An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn is the latest film from Jim Hosking (The Greasy Strangler) who makes his triumphant return, bringing his innate talent for outrageous absurdity to the romantic comedy genre while pushing the boundaries of storytelling into the wild unknown of outsider art. Throwing a fine cast of comedic favourites into places of great daring, and with a spirited sense of timing and unexpected emotion, Hosking and the contents of his fevered brain produce a kind of cinema like no other.
1. Hi Jim! Where did the concept for An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn come from?
Everything I write starts purposefully from nowhere remotely strategic. I like to let it come from wherever it comes and the more it feels like I don’t know from where or why then the more I like it. Like it comes from deep within some part of my essence! With this film though my hand was forced, because my co-writer David Wike sent me a scene featuring three characters, who are the three guys from the coffee shop in the film. David asked me to read it and said that if I liked it I should write the next scene. And that’s how it all started. I had no idea who these characters were and I had no attachment to them and I felt no pressure. It just felt like I had been invited on a strange trip with them and I wanted to see where it took me.
2. Your films have a very distinct tone, style and sense of humour, but what or who are you key filmic influences?
I try to be consciously influenced by nobody at all. I don’t set out to emulate. I also don’t try to suppress whatever comes to me. I wouldn’t say that I have key filmic influences stylistically. But I am certainly inspired by certain creators whose uncompromising art helps me keep the faith in dark times and whose standards I would like to try to live by. I could mention Ingmar Bergman for his unflinching dissection of the psyche, Aki Kaurismaki for his idiosyncratic personal universe, Eric Rohmer for his characters’ self-importance and self-indulgence, Rainer Werner Fassbinder for his work ethic and his bravery and he was just a force of nature.
3. You assembled a fantastic comedic cast for this film. Were they all fans of your previous film The Greasy Strangler?
I think for the most part they all seemed to enjoy its cavalier nature and that I was prepared to take a risk and create something a bit different. I think they all had to be prepared to go in a different kind of direction of they were happy to sign on and make Luff Linn with me.
4. Jemaine Clement’s character Colin in one key scene really enjoys some cheesy onion rings. Are these a personal favourite of yours too?
I don’t know if cheesy onion rings exist in real life. Maybe they do. They probably do. The thing with a script is – and this goes for editing, casting, costuming, anything as far as I’m concerned – you get desensitised to every element and then push it a bit further. Cheesy onion rings is a very pedestrian example of this. We wrote onion rings. And that seemed dull so we changed them to cheesy onion rings. If the film had taken longer to finance then they would have become cheesy jalapeno panko-crusted a-crisp’n’a-crunch onion rings (gluten free).
5. The bar at the Moorhouse Hotel serves great looking cocktails, but what is in Lulu’s favourite, ‘A Rumble In The Heather’?
A Rumble In The Heather is top secret. I can ask Lulu if you really want to know. But honestly it’s none of your business.
6. Craig Robinson (Beverly Luff Linn) and Matt Berry (Rodney Von Donkensteiger) seem to have a powerful on-screen connection. Did they stay in character on set?
No. Thank goodness. I’ve had that happen before and it feels pretty painful for everybody. Craig and Matt are able to slip in and out of character with exceptional ease and with the most reassuring consistency. Bravo to Craig and Matt!
7. What do you hope audiences will ultimately get out of An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn?
I want them to feel relieved that a film isn’t lecturing or patronising them. I think there is a strong female lead in this film, and the film is diverse, and it is liberating and it is democratic. But at the same time it goes its own way. I think the more that people try to replicate reality, the faker it often feels. I’m not trying to replicate reality here at all obviously, but I think there is a great deal of humanity and vulnerability in this film. The characters are dysfunctional misfits. I want to make people experience a new world, and to laugh and perhaps to cry and to feel less afraid of being themselves and having fun and being silly and wanting bucketfuls of glorious romantic love. Something like that.
An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn plays Discover Tuesday on 23 October and in select cinemas from Fri 26 October.Find you cinema and book tickets