#7: Meet MICHAEL LLOYD GREEN

15 10 2009

Film: THE WALL

MICHAEL LLOYD GREEN, writer/director

June 12, 1987. On the heals of Ronald Reagan’s Berlin Wall address, Bernard, a New York City cellist, struggles against years of guilt. Only a wall away, Miriam, a Holocaust survivor and passionate violinist, settles into her new apartment. As she works to start anew, Bernard prepares to take his life. But soon, these two lonely neighbors discover a musical outlet in one another and, after reaching through the wall between them, find solace from their tragic lives.

Screening Saturday Oct. 24th, 10:00pm, Triumph of Life Program

The Wall Press Photo

1. Tell us a little about yourself and where you have live, highlighting any major cultural identities that define, influence or challenge you in your life.

I was born and raised in Miami, FL — a highly diverse city and one that enabled me to appreciate a variety of traditions (both artistic and familial), particularly those Hispanic in nature.  I attended a predominantly Cuban school from kindergarten through my senior year and grew to love the way in which it opened my eyes to a world rich in culture that I might not have encountered otherwise.  I went on to attend the University of Central Florida, where I earned a BA in creative writing and received an MFA in film production at Florida State University.  I’m currently living in Los Angeles, pursuing my career as a writer/director.

2. How did you come to be a filmmaker, and where/how did you learn the “craft” of filmmaking?

Before I was a filmmaker, I was simply a boy who liked movies…a lot.  I had what some might call a bad habit of watching, rewinding, and rewatching films like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Karate Kid, and The Magnificent Seven.  My love for such stories is what compelled me to pursue creative writing in undergrad; however, I got to a point where I wanted to bring the words to life and went on to study film at Florida State University in order to do so.

3. What prompted the idea for your film and how did it evolve?

The Wall was my third short film at Florida State University.  The inspiration for the film came during a lecture on the power of the arts to not only express one’s self but to connect with others.  It is this universal connection, the ability of art to transcend race, gender, and creed that compelled me to pursue this project. I have played the violin since I was eight years old; and The Wall seemed the perfect opportunity to merge two art forms that have had a profound impact upon my life – film and music.

4. What is your single favorite line from your film?

Being that the film has no dialogue except for a televised speech by Ronald Reagan, I would have to say that I’m partial to the line:  “Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men.  Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.”  This gets to the heart of the matter for me — the separation and isolation of people who share in the common threads of humanity (often seen in the scars that bind us).

5. What movies would you say have transformed or changed the way you see the world?

In my estimation, few filmmakers have captured the bittersweet nature of life like Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu in his film Amores Perros.  Were I to pick a particular film that influenced The Wall, I would have to cite Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love.

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