DIRECTED by: Nora Stone

Lucy observes the feminine rituals at her older sister’s baby shower with a mix of amusement and annoyance, capped by disappointment that her sister disdains the handmade gift she offers. After the party, Lucy and her mother Marian review the day, and Marian makes a startling revelation about the past.

Five Questions with Director Nora Stone

What was a unique challenge you faced in making this film?

I made Mommy Moments while beginning to research and write my dissertation (I am a PhD candidate in film). It was difficult to partition off time from that major, long-term project to make it. Simply choosing to put my energy toward writing, producing, and directing this uncertain thing was a challenge. That said, once I made the leap, I had a lot of support–I used my academic department’s film equipment, the crew was mostly undergraduate film students, my husband produced and my closest friends edited.

Where did the inspiration for this film come from?

I was inspired by observing all the different ways that my friends and I navigate adult relationships with our parents. Sometimes we misjudge how much of ourselves to share with our parents, or with cross-generational friends and relatives. Though my own mother never made such a dramatic confession, there were times when I was dismayed by stories she told me.

Who are your top influences?

Claire Denis, her 35 Shots of Rum in particular for its moving, subtle portrayal of a father-daughter relationship. Kelly Reichardt and her dramas’ powerful, suggestive subtext. The rich inner lives of characters in Alice Munro’s short stories. The confessional women in Ingmar Bergman films. And the wild women in Drew Tobia’s See You Next Tuesday.

What do you hope people take away from this film?

I hope viewers feel compassion for the mother, who bares her most shameful moment, and for the daughter, who struggles to absorb the fact that the person she knew as her mother is as complex a human as she is.

What’s your personal takeaway from this production?

I learned how to struggle with every decision–from writing to casting to scheduling to blocking to lighting to keeping the cast and crew revved up. This made me feel more compassion for filmmakers, as well as more curiosity about their working methods. Luckily, this feeds directly into my scholarship and my work teaching film production. Making work is so hard, but it also revitalizes me in all different directions. I still wake up surprised that I made a film, and hungry to make more.

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