Josh Goldin, Writer/Director "Wonderful World"
I loved working with Joan. It was such a strenuous, limbering mental workout and so much of what came out of it stayed with me in a very deep way. The sense of serious fun you have when working is unusual and genuine and freeing. The notion that you can be reverent and joyous at the same time should be the definition of sanity, I think. (I read a while back that Liv Ullman had an absolute blast making PERONA.) Art can't be made with bowed head. The sessions we did privately were invaluable. And it showed in the performances, especially Matthew's which has been singled out as his best since ELECTION. I entered the grueling production with absolutely no fear of the actors.
My fearlessness and natural enjoyment of being with people after years locked up in my office writing made the set like a big party. There were moments I actually worried that I was having too much fun. A big epiphany that came during my work with Joan was that at a late point in the movie, Matthew's character feels two emotions at once--absolute love for the world, and utter devastation. Not being a programmatic sort of guy, I changed the place in the script where this was to happen, putting it at the very last moment of the movie. On Matthew's close-up, I gave him that literal direction to feel the two emotions at once. The pained, hopeful, sad, released look on his face closes the movie with poignant ambiguity.