Steve Basilone got the idea for his new film Long weekend of a woman with whom he had a brief affair while he was emotionally straining for six weeks to visit his mother in the hospital every day.
Basilone says the real-life events that inspired his directorial debut began two and a half years ago during a tumultuous time in his life, when he was simultaneously going through a divorce and visiting his dying mother. The Sony movie, starring Finn Wittrock and Zoe Chao, was released on VOD on Tuesday.
“There was like a confluence of just a shit storm,” Basilone said Filmmaker. “Two and a half years ago I had my colon removed after being ill for 10 or 8 years. That made me better, and I got married, which was like this euphoric cathartic experience – and then the wheels started to let go. ”
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The experiences that Finn Wittrock’s character, Bart, has in the film are loosely based on Basilone’s own experiences, although what Bart goes through in Long weekend is something else.
“My grandmother died, and then my mother got sick, she got a year to live, and then we got divorced, and that was a very public affair that was very difficult to deal with. And then my mother died slowly, ”said Basilone. “So when I was in the hospital in New Haven, I was just kind of at my wits’ end.”
Then he met the woman who inspired Zoe Chao’s character, Vienna.
“Four or five nights over the course of six weeks I went out with this woman I met in New Haven, and it was such a cathartic thing because it was this weird juxtaposition of all this dark grief,” he said. “It was like having sex in my stepfather’s car and sneaking out to school parties. It was such a welcome reprieve from the very, very real reality in which I lived most of the time. ”
But then Basilone returned to Los Angeles and went back to work to prescribe The Goldbergs and as he finished another script, he realized that now that his ex-wife, his mother, and his grandmother were all gone, the only person he could still call was the Connecticut woman.
“I was just exhausted, and one day I was driving home thinking, I just want a reassuring voice. I want to talk to someone, ”he said. ‘So I was like, well, I’m calling my friend from Connecticut. And as soon as I called I got a message that just said [in] one of those robot voices: “This is a song that doesn’t exist.” ”
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He added, “I just had this brief flash of it, as if no one has ever met her. How far can you stretch your psyche before you’re full you know Fight club yourself – before you have a psychotic break? Basilone said.
“That just got the seed of an idea for this movie that was a bit confused. I had some ideas floating around, and it was just because they all came together, ”he said. “I wanted to write something so small that I thought I could really get people to buy it and make it. So you usually know [it’s] two people are talking in a room, and putting this twist on it tries to make it feel a little bit bigger than it is – but that’s essentially what it is. It’s really only two people in a few locations. ”
Long weekend is now available to rent, buy and stream on VOD platforms.
Main Image: Finn Wittrock as Bart in Long weekend.
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