NYFF 54: Highlights from Manchester By The Sea Press Conference

This piece is part of The Moviegoer's ongoing coverage of the 54th New York Film Festival.

On September 30th, Manchester By The Sea was screened for press at the 54th New York Film Festival. Following the powerful film (read my review here), director Kenneth Lonergan participated in a press conference, taking questions from a moderator and the audience. Here are three highlights from the discussion!

1. Lonergan discussed the differences between writing for cinema and writing for theater As both an accomplished playwright and screenwriter, Lonergan believes that "the physical environment and the world that the characters live in are so much better portrayed by film than by theater". Instead, Lonergan believes that theater focuses primarily on interior environments and can only suggest the grandness of the outdoors.

2. Lonergan "couldn't agree more" with the heaps of praise for Casey Affleck's performance Lonergan has worked with Casey Affleck before on a play, and although the part was not written for Affleck, he believed that he would be the perfect choice to play Lee.

3. Matt Damon was originally scheduled to direct and star as the lead character Matt Damon was initially scheduled to play the role and utilize Manchester as his directorial debut. Due to scheduling conflicts, Damon passed on the role and offered the role to Casey Affleck.