Innocence is a wonderful film, and 11 years after it was made its still a wonderful film.
Speaking at the Dendy where the film was shown, its maker Paul Cox says Innocence is about the possibilities of love. An elderly man contacts the woman who was the great love of his youth and it turns their long still lives upside down.
Cox said he had not watched the film for a long time himself and had forgotten how strong the actors, particularly Julia Blake was in her role, and of the totality of the actor’s giving to their roles.
The film flashes back but does not detail their younger stories. It also flashes back to paintings. “We should honour the past more than celebrate the present because in my humble opinion we’ve made a terrible mess of the planet.”
“My opinion hasn’t changed in 11 years since the film. There is also a flash across to a scene where a mouth is stitched up. Cox says this scene is to say, “Let’s all shut up. People are talking too much.”
“Everything has to be explained – but I don’t want to explain anything.”
The film score is very important to Cox. Music is the basis for all creative people, he says.
The theme is based on a East European music that for some weeks or months he heard coming through the walls every night. He then whistle and hummed the music to Paul Grabowsky who composed the score. Cox says he plays the music on set.
The story started with a family reunion of Cox’s family in Europe – old Russian aunts and many family members and the visions of loving people and knowing they you are facing inevitable loss. And he saw his family who had not always had an easy time, walking hand-in-hand along the country road .
We must love one another, says Cox.
Norman Kaye, Cox’s very best friend plays a role in the movie. They had grown up together and worked on sixteen movies.
“Norman already had Alzheimer’s – that’s why I gave him a young wife just in case he lost the plot – she overdid it a little in the repeating his lines.
There is a scene in the movie inspired by the two friend’s last meeting. Kaye took Cox into a church “just before he [Kaye] had really slipped out” and told Cox to lay down right in the middle and he climbed up to the organ and played like a God.”
“It was his last concert and he was unbelievable, and I stood their weeping my eyes out and I knew that was the last concert he ever gave and that was celebrating our friendship and everything that was impossible that we made possible.
And this is how it is listening to Paul Cox speak. And I will be sure to hear him again if I possibly can. Stunning.