Andrea Arnold
Andrea Arnold

Tribeca Film Festival: A Conversation with Acclaimed Writer/Director Andrea Arnold

by Susan Kouguell

At the Tribeca Talks series at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, filmmaker Ira Sachs (“Love is Strange”) interviewed U.K. writer and director Andrea Arnoldabout writing, filmmaking, and surrendering.

In 2005 Arnold’s short film, Wasp, earned an Academy Award. She also received two BAFTA awards and two jury prizes at Cannes, as well as a multitude of festival accolades for her films, “Milk,” “Dog,” “Red Road,” “Fish Tank” and “Wuthering Heights.” On television she has directed two episodes of “Transparent.” Arnold’s latest film, “American Honey” starring Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough (recently acquired by A24) about a crew of teens who sell magazines across the Midwest is her first to be filmed in the U.S. “American Honey” is one of just three films from female directors in the 2016 Cannes Film Festival’s main competition and one of two from the U.K.

American Honey
“American Honey”

On Filmmaking

In Andrea Arnold’s films many of the actors are non-actors and they employ street casting.

Sachs: The shooting process has surprises, dangers, and risks.

Arnold: I love that. It brings life. I don’t like knowing everything that’s going to happen on the shoot.

Sachs:  What frightens you in filmmaking?

Arnold: I like the obstacles. In the last one (‘American Honey’), I think I pushed it. It was very tough, there were days I had scenes with loads of non-actors, and there were a few days I really pushed it.  What are you frightened of?

Sachs: I’m burdened by everything.

Arnold: The money?

Sachs: Yes, the money. It’s fear and fearlessness.  You navigate between the two; I don’t panic in it.

Arnold: I remember before starting the film, I was taking a lot of risks that definitely entered my head. I try not to let the money stop me, you worry too much then you don’t push it. I do feel responsible for the money.