We talk to the writer/director about the extended DVD cut of his sophomore film
KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic -- Kenneth Lonergan begins our interview with a stumble -- a literal one, as he trips himself trotting up the stairs to our plush riverside hotel lounge in loosely laced sneakers, sheepishly proffering a hand as he breaks his fall. He cheerily mocks his own gracelessness, but still seems a little outside his rhythm as he takes a seat, sugaring his cappuccino with a light tremble of the hand. He crinkles the paper sachet as his gentle gaze finds me through two-tone spectacles. He is not, I suspect, a man given to visible and expansive relaxation.
And yet Lonergan must be feeling more relaxed than he has done in many a year -- and not only because all practical realities seem a little further away in the mountain air and fierce sun of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where his second feature film as a director has just been unveiled to an appreciative Czech crowd. That film, "Margaret," was, for five years, something of a creative millstone around the literate, soft-spoken New York playwright and screenwriter's neck -- tangled in post-production complications that have become the stuff of industry lore, not to mention an ongoing lawsuit.