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The Moment (2014)

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Jennifer Jason Leigh
Martin Henderson
Alia Shawkat
Marian Jean-Baptiste
Meat Loaf Aday
Alessandra Torresani
Navid Negahban


After a tumultuous affair between international photojournalist Lee (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and troubled writer John (Martin Henderson) ends in John’s disappearance, Lee lands in a mental hospital to recuperate. She strikes up a friendship with a fellow patient bearing an uncanny resemblance to her missing lover. The pair works to uncover the truth behind the disappearance, but Lee’s precarious sanity comes under threat when the clues lead to the last place she would ever expect.


      I started out studying film history and theory in graduate school at NYU. I was especially interested in experimental film, and during that time I also co-wrote and co-directed an experimental film, SIGMUND FREUD’S DORA.

      After making a few other short films, I attended the Sundance Director’s Lab and became fascinated by acting, which led me to want to tell more emotional kinds of stories. My first feature, EASY, is a relatively straightforward dramedy about a young woman’s struggle with sex and love. With THE MOMENT, my second feature, I brought more complication into the story and into the way I told it.

      Lee (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is the center of THE MOMENT. She is a photojournalist and a mother. She is strong but vulnerable, and her life is filled with conflict. For me, it is very important that the story is told from Lee’s point of view. The film doesn’t offer an objective “truth.” It depicts Lee’s truth, with all its confusion and difficulty.

      THE MOMENT jumps around in time between the past and the present. Each time period has a different “look.” The past is shot with the camera on a tripod, signaling Lee’s greater emotional stability, and the color is saturated, suggesting a time of intensity and optimism. The present is hand-held, echoing Lee’s instability, and the color is less saturated, showing a more melancholic perspective on the world.

      THE MOMENT raises questions and refuses to provide neat resolutions. I want to show life as I see it, reflecting its ambiguities and ambivalences. Parents and children love each other, but they may also unconsciously want to hurt each other. Friends and lovers hide painful truths from one another, even when they know that lying will be more destructive than telling the truth. People may want to be alone, but at the same time, they may be desperately lonely.

      One of my goals, in making THE MOMENT, was to explore these and other contradictions. With this in mind, I’ve tried to create characters who are not consistent, not predictable, but who are always believable.


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