In Surreal 'Limerence,' Filmed Partially At The Music Box, Love Gets Crazy

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 24, 2016 9:13PM

'Limerence' teaser poster

Local film production house Glass City Films already has a number of long and short features under its belt, and they aren't afraid of a little genre-hopping—they've taken forays into horror (Chrysalis), romantic thrillers (Happily After), and character drama (Separation Anxiety).

But to judge by the teaser trailer for their latest project, Limerence, Glass City is looking to stretch into brand new—and surreal—territory.

The company is currently running a Kickstarter to fund the local, independent feature. In order to get a clearer idea of Limerence's artistic goals, we spoke with Glass City's Dan Pederson, the film's writer and director, and John Klein, its producer.

Can you give a short description of what the film is about? The trailer makes it look like a wild ride, but—what does "limerence" even mean?

DAN PEDERSEN: The word "limerence" means the state of being infatuated with someone, but to such an extent that it becomes involuntary and intrusive. You can’t escape it. This film is sort of exploring what people mean when they say, “There’s a fine line between love and mental illness.”

Our main character Phoebe works as a projectionist in a family movie theater, and has been stuck there so long she’s almost become a recluse. She’s a little nutty, and very fantasy-prone. 

One day, she meets a woman who’s basically her opposite: direct, confident, interesting, outgoing and warm. Phoebe falls head-over-heels for her, tries to reject those feelings, screws up a few chances at making a connection, and basically goes right down the rabbit hole into her own head.

Then it gets extra weird. Hallucinations, pyrokinesis, goddesses, the works. Phoebe gets peeled like an onion until there’s no choice left but to confess her feelings to this stranger.

What have you found most exciting about the project thus far?

PEDERSEN: Well, first off, Limerence is a really exciting opportunity for us to really mess with the audience—to make them question what is real. I love movies like that, films like Black Swan, Fight Club, Persona, and Amelie. 
We have to put the audience inside Phoebe's head, to put them on the rollercoaster with her as she goes head-over-heels and her mental state breaks down. So we’re gonna recreate that hallucinatory experience, that mistrust of your own feelings and perceptions. We want to pull the rug out from under you, grab you by the heart and knock you on your ass. Because that’s what falling in love feels like. If we do this right, the audience will be leaning forward in their chairs, 100% locked in, and afraid to blink. 

Secondly, I’m excited to tell a story that puts women front and center, that puts a same-sex relationship front and center, but doesn’t make that the sole focus of the film. I think that’s pretty unusual for movies right now on multiple levels. And I actually think those choices make this film more relatable and universal as a whole.

Michaela Petro as Tig in 'Limerence'

Here’s what I mean when I say that: I think if our main character was a man obsessed with a woman, the film wouldn’t work—it would feel stalkerish and our audience would probably get tripped up in the gender roles. If it was a woman obsessed with a man, it’d have the same problem. It would always feel like we were commenting on gender or being sexist. 

But using one gender to show both sides of the issue solves that. Phoebe’s withdrawn and fantasy-prone. Tig is warm, pragmatic and direct. Using the same gender and the same sexual orientation to portray two completely different characters—to show both sides of the coin—it sort of removes those stereotype issues and lets us tell a story about relationships, about love, about people in general. Whoever you are, whatever you are, there will be someone in this film you can relate to.

How is Limerence stretching you beyond what you've accomplished on past films?

JOHN KLEIN: What's fun about Limerence is how it doesn't actually fit into any one genre.  It's a love story of sorts, but it's also very supernatural and strange, and it's also a character drama that happens to be sometimes thrilling and horrifying. That's certainly stretching our abilities as storytellers.  And from a logistical standpoint, it's got more moving parts than we've ever dealt with to date. There are a lot of visual effects that we're trying to achieve practically, and our primary locations—the Music Box and the Pickwick Theater—are a challenge to work with in terms of schedule, since they're working theaters.  

What would folks who are not indie film fans find exciting about the project?

PEDERSEN: Exciting? O.K., for starters, when was the last time you saw someone get so worked up they literally burst into flames?

If you're interested in helping fund the film you can do so here.

This interview was condensed and edited for clarity.