LLFF Speaks with Filmmaker Beth Cannon

October 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Beth Cannon, Fat Girls Can’t Dance filmmaker, took a few minutes to answer our off-the-cuff interview questions so that we may get to know her a wee bit better.  Here’s what Beth had to say …

LL: How old were you when you realized you wanted to be a filmmaker? Describe your moment.

 BC: It was actually a gradual realization – or rather a gradual realization that it was something within my reach, due in no small part to the independent film movement of the late 80’s and early 90’s and the digital revolution.  But truly it is a desire that has been with me as long as I can remember.  My mom tells a story about me as a little girl — apparently I was watching The Wizard of Oz for maybe the 6th or 7th time and she asked me why I was watching the movie again – she couldn’t imagine why I wanted to watch a movie more than once.  I answered “Because I see something different every time, Mommy.”  I love that – so matter of fact and so true.

LL: What is currently your favorite movie of all time? Why?.

BC: I think I’m going to have to go with Singin’ in the Rain.  I actually saw it on stage before I saw the movie, because my high school did a production of it (it actually rained on stage!) and I immediately went to rent the movie which, of course, I adored.  I have since seen the movie many times and the stage production in London.  I love that is a movie that transcends generations, I could watch it with my Grandma and we would both enjoy it equally.

LL: How did you decide on the title for your film?

BC: Well, the film’s main character has a set of rules that she lives by, some of which are explained in the film, and “Fat Girls Can’t Dance” is intended to be one of the rules that she learns to break.  When I made the film I had the thought that it could expand into a larger world and perhaps be the basis for a television show in which “The Rules” play a significant role.  And I think it’s a statement that we all relate to – no matter who we are, there are things that we tell ourselves we cannot do and sometimes we are really holding ourselves back from living our lives.  We have to learn to break the rules when appropriate.

LL: If you were to “label” your genre of film, what would that be? And what draws and/or inspires you to make this type of film?

BC: I have a real soft spot for romantic comedies and I suppose that is the genre in which my short lives.  In general, I love comedy and I wish more women were making comedies and romantic comedies.  When Harry Met Sally is one of my all time favorites and Nora Ephron is a role model, but I also really love some of the more modern romantic comedies – they have a little more edge to them, but I still would call them romantic comedies.  I loved 500 Days of Summer and I love what Lena Dunham is doing on her show, Girls.  She is so daring – it’s really refreshing to have her voice in the mix.

LL: If you could work with anyone in “Hollywood”, who would it be?  and why?

BC: I actually love Drew Barrymore and would be lucky to work with her someday.  I admire that she has come out on top.  She’s been through a lot and it would be so easy to be jaded – but from what I hear she is one of the most genuine, nicest people in Hollywood and she has really made it work for herself.  I loved her directorial debut, Whip It.  I wish I could have worked on that film!

Fat Girls Can’t Dance will be part of the “Comedy Shorts” segment Friday afternoon, October 26th at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City, IA (time/location subject to change).

Thank you, Beth!

We look forward to screening your film at Landlocked this year and seeing more of your work in the future!


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