As both director and screenwriter for La Vie Nous Appartient, Alex K. Lee is the driving force behind the creation of La Vie Nous Appartient. He wrote the screenplay in a burst of creative activity, finishing the first draft in a matter of weeks, and less than a year later here we are on set with filming underway. Yet despite this involvement or even intimacy with the project, Alex is reluctant to discuss too many details regarding the film. The ideas, the symbolism, the significance, these are things Alex prefers to let speak for themselves. After all, “if the meaning could be expressed in a few simple sentences why make the film in the first place?”
This reluctance to explain himself applies not only to his work, but to his personal life as well. Having literally followed the director around for the
better part of a week, it has become clear that talking about himself is one of Alex’s least favorite things to do. That’s not to say he’s reticent – he’s a hands-on director and enthusiastically discusses the film’s progress – only it seems that deeper more personal thoughts and experiences are not something he would like to put on public display.
Of course this is all a bit paradoxical. Film is by definition a very public means of artistic expression and La Vie Nous Appartient tells a very personal story. This particular one concerns Sarah and Philip who, having failed to find consolation in their private pursuits of music and art, plan a dramatic suicide. Yet in attempting this suicide, perhaps their final means of self-expression, they form a bond and begin to understand that it is through personal connections and the sharing of experience that both art and life begin to have meaning.
Perhaps it is in this message that we find the resolution to our paradox. Through this film the director is able to share his experience – his art. Rather than trivialize life’s emotions and significance through inadequate and ill-expressed conversation, he gives it poetic form and shares it through film. And what could be a more satisfactory means of doing so than La Vie Nous Appartient? A film which, like the director himself, does not rely on a flashy exterior – external events like explosions or fast paced action – to express itself, but prefers a quiet expressivity: deceptively simple dialogue that masks an inner intensity to create a compelling subject.