Love stories, infidelity and midlife crises are conventional and recurrent themes in cinema, but indie film maker Drake Doremus manages to offer a fresh take on the genre with his new film Breathe In (2013). By using hand-held cameras and letting his leads semi-improvise the dialogue, the director strikes a fragile and melodramatic balance while an emotionally charged score from Berlin based American pianist and composer Dustin O’Halloran takes centre stage. After the 2011 Sundance hit Like Crazy, it is the second time Doremus and O’Halloran collaborate on a film project. Breathe In premiered at the 2013 edition of the Sundance Film Festival.
The life of Keith (Guy Pearce), a music teacher and casual cellist for a New York orchestra is disrupted by the arrival of British exchange student Sophie (Felicity Jones) who comes to stay for a semester with her host family in upstate New York.
Including originals alongside works from Chopin and two tracks from his 2011 release A Winged Victory for the Sullen with Adam Wiltzie, Dustin O’Halloran’s modern classical and piano driven score underpins the many silent exchanges between the two main protagonists.
Probably my biggest influence early on was watching a lot of European films in the ‘80s—the Kieślowski Three Colors trio, Betty Blue, Truffaut, etc. All of these films had strong, emotional stories but also the music was always a really big part. Film scores in general have always been a big influence as well, I feel like those moments when they really come together, it’s one of the most powerful forms of art. Dustin O’Halloran on “Breathe In”