Marcy Dermansky on Her Shifting Relationship to Film
In Conversation with Brad Listi on Otherppl
Marcy Dermansky is the guest. Her new novel, Hurricane Girl, is available from Knopf.
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From the episode:
Brad Listi: I remember you writing film criticism, if I’m recalling correctly. I want to hear you talk more about your relationship to pop culture and pop culture narratives, and how you think it might still inform the work that you do as a fiction writer.
Marcy Dermansky: I used to love film, and I actually feel a real loss that I don’t watch it that often anymore. Since COVID I’ve stopped going to the movies, but even with streaming it at home, I feel so much more drawn to TV and to one-hour narratives. I don’t quite understand why and what’s changed. I feel very fidgety when I watch films.
With my second novel, which is called Bad Marie, I was in a phase of my life where I was watching so many French films and I just loved them so much that I wrote that book—I wanted it to be like a French film. And I don’t do that anymore. Maybe I’ve lost something from that.
Brad Listi: I feel the same way. I used to go to the movies all the time.
Marcy Dermansky: For me it was the big thing when I grew up. I grew up in suburban New Jersey, and I used to take the bus into New York and I’d go see arthouse films. That was what I did. Sometimes I would take friends. That was my equivalent of Sunday night was going to New York to see movies. My Life as a Dog was the first movie I saw. It just blew my mind. It was so lovely and Swedish and I saw it like three times and it made me cry. I just love things that can make me cry. I feel like that’s such an achievement.
Marcy Dermansky is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Very Nice, The Red Car, Bad Marie, and Twins. She has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and The Edward F. Albee Foundation. She lives with her daughter in Montclair, New Jersey.