Kenneth Lonergan discusses how sadness in film can feel good

Kenneth Lonergan discusses his new film Manchester by the Sea and how feeling sadness through art isn't the same as feeling sadness in real life.
Kenneth Lonergan discusses sadness in film and his new movie Manchester by the Sea (Bria John)

"I don't think feeling sadness in a work of fiction is the same as feeling sadness in real life," says director Kenneth Lonergan. In real life people have to work through the pain of their emotions but in movies, "that painful feeling that you have in real life, that you wish would go away, kind of goes through your system in a way that feels good."

Lonergan explores this notion in his new film Manchester By the Sea starring Casey Affleck. Affleck plays a man who is forced to return home after his brother dies to become the guardian of his nephew. Lonergan says it's a collaboration between the actor and the director, "getting both of your imaginations together on the same fantasy" in order to portray the character.

Today, it seems movies often focus on happily ever after or finding idealized resolutions. Lonergan says he's just trying to be truthful and that, "the idea of an actor is to try to actually have real feelings in an imaginary situation." 

WEB EXTRA | Watch the trailer for Manchester By the Sea below.


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