Exclusive: Director Diane Bell Dissects ‘Bleeding Heart’

Diane Bell - Bleeding Heart - FIlmFad.com

Writer/Director Diane Bell discusses upcoming feature film ‘Bleeding Heart’ and much more.

If you know somebody is being hurt, how do you stop them from being hurt. Is it ever correct to resort to violence.  – Diane Bell

In a FilmFad.com exclusive interview, Pooya converses with writer/director Diane Bell about her sophomore feature film – dramatic thriller ‘Bleeding Heart.’ Bell also takes us through a diverse and intriguing dialogue as she delves deeper into the film’s process, talks leading actress Jessica Biel, airs her thoughts about the current state of on-screen female heroism, and much more.

 

So, without further ado… here is an exclusive peak into the exciting mind of Diane Bell.

 

FilmFad:

Hello Diane.

Diane Bell:

Hi.

FilmFad:

How are you doing today?

Diane Bell:

I’m Well. Yourself?

FilmFad:

I’m doing quite well, quite well. So I won’t waste you’re time, I know we’re limited and I want to get some good questions in. I had a chance to watch ‘Bleeding Heart’ and I must say I very much enjoyed the film and I will try to keep my pandering to a minimum.

Daine Bell:

[Laughing]

FilmFad:

Before we get started, one thing is certain. After I watched the film ‘Bleeding Heart,’ I will never look at a yoga instructor the same way. That’s for sure.

Diane Bell:

[Laughing] Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

FilmFad:

Oh, it’s a great thing!

[Both Laughing]

FilmFad:

I’m being silly. I apologize. so, let me jump into it.

 

Bleeding Heart - Jessica Biel - Zosia Mamet - FilmFad.com

Zosia Mamet as Shiva (left) and Jessica Biel as May (right). | ‘Bleeding Heart’ (2015).

FilmFad:

In your own words, can you tell me what ‘Bleeding Heart’ is to you in terms of the film and it’s namesake?

Diane Bell:

The film is about a woman who discovers she has a sister and decides she’s gonna save her. She’s gonna save this woman who is in a very difficult situation, who is trapped in a very abusive relationship. In the course of her attempting to help her sister, she discovers that perhaps it’s herself who needs more help. Or perhaps it’s herself who’s gonna be more changed by this journey. The title ‘Bleeding Heart’ I think has a few different meanings. There’s a saying like a “bleeding heart liberal” – somebody who has sympathy or empathy for others. You know, sort of in a gratuitous way or something. But as you discover from the film, I think it has another meaning by the end.

FilmFad:

Absolutely. As you said there’re a lot of different meanings and interpretations, but I also notice maybe some potential inspirations. There were moments very reminiscent of ‘Thelma and Louise.’ What were some of your cinematic inspirations for ‘Bleeding Heart?’

Diane Bell:

I definitely re-watched ‘Thelma and Louise.’ I’m so inspired by that film and by the kind of celebration of female friendship it depicts. I just love it. I think I’m also inspired by some French thrillers and things. They have that eerie unfolding of characters and getting deeper into them. I think that definitely had an influence on me too for this film. I feel like it’s a ‘movie’ movie. If that makes any sense… [laughs] “It’s a ‘movie’ movie.” I wanted it to be this quite cinematic journey. It’s not meant as real life. The feeling of the film to me is like a fantasy. It is the fantasy of one woman going on journey, discovering who she is on that journey and discovering she is so much stronger, in a sense, than she had ever imagined. Also a journey on which she is called upon to be hero – something that felt very important to me when I was making this and when I was writing it. I just want to see a woman in that role. I wanted to see a woman saving another woman. I wanted to see a woman stepping up to the plate and being heroic. I get so sick of seeing woman constantly portrayed in the media as victims and in need of being saved. I really felt that this is something important, to see a woman be the hero.

 

Jessica Biel - Bleeding Heart - Gun - FilmFad.com

Jessica Biel as May in ‘Bleeding Heart’ (2015).

FilmFad:

This film undoubtably has an unapologetically empowering tone, what is something you hope for both men and women in the audience to take away from this experience?

Diane Bell:

It’s tricky to say what you want the audience to take away, because really they take away what they want from it. You do the work, put it out and it’s really up to people to think what they think about it. I just kind of wanted to open up questions in a way with the film. I’m fascinated by the question of violence in our society and what do we do about it. If somebody you know is in a situation where they are being abused in some sense, how do you help them? And if the abuser is not willing to deal with peaceful resolution, how do you help them? There are many people like this in our society. In America alone three women everyday are killed by their partners. I think in most of those situations it doesn’t come out of the blue. They have restraining orders against their partners. People know. Their families know. Everybody knows and yet those people cannot be stopped. Me me as a yogi and somebody who is completely a pacifist, what do we do? If you know somebody is being hurt, how do you stop them from being hurt. Is it ever correct to resort to violence. I certainly do not have the answer to these questions, they are just things I think for me I would hope audience members walk away thinking about. Did you ask any of those questions [Laughing]?

FilmFad:

Absolutely. Especially the one talking about violence. How even one living this seemingly pacifistic lifestyle, this yogic and meditative lifestyle, all of a sudden resort to an extreme because they were put into a situation of extremism. It was interesting.

Diane Bell:

Yes, yes. There’s a little thing too which I think, for me, is about guns as well. I’m not from America and where I come from policemen don’t even have guns. I’m terrified of guns and how prevalent they are in our society. I do think they could often intensify situations and lead to more violence than there would be otherwise.

 

Bleeding Heart - Choke - FIlmFad.com

‘Bleeding Heart’ (2016).

FilmFad:

Well, speaking of that. I feel that as with any good movie, it starts a discussion or leaves audiences thinking about something. I also feel that with any good movie the devil is in the details. Much of this movie had nods to character past or otherwise that, for me at least, gave a lot of context as to the characters current emotional states. An example, when May first sees Cody’s gun and Shiva says something along the lines of “it’s his fathers from Vietnam.” I feel that to be telling for what Cody may have experience in the past cause them to become what he is today. 1) was this intentional and 2) As a writer, how did you go about ensuring each character was given their own unique voice?

Diane Bell:

That always felt, to me, like a very important line to me in the film.

FilmFad:

It definitely was. 1) Was that intentional? You already answered that, it definitely was intentional.

Diane Bell:

Yes it was. Absolutely. I think cycles of violence continue. If you look deeply at Cody and the amount of violence; where did that come from? It didn’t come from nowhere. It’s something that you learn. It’s some habit. I also have an empathy for Cody, even though he is violent. He’s at a loss. He’s grappling at straws, and I think that’s what most people who resort to violent are. They’re insecure. They’re terrified. They’re angry. That’s why they act that way, right?

 


You can read FilmFad.com’s review of ‘Bleeding Heart’ HERE.


 

Film Fad:

As a writer, how did you go about ensuring each character was given their own unique voice?

Diane Bell:

It starts from on paper and in the script. Really trying to empathize with each character as you write them, which I think I tend to do. Then it happens in the process with the actors and I was very blessed in the film. The actors were all willing to be part of a rehearsal process. During that process it becomes even more pronounced. At that stage I let them change the lines. We work on it and we make sure that everything feels truthful to them as they get deeper and deeper into that character. I think that’s, for me, when it really comes to life. There comes a moment when I’m like each of these actors know their characters better than I do now, I trust them and they can run with it.

 

Obselidia_Filmstill-B

‘Obselidia’ (2010).

FilmFad:

What was you experience making this film in relation to your previous film ‘Obseledia?’ Did a having a household name and perhaps higher expectations from your previous success weigh on the process?

Diane Bell:

It’s funny because, ultimately, the process is the same. You know [laughing]. It’s strange. You have a different amount of money, you have different actors, but in some ways it’s still the same. You show up. You shoot. You go home [laughing]. You rehearse with your actors, you dig into it with them. People’s expectations of course are different. When I made my first film there were less than zero expectations because no one even knew we were making it. This time obviously some of the actors in the film have fans who definitely have expectations, but you can’t bother yourself with that when you’re making a film. You only bother yourself with the process and what you are doing on day to day. The people that I worked with were absolutely fantastic on this film. They brought their A-Games all the time. For Jessica [Biel] and Zosia [Mamet], they were both just so excited to be playing those parts. They were both quite different than things they had done in the past. It was just great. We had a really great creative time, taking it in and making the best film that we could.

FilmFad:

I think both Jessica Biel and Zosia Mamet delivered very vulnerable performances and I was really taken back. Especially Jessica Biel. She’s a name that you see around, but to see her in this particular role… it was both refreshing and very interesting to see.

Diane Bell:

I think she absolutely an incredible actor. She’s an amazing human being. She’s absolutely fantastic to work with in every way. So committed. So hard-working. So much fun, just all over fantastic human being. But also an amazing actress. I don’t think she’s yet gained the recognition that she deserves for that. I ‘m not sure why that is. I hope this film starts to help people see her in a different light because I think her performance in this is phenomenal. And Zosia as well.

 

Of dust and bones - Diane Bell - FilmFad.com

‘Of Dust And Bones’ (2016).

FilmFad:

You seem to keep very busy, not letting much in any tine laps between your cinematic endeavors. Can you give us a teaser tidbit of your upcoming project of ‘Of Dust and Bones?’

Diane Bell:

I’m so thrilled with this film. It’s a pretty intense movie. I’m in post on it right now. I went back to how I shot ‘Obsolidia’ with just the two lead actors from my first film. We shot in the desert and we had a lot of time and one location. It’s an incredibly beautiful film and, I think, and important one. It’s about a woman who is the widow of a war photographer who was killed by ISIS in Syria. It’s what happens when a man comes to visit her out in the desert. She chose to live there to disconnect herself from this world because she is horrified by it. And he comes with a very particular agenda – to get the rights to her dead husbands last work which she really doesn’t want to give him. I’m absolutely thrilled with it. It’s my baby.

FilmFad:

Well, thank you so much Diane for your time.

Diane Bell:

Thank you Pooya.

 

Watch the official trailer for writer/director Diane Bell’s ‘Bleeding Heart’ below.

Pooya

Author: Pooya

Since his wee lad-dom, Pooya has been a sommelier of cinema. It was likely some acting bug, fallen from the dust riddled ruby curtains of an enchanted old stage that did it. Those cinematic scarabs must have burrowed deep into his brain, irreversibly altering his mind, turning the poor boy down a dismal path.From his earliest years the strange boy would aimlessly wander the aisles of countless video rental stores, amassing his trivial knowledge with vigor. These actions befuddled the boy’s parents, who still would lovingly oblige his unusual attraction to the motion picture. Often seeking refuge in the cushioned seating of his local movie theater, the odd adolescent would immerse himself in the scripted and effects riddled realities unfolding on the screen before him. During his collegiate years, he was twice spotted on stage performing bizarre theatrical rituals before awe-struck audiences. When he departed from academia, he left behind his youth in exchange for a labor routine, but the strange young man never lost his long-cultivated love of film.Recently, Pooya was approached by FilmFad.com to join their budding team of entertainment bloggers. After hours of coaxing and an undisclosed number of honey jars, he accepted their offer. Finally he had come full circle. Finally, at FilmFad.com, he was home.

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