Andrea James

Living Things

Dinner. Debate. Detonation.

Rhona, a yoga instructor committed to a vegan lifestyle, must entertain Leo, her red meat-loving, blue collar father-in-law, as she waits for her husband to join them for dinner. When Leo attempts to apologize for a past insult, he instead opens up a debate that challenges her belief system. Their conversation quickly escalates into a heated argument that scrutinizes animal cruelty, climate change, health, morality, and spirituality.

Endorsed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and reminiscent of the classic film My Dinner With Andre, Living Things presents a compelling dialogue about humanity and the benefits of a healthier, environmentally-conscious lifestyle.

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MM: For Living Things: A Vegan & Meat Debate, you crafted a gripping drama with a very micro-budget set up: a dialogue  over food choices that escalates into a surprise ending.

ES: With both my films, I knew I was ready to go when I was so excited about the premise and material that I was completely willing to go back and make the film a second time if I felt I screwed it up the first time. When I’m getting that kind of head-to-toe reaction, I know it’s time to go for it. The process is so taxing that it’s not worth feeling mixed or damp about. With Living Things, I was ignited by the challenge of seeing how absorbing I could make an encounter between just two characters. Since they’re in a conflict over veganism and meat-eating, dinner was a natural setting, so we were fully justified in setting the film at a dinner table. We had limited funds and limited time, but it was difficult to resist. I’d love to make a film on a larger scale, but at the same time, I want the ones I’m actually able to make to come out solid. So I’ll probably keep things tight and spare until I can afford not to.

Vegans vs. Carnivores: Living Things’ Eric Shapiro

Mark R. Leeper review:




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