Daniel Kwan is keeping an eye on the cinephile discussions that are held on Twitter. In a press conference accompanied by Omelete, the director of Everything in Every Place at the Same Time confessed that the film was partly inspired by the recurring debate about the domination of blockbusters, especially superheroes, in multiplexes around the world. As Kwan himself admits, the Hollywood industry seemed (and still seems) divided.
“[There are] the ‘important’, dramatic films that gain consideration at the awards; and the great blockbusters that dominate commercial movie theaters. A lot of people argue, especially on Twitter, the merits of one type of film against the merits of another – but I love both!” he says. “I love a good action movie, but I also really appreciate personal movies that don’t always find a large audience.”
Alongside creative partner Daniel Scheinert, therefore, the filmmaker sought to combine these two types of cinema, often seen as antithetical. “I can’t even believe it worked! I am glad that so many people went to see the film on the big screen, and were able to have an emotional and cathartic experience in the cinema, which is something that the younger generation does not always get to experience”, he comments.
“Above all else, we wanted to make a film that entertains, that we ourselves want to watch”, guarantees Scheinert. “But as we wrote it, it became more and more personal. Sometimes, we were even a little embarrassed by how emotional the scenes were, wondering if it was too much for a kung fu movie. At the end of the day, we wrote a movie about family that really became about family when the actors came in and poured themselves completely into these characters, on a mission to make them real.”
The director still marvels at the fact that, “on paper, Everything in Everywhere doesn’t sound like an international blockbuster”. “We’ve done just the opposite of trying to appeal to a universal audience: this is a very specific story told, in three different languages, centered on a unique immigrant community,” he lists. “It’s that old cliché of discovering universal truths within specific stories. We’re just chasing honest, real emotions, and we’ve come to a place where people, even if they’re not Chinese-American, can relate to the characters.”
Everything Everywhere at Once is available for streaming NOW, and for purchase and rent on platforms such as Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.