The Cannes Film Festival is a place where high profile movies debut, and many others try to snag international distribution deals. The movies don’t even have to be finished yet. Liars All is showing a sizzle reel to buyers. We were on the set in Los Angeles on Friday as they’re still shooting the movie.
“It happened so fast,” director Brian Brightly said. “In the first 12 days they cut a reel, we sent the publicity pictures over. ID’s [PR] been fantastic so [Cinema Management Group’s] got 16 meetings today with buyers looking at our sizzle reel, which is pretty great. It’s not the movie, it’s just a suggestion of the movie but it’s fun that everybody’s invested in trying to get it out there.”
For all you Cannes buyers, here’s what you’ll see if you take a meeting with CMG’s team. Liars All is a mystery thriller with sexual themes starring Sara Paxton, “The Tudors”’ Torrance Coombs and “90210” stars Matt Lanter and Gillian Zinser. A game leads to a murder, and three different recollections of the event uncover what really happened.
“Some of the sexual things that we’re doing are so foreign to me,” Paxton said. “I find it to be so nerve-wracking. I think that’s really difficult for everybody. Is that just me? I think it’s so awkward and it’s a whole different level of uncomfortable.”
Also a far cry from “90210.” Zinser gets to play a dangerous femme fatale. “Why don’t you just say a manic depressive on the verge of losing her shit,” Zinser said. “It’s definitely something I haven’t played before. I took this role because of that. It’s probably the most powerful alpha character I’ve ever been able to play. She’s very much the opposite of wh I am and who I’ve played thus far so it’s been interesting for sure.”
I the spirit of Cannes, Liars All is a European movie. It’s set in London as American college students go abroad, and Brightly is shooting it like a European movie. “I was always excited about doing a movie that had sort of the thrills of a Blood Simple but the beauty of a movie like The Dreamers,” Brightly said. “I watched The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and The Dreamers and Amelie and visually just got a template for what I wanted the movie to look like, which is very painterly, fantasy dream as the night begins and then as the reality of the danger comes in, it’s fractured into a much more realistic thriller. So it was fun to sort of have the visual landscape and then pour the story into it.”
So a teen movie with Bertolucci references. “Actually Brian showed us all a scene from The Dreamers where he wanted us to have the feel of it,” Lanter said. “I was kind of intrigued by the movie. I hadn’t seen it so I actually watched the whole thing. [In] The Dreamers there’s a friendship aspect and in a nonsexual way a threesome aspect to it where they’re kind of friends, two of them are kind of romantic, the other one wants to be and then they end up.”
Oh, and Brightly’s already going for an R rating. There won’t be any nudity, but the plot gets twisted far beyond what they can show on The CW. “For me [nudity] was less important than communicating that sex is power in this movie,” Brightly said. “So much of it is about the games and the manipulation. The whole movie for me was I’m fascinated by how our perceptions shift and I’m fascinated by the consequence of deceit, the consequence of falsifying. The movie’s all about that. It’s all about this is my version, what’s your version? This is how I remember it. How do you remember it? This is what I’d like to be saying but this is what I’m actually doing. Those kind of things.”