A strange 'interview' but the affable and thoughtful Selby is worth just sitting and listening to
In a house by the beach, Ellen Burstyn sits with the author of 'Requiem for a Dream', Hubert Selby Jr for a chat about him and his life, all with the relaxed air of two people just talking candidly. To call this an interview is to give it too much structure because both people are just chatting away, although the direction is mostly towards Selby while Burstyn only chats at the start and tends to listen for most of the short film. It has very little structure and doesn't go into much in the way of factual information but it is still very interesting.
The main reason for this is the contribution from Selby. Burstyn maybe helps relax him a bit with her personable approach (of course the two knew each other well from the shooting of the film) but it seemed that Selby didn't need much in the way of encouragement to really chat and open up. Of course, he could have been very specific and talk about his work and life but instead he is more rambling, more about themes and feelings than he is about times, places or facts. This really helps the short film because it does feel like you're sitting at the feet of someone really interesting and just listening to their thoughts and inner workings. I would struggle to give you facts about his life but, my gosh, it was interesting just to listen to him. His down to earth personality stops him ever sounding (or being) pompous of full of himself. Instead he seems to have a real grip on what he is saying and he is effortlessly interesting where many of us would struggle to put our thoughts into words without being a) boring, b) pompous or c) both.
Overall this is a strange extra to find on the DVD but it is worth seeing. When it finishes you will not be able to tell anyone more than a few facts about Selby but you will have spent 20 minutes having your brain stimulated by his words. He is an interesting man and is well worth listening to and my only complaint was the abrupt manner that the film suddenly ends.
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