Director's Statement: Paul Andrew Williams
UNFINISHED SONG is an incredibly affecting project and possibly the most personal
script I've written. Not because the characters are all relatable to me, though some
aspects of the story certainly are, but because I have tried to make elements of the
film personal to everyone. Ever since I started writing I have always tried to bring truth
and the natural complexity of human nature to my characters, never more so than
I often wondered what would make a tough old man -- a father and grandfather
who is grumpy and difficult and hard to extract emotion from -- come out of his shell
and be prepared to open himself up. What makes a certain generation unhappy
unless they are being unhappy or making everyone else unhappy? I wanted to
explore what would bring out emotions buried inside, with the ability to see life a bit
The film hints at the relationship between my grandfather and grandmother, the love
and duty of their generation and how the normal working-class person deals with
emotion, loneliness and loss. Could they possibly come out of it all with a smile and a
dance in the end?
My grandfather loved my Gran. In fact, I would say she was the one positive thing in
his life that had any effect on him. He would do anything for her, and she for him. She
accepted him for all his moaning and bitterness because she could see that
underneath it all, he was a good man. He had taken care of her, been there for her,
made her laugh and every now and again dipped his toe into romance for her.
When she got every type of cancer she could, he looked after her, nursed her and
loved her with something totally unconditional. When she eventually died, he was in
great pain and for the first time in his life he sobbed.
I was inspired by seeing how my grandfather cared for my grandmother, the
sacrifices he made, and the effect of losing someone you've spent every night with
for fifty years. It seems the fear of admitting one's frailties or needs can eat someone
up and destroy those around them.
With a troubled father-son relationship like that between Arthur and James, would
they crumble and give up once the one thing they both loved was gone? Or could
there be something that might force them to change their outlook on life and want
to be better?
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