Last Night redefines the quickie and takes the audience into the dark side of a roommate relationship as it screens as part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 5. Director Arlen Konopaki recently spoke with Toronto Film Scene about his own roommate and the making of this film.
Describe your film in 10 words or less.
Roommates who do terrible things to each other face off.
What inspired you to make this film?
I was inspired by my friend and mentor Dan Algrant (director of Greetings From Tim Buckley) who challenged me to make a film where one of the characters is lying. I wanted to have fun with the idea by taking it to the greatest extreme possible and show someone utterly defiant despite being confronted by overwhelming, irrefutable evidence. I’ve always found the idea of having roommates to be ripe for dramatic and comedic situations. Living with someone reveals a great deal about their character.
What was the best thing about production? Most frustrating?
This was made with a very small cast and crew who were just the best collaborators I could ask for. Having fun, smart, creative people on set is always a joy and makes the work fun. The most frustrating aspect was probably the same thing 90% of all indie filmmakers would say: not enough time or money. Oh, and trying to get the synthetic semen to look right.
What’s the one thing you want people to know about your film?
My co-writer and co-star in the film is actually my roommate in real life, which adds a whole other meta and disturbing quality to the onscreen proceedings. He is a talented writer and comedian working in NYC and we enjoy collaborating together (as well as being roommates).
Have you lived with many roommates in your life? And what’s the worst thing a roommate has ever done to you?
I’ve had my fair share of roommates over the years. In terms of the worst, it’s a toss-up between the one who shed a truly unnatural amount of hair which I would find in the most bizarre places at the most inopportune times, or the one who straight up robbed me.
Your film is screening as part of TIFF — what are you most excited about seeing or doing at this year’s festival.
I couldn’t be more excited or honored to be a part of this year’s festival. As always with TIFF there is a ridiculous amount of exciting films premiering from the world’s best filmmakers so I’ll be trying to catch as many as I can. I think for any filmmaker or audience member who loves film, going to TIFF is like being a kid in a candy shop. A cinematic candy shop.
Last Night screens as part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 5 at TIFF 2014. Check the TIFF website for more details.