Marsha has a reaction to it, and it is a little b*tchy, she's the bad guy. I think that says a lot about men and women. It was just interesting.
I joke around that the sequel of the film will be Katie and Buzzy don't work it out, Linda returns to L.A. and gets her life together, meets a great guy and gets married, and Buzzy starts drinking and acting like an animal, and shows up in L.A. on Linda's couch.
I heard from Patrick something about "Fitzmas." Is that a sequel to The Brothers McMullen?
There are two things happening. I'm working on a sequel to Brothers McMullen, but am just in the outline stage of it.
Do you have a title for that?
I don't know what I would call it - I was thinking about calling it "McMullen," but I don't really know.
Fitzmas is just shorthand for "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas." I was working with Tyler Perry last summer (for the upcoming movie Alex Cross) and we were talking one day. He asked why I never made a sequel to The Brothers McMullen. He said, "McMullen - critically acclaimed movie. She's the One - your biggest commercial hit. Both of them are about Irish American families, and in fifteen years you never made another Irish American film. What the f**k is wrong with you?" And I didn't have an explanation. And he said, "Look. You've got to super-serve your niche. You've got an audience out there that I'm sure would love to see another one of those films. You should really think about writing one." I walked out of his trailer, I walked into mine, opened up my laptop and typed, "Interior - The Fitzgerald's Kitchen - Day." And just started to write. If all goes well, we'll start shooting March and April.
Favorite fruit? Apples.
Favorite summer movie? As a kid, it was probably the first Star Wars. Or Jaws. But my ultimate favorite summer movie is Breaking Away. As a kid, that one really blew me away.
Last CD you bought? Black Keys, "El Camino." Start to finish, incredible. Might even be album of the decade.
Age of first kiss? Sixth grade.