Films by the Falls welcomes you to the first screening of the year, “Puzzle”, on January 29th at Fenelon Falls Secondary School. Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the show starts at 7:30 pm. Admission is only $10.
An excerpt from the Films by the Falls website:
“Life is random, but when you finish a puzzle you know you’ve made all the right choices.”
This wistful observation, spoken by one of the competitive jigsaw puzzlers at the center of Puzzle, articulates the subtle lure of puzzles in this quietly surprising character drama. As explained by PETER SARAF, one of the film’s producers, “You think of jigsaw puzzling as something incredibly solitary and inward, something that pulls you into a smaller world, but in Puzzle, this very solitary activity actually opens up the world for our heroine.”
Collectively, the filmmakers who bring us Puzzle have opened up the world for many years with beguiling stories and complex characters. Puzzle marks the directorial debut of longtime producer MARC TURTLETAUB, Saraf’s partner in Big Beach Productions and also a Puzzle producer. Big Beach has produced such acclaimed and popular character-driven films as Little Miss Sunshine, Everything Is Illuminated, Away We Go, and Loving. Big Beach collaborates on producing Puzzle with Olive Productions’ WREN ARTHUR (Submission, Final Portrait, A Prairie Home Companion) and producer GUY STODEL (Be Kind Rewind, Bastille Day). Screenwriter OREN MOVERMAN (who shares writing credit with POLLY MANN) adds Puzzle to his list of distinguished script credits, which include The Dinner, Time Out of Mind, Love & Mercy, and The Messenger.
Puzzle is adapted from the Argentine film Rompecabezas (Spanish for puzzle), writer/director NATALIA SMIRNOFF’s debut film set in Buenos Aires. Producer Stodel, a former acquisitions executive, had long experience identifying foreign films that could click with American audiences; he was charmed by the idea of jigsaw puzzles as an unlikely instrument of self-discovery, and saw in Rompecabezas a strong candidate for an English-language adaptation.
“The film’s sensibility was very Argentinian, but it had a universal story about a middle-aged woman who's been underestimated and taken for granted by her family,” Stodel explains. “She discovers she has this talent for jigsaw puzzling and secretly enters a competition with a man she meets through an ad. The puzzles are the catalyst for figuring out her life and relationships and making choices. That’s something anybody can identify with.”
After acquiring adaptation rights, Stodel teamed up with producer Wren Arthur, who recalls: “I fell in love with this character, with her vulnerability and her courage in trying to figure out who she was in a roomful of men who weren’t really interested in knowing her. It was a very specific way to show a woman waking up and reckoning with her life. It’s small but it’s hers and it’s real. I’d never done an adaptation before and thought it was a really exciting opportunity.”