PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (Focus Features/Atsuji Nishijima) I interviewed director Derek Cianfrance back in May 2011 as he was promoting the Blu-ray/DVD release of Blue Valentine.   A soulful and heartbreaking look at the lives of once happy lovers (Michelle Williams, Ryan Gosling), Blue Valentine introduced many cinema buffs to a filmmaker driven to tell intimate stories of the human experience.

Upon watching the riveting trailer to his upcoming work The Place Beyond The Pines, I remembered Cianfrance talked about the themes of the movie during the interview.  The picture continues his collaborative relationship with Ryan Gosling and also co-stars Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, and Bradley Cooper.  Here’s an excerpt from my Q&A with Cianfrance:

Hollywood Outbreak: During the 12 years it took to make Blue Valentine, you obviously matured as a person and as a filmmaker.  Is your next film, The Place Beyond The Pines, a continued exploration of human relationships?

“Yes.  I believe it’s the job of the artist and the filmmaker to go deep inside themselves and confront things that are inside them.  Four years ago, right before my son Cody was born, I had been reading a lot of Jack London books and I had been really fixated on this idea of ancestry and the idea of Darwinism and the choices that generations make before you, how those affect your life.  I wanted to make a film about generations, about ancestry, about the things that hang over us.  About our nature, which we can’t escape.  This will also complete a family trilogy that I tried to do with Brothers Tied, Blue Valentine, and now The Place Beyond The PinesBrothers Tied is about brothers, Blue Valentine is about husbands and wives, and The Place Beyond the Pines is about fathers and sons.  So yes I’m very much interested in familial relationships because I think that’s where you really get to know people.  I think there is no hiding in a family.  I think you know everyone’s secrets in a family.  I think you can get as intimate with someone as possible in a family even if you don’t get along.  You know that person.  And that’s what The Place Beyond the Pines is about.  It’s another deeply personal film, but we’re going to have motorcycles and guns in it.”

The Place Beyond The Pines is slated for a March 29th, 2013 release.  With his love for Americana and personal stories, Cianfrance inhabits the same thematic room as filmmakers Terrence Malick and David Gordon Green (at least Green’s earlier work).  Check out the trailer and tell us what you think.

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Posted by Greg Srisavasdi (Twitter: @Gvasdi)