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Interview: Filmmaker John Carney Discusses Making More Magical Movie Music With ‘Flora and Son’

Few filmmakers know how to make me happier than John Carney. From Once and Begin Again to Sing Street and now Flora and Son, Carney just crafts movies filled with music and joy. He’s got the key to my cinematic heart. At the Toronto International Film Festival, Flora and Son was among the best titles this year for me. Shortly after coming home from the fest, I was able to hop on Zoom with the writer/director to discuss this wonderful new work. Today, our conversation comes your way.

In my rave review of Flora and Son out of TIFF (found here), I had this to say about Carney’s latest gem:

At this point, you know what to expect walking into a John Carney film. That’s not a criticism, either, as the filmmaker is wildly consistent. He has a bright view of the world, has impeccable musical tastes, and ends his movies in a way that leaves you with a song in your heart. That’s all true once again here with Flora and Son. Making this stop at the Toronto International Film Festival before hitting Apple, it’s an early favorite of the festival for me.

Flora and Son delighted me to no end. It’s funny, emotional, full of solid music, and leaves you with a smile on your face. Whether in a festival environment like here at TIFF or in general, what more can you ask for? Movies like this are rare gems and deserve to be treated as such. Honestly, I never wanted this film to end.

John Carney continues with what’s been working for him, both as a writer and a director. The only switch here is that there’s one random line that’s extraordinarily dirty, compared to the rest of the flick. It’s not a bad thing and works in the film’s context, but it’s a bit jarring for him. In some ways, this is his Cameron Crowe picture, a filmmaker he’s always seemed a kindred spirit to. Carney is perpetually underrated, so hopefully that changes with this one.

Below, you can hear my chat with Carney. We talk a lot in our short time about how he crafts cinema that charms and uplifts. It’s fascinating to hear him say that he knows there’s more complex films to be made, but that he knows what he does well and feels like it’s what he’s meant to be doing. I love what he’s doing, so if you ask me, he should keep it up. I hope he makes 100 more of these. Give our back and forth a listen, but also be sure to watch Flora and Son when it debuts on Apple TV+ in just a few short days…

Apple Original Films

Here now is my interview with Flora and Son filmmaker John Carney. Enjoy:

Flora and Son hits Apple TV+ this weekend!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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