Jeffrey Blitz came to study the Alexander Technique with Jean-Louis to deal with the tensions and duress that most film directors experience these days. He was also interested in improving his ability to guide performances from young actors and find new ways of dealing with his stuttering.
Jeff’s constant work over his stutter is ripe material for his new film, Rocket Science — this year’s grand jury prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is his debut feature and the follow-up to his Oscar-nominated 2002 documentary, Spellbound.
Working on Spellbound and Rocket Science, Jeff has acquired a new respect for the inner lives of kids:
There’s something about the age of a high school student – you live in a raw, ragged way. You haven’t figured out how to defend yourself against your own emotions, in a way. Like, when you get upset, you get really fucking upset. When you’re in love, you’re desperately, completely in love. So I think I’m drawn to making movies about that age for that reason — they seem to be very ripe for drama and comedy. And then the competitive aspect to it; I think it’s less the competition that interests me and it’s more that when you’re talking about academic competitions, you’re talking about kids who are outsiders. They’re not the cool jock kids; they’re kids who don’t fit in and gravitate towards those sorts of activities. Those are the kids I’m more interested in.
We enthusiastically recommend Rocket Science as a personal, moving film with incredibly sharp and humorous dialogue.
Interview with Jeffrey Blitz: