Queens World Film Festival: Q&A with director Jeff Meyers on The Blood of Love

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After the death of her husband, a young woman acquires a machine that will bring him back to life in director Jeff Meyers’ film, The Blood of Love.1 The film was featured at the Queens World Film Festival at the Secret Theater on Wednesday night and Meyers had a Q&A with the audience after the screening.

Q: This film seemed to draw a lot of inspiration from the The Gift of the Magi. Is this a concept that you’ve always wanted to work with?

A: I’m a big fan of O. Henry’s writing, but I never thought about adapting O’Henry’s work per se. I’m very drawn to work that’s darkly ironic, that doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending.

Q. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but while this film doesn’t have a happy ending, there’s still a sweetness about how the plot is ultimately resolved. Is that the direction you were moving toward?

A. Definitely. One of the things I wanted to convey was the difference between the choice the husband and wife make with the knowledge they had. The wife makes a choice that leads her down a very dark path and the husband makes a choice that’s very final. I think that goes on in every relationship, where presented with the same option, people who love each other would take two very different paths. It probably doesn’t come across as strongly as it did in early cuts of the film -I had to cut scenes because it was simply too long- but all the husband’s actions – cooking, music, sex- are very life affirming. Whereas the wife, who’s wrestling with grief, becomes oriented toward death.

Q. Speaking of dark paths, there were definitely some gruesome scenes in your movie. But it really seemed like there was a purpose to that violence.

A. I wanted to show the extreme. I know it made the audience uncomfortable given their reaction, but that was a deliberate choice. It’s always dicey because it’s not a horror film, but it’s a very sad story about a woman losing her husband, and the lengths she’ll go to keep him. I didn’t think her choices would have the same dramatic impact if the film was abstract about what she was doing.

Here’s more about The Blood of Love from Meyers:

  • It’s playing April 10 (8pm) at the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival.
  • It won the jury award for Best Long Form Short at the Nevermore Film Festival
  • It’s won a Remie Award at the Worldfest: Houston International Film Festival
  • It’s just begun its festival run with April screenings at the Vail Film Festival and Chattanooga Film Festival

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