• Kiva Reardon

Connor Jessup is watching "Bright Star" - IG Live May 8 @ 7.00pm EST

What are you watching?

Bright Star, Jane Campion, 2009

Why did you decide to watch or re-watch this movie now?

I had never seen it before, and I've been trying to catch up on Campion. Also, I've been hungry for anything genuinely swooning and romantic (or I guess, in this case, Romantic). All the books and movies I've felt overwhelmed by this month have been romances. Maybe I miss my boyfriend?

Describe how you watched the movie. Did this environment compliment the movie? Did it take you away from the movie?

I actually watched the movie three times (ish), in three different ways. The first was by myself, in the morning, in my pyjamas, on my TV, with coffee. I'm glad I watched it alone first, because it let me pause and cry. I couldn't sleep that night, my bedroom felt awful and stuffy for some reason, so I moved to the couch and put the movie on again, sort of half watching, in and out of sleep, which was so wonderful. Then I watched again the next night with my best friend, who I've been in quarantine with. Three very different experiences.

Were there specific moments in the movie that made you think: "Dang, I wish somebody was watching this with me?" What were those moments and why? If not, why was it suited to watching solo?

Every second Ben Whishaw was on screen. But honestly, the movie is just one remarkable image and idea and scene after another. There's a moment in the middle of the movie when Keats and Fanny are sitting together on a couch, and he takes her hand, and there's this lingering cutaway of their fingers intermeshing, and his are stained with ink, and something about the sound, the crispness, is just unbearably sensual and movingI really wished I could reach and squeeze my best friend's leg. But one of the joys of watching great movies alone is you start to thrum with excitement at the idea of being able to eventually share them with other people, with people you care about. That anticipation adds something.

Is there a Covid-19 relief fund or organisation you'd encourage people to give to/and or support?

There's an organization called Feed the Frontlines TO that's doing wonderful work here in Toronto, providing meals from local restaurants to frontline healthcare and social service workers.

Tell us about yourself!

Connor is an actor and filmmaker best known for his leading roles in Netflix’s fantasy series Locke & Key and ABC’s Emmy-winning drama American Crime. He was named one of the 25 New Faces in Independent Film in 2016 by Filmmaker Magazine and has been featured in The New York Times, Interview, IndieWire and The Globe and Mail, among others.

His short films have played at major festivals around the world, including TIFF, Palm Springs and Clermont-Ferrand. In 2018, he directed a documentary portrait of Palme d’Or-winning Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul for The Criterion Collection. In 2019, he produced the omnibus film 30/30 VISION, which included new work by Ira Sachs, Catherine Breillat, Lulu Wang, Brady Corbet and more. He is currently in development on his debut narrative feature.

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