The BQA: Lauren Veloski


BAMcinemaFEST continues this week with more excellent premieres and indie gems like Sorry, Thanks, a romcom about, among other things, two hot, smart San Francisco women who vie for the same manboy. Produced and co-written by Park Sloper Lauren Veloski, the film’s only “name” actors include Andrew Bujalski, mumblecore star and director of Beeswax (which the film’s director, Dia Sokol, also produced), and Wiley Wiggins (remember the kid from Dazed and Confused? He grew up!). The rest of cast are non-professional actors who deliver a fresh take on the staid ensemble comedies Jud Apatow and buds have been churning out as of late.

Essentially called the first “commercial” mublecore hit (by this critic and fellow filmmaker), Sorry, Thanks screens at BAM this coming Wednesday, June 24 at 9:30pm (all showtimes are listed here). Below, Veloski weighs in with her answers to our latest BQA.

What’s so great about Brooklyn?
Trees, bricks, birds, stoops, sky, bridges (even though she technically takes the Staten Island Ferry, I feel like I’m Melanie Griffith commuting in Reebox every time I take the Q across the bridge—who’s not into that?), less risk of getting hit by a cab.

Any gripes?
Guys in super, super-tight peg jeans. Though it’s kind of endearing.

Name in order: your favorite breakfast, dinner and late-night drinks spot:
Oh, dear. I am not cool enough to have a late-night drinks spot! I don’t have one. Depends on budget, so order changes … but for breakfast/dinner I like The General Greene in Fort Greene. Chiles & Chocolate in Park Slope is amazing all-around. Egg is pretty great for brunch (although that wait is harrowing). I’m curious to try Vinegar Hill House, but fear it may be hip-overload. It looks lovely, though.

A Brooklynite you’d love to meet:
Steve Buscemi. I hear he’s a volunteer fireman! That might be a myth. [Ed. Note: We can’t confirm, either. Readers?]

One thing few people know about you:

I am a real over-sharer, so nothing may remain. Except! I won 4th place in a “trotting contest” (it was a horse trotting, not me) at a Texas summer camp in 1987. It meant a lot to me.

What else do you want to be or do?
Just more screenwriting/filmmaking. But for pay! Imagine that. And hopefully always in a way that’s really connecting with people genuinely, and isn’t just about “being a filmmaker” and trying to be cool. That’s what Dia and I have valued most about the experience of screening Sorry, Thanks so far—connecting with an audience is kind of magical, really. And I’d love to make a kids movie. And I have a indie sci-fi project I’m working on.

What are you reading, watching, or listening to right now?

Reading: I Am a Strange Loop, by Douglas Hofstadter, the new “collected” editions of Philip K. Dick, and Arda Collins’s poetry collection It Is Daylight (so incredible). Listening: only to WNYC, because I lost my ipod. Sad. Watching: I love Parks and Recreation (awesome and underrated!), I am a Charlie Rose devotee, and I’m trying to screw up the courage to watch that documentary, The Bridge (yikes).

Guiltiest pleasure in your fridge or cupboard:

What’s the one product, accessory, or piece of clothing you rely on to look good?

Your dream place to live in Brooklyn (style of house and neighborhood, please)
Well, I love where I live in Park Slope, but my room is basically a shoebox. So, I could improve on those dimensions. I guess: my own brownstone, with a Sesame Street stoop, lots of light, too much light, and a garden where I can make real legitimate use of my ridiculous rubber boots. I’ve been trying to grow my potted plants on a four-inch-wide window sill for a few months, and it’s like constant suicide watch for the poor tomato plant. He’s always falling over. Oh, and I’d love a place with a giant window seat! No neighborhood preference, just a nice view and nice people.

Interview by Nicole. Photo courtesy of BAM.

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