On January 26th the Music Box Theatre, for the third time, was delighted to take part in the Sundance USA program, and held a premiere for Julie Delpy’s continuation of 2 Days in Paris, appropriately titled 2 Days In New York.
Moving forward with Marion’s (Delpy, 2 Days In Paris) story, 2 Days In New York was conceived almost primarily on the basis of ‘Why not a sequel,’ as Director/Screenwriter/Actress Julie Delpy put it. Delpy envisioned the next chapter being an atypical follow-up, taking place in New York, focused around Marion but with a new love interest to shock and humiliate with her increasingly odd family.
2 Days In New York was very warmly received by the Music Box audience, a sentiment reciprocated by attendee Alexia Landeau – supporting actress, co-writer – and Julie Delpy, who appeared via Skype. Julie encouraged people to not be shy and entertained the crowd, poking fun of her distorted face as the Skype connection tended to lag. Both Landeau and Delpy were gracious enough to participate in a Q&A following the film.
Landeau confirmed the film was shot in New York with a much larger production crew, which intensified the financial requirements. Alexia also suggested casting Chris Rock increased the size of the staff to include bodyguards and other assistants, but claimed all-around pressure wasn’t felt by her. Julie Delpy later tagged on the answer by explaining why New York was “downplayed” on screen. “I love New York, visually, but every time I put the camera somewhere I felt like I’d seen that shot before (in films). I wanted New York, but I didn’t want, like, a postcard of New York, or to look like we were selling New York.” Julie further described the financial frustrations by confessing that production had to stop somewhere in the middle, when they ran out of money. “At Thanksgiving, I ate my turkey very sadly because I thought the film wouldn’t get finished at all.”
In 2 Days In New York, Marion is now living with her boyfriend, Mingus (Chris Rock), and is no longer seeing Jack (Adam Goldberg, 2 Days In Paris). Julie Delpy thought it was essential for a sequel that Marion be involved with a new man, lest the concept be too much like Before Sunrise & Before Sunset. When asked ‘Why Chris Rock,’ Delpy replied that he came to mind first; “I couldn’t think of anybody else.” She explained her method of recruiting Rock: “I happen to know Rock’s agent, because I’ve been fired by every agent in Las Angeles. Chris had seen and liked 2 Days In Paris, and agreed to work on a sequel.” Questions were raised about a language barrier – Rock doesn’t speak French, and Albert Delpy (Julie’s father and co-star) doesn’t speak much English. Landeau claimed that the difficulty, she believes, actually helped Chris Rock be in the moment; not understanding lines thrown at him, the confused expressions on his face were real. Although, Landeau claimed 95% of the movie was scripted, despite the room for adlibs, and in fact there were few changes to the script from inception to completion.
One crowd member pointed out the theme of selling one’s soul throughout the film to Ms. Deply (In the film, Marion auctions off her soul as a ‘Conceptual art piece). Julie replied, “I’m an atheist, but there’s a part of me that hopes for a greater…something; I have a little bit of hope, and Marion is a lot like that.” Julie augmented the reply with her perception of capitalization in today’s world. “People make money with anything. We’re ready to, like, advertise a wedding – we’ll sell anything.”
2 Days In New York was debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, but currently only has a March 2012 release scheduled in France. Julie Delpy can next be seen in acting in Les Passages, due out later this year.