No One Ever Said
Follow the five steps below to get the most out of your UnLonely Film Festival experience!
Step 1: Watch the film.
A young woman comes back home to start again. Remnants of the substance misuse that took her away remain as she struggles, alone, to forge the new connections — relationships and expressive outlets — that will support her.
About the FIlmmaker
Jane Stephens Rosenthal is a poet, an actor, and a filmmaker living in Los Angeles. Her directorial debut, No One Ever Said, had its premiere at The Los Angeles Independent Filmmakers Showcase and has appeared in a number of festivals since then. She has also written opera and edited the experimental magazine The Newer York.
Did you set out to explore loneliness in your film and if so, what prompted this focus?
Art has always been a source of comfort and companionship for me throughout my life. There are movies I can point to, music, pieces of art, poets that have made me feel less alone in the world, and that connecting has saved me over and over again. I think loneliness is a big part of the human experience and I have always wanted to reach out and say “hey me too” in my art, the way other artists (filmmakers, musicians, poets, novelists, essayists) have done for me.
Did any of your viewers give you feedback that reflected this aspect of your film?
I know that people felt seen when they saw my film, whether they were struggling with addiction, or just growing up, or just being human.
What do you hope UnLonely Film Festival audiences, trying to make sense of loneliness and isolation and navigate a path forward, take from your film?
That there is always a solution, a way forward, a choice to connect.
Step 2: Explore these things after watching the film.
- The protagonist ends up unexpectedly participating in a dance event. Have you recently said yes to participating in something that you were reluctant to try? What was that experience like for you? Did you regret it or did it feel liberating in some way?
- The woman is starting over but is haunted by reminders of her addiction and her former self as she unpacks her belongings. Are there parts of yourself or your history that pop up from time to time leaving you shamed or distressed? Have you ever talked about it to the people around you? Or do you, like the woman in the film, try to flush the evidence away?
- We see the woman relax and enjoy herself only at the moments when she is dancing and listening to music. Can you relate? When was the last time you lost yourself in a song?
- Make your own cover art for the music that moves you. Put together a playlist of the music that has been inspiring you lately. Then take inspiration from the perpetually-transforming performer David Bowie (whose album art the woman in the film hung on her walls) and try to visually represent how you feel by the music on your playlist, using the medium of your choosing—photography, color pencils, pens, etc. Feel free to experiment with another one of Bowie’s interests: costumes. If you want to take it a step further, upload your drawing or photo to photoshop and play around with titles and fonts to create your very own unique playlist cover.
- The main character walks into her apartment at the end of the film with a big bouquet of sunflowers. Try to draw inspiration and joy from your own bouquet. If you’re in the country, head out for a long walk with a friend to see if you can find some wildflowers to pick or if you’re in the city, head to the florist and pick a random assortment of flowers. Once home, take some time to create a beautiful bouquet of the flowers in a vase. Display the bouquet prominently and think about inviting a friend or two over to help you enjoy them even more.
- Dance it out! Pick one of your favorite songs to dance to and set up your phone on a table to record it. Dress in comfortable clothes, play some songs to warm-up to, and then let yourself go. Reflect on the video recording: how does it feel to watch yourself dance?
Our Try This page has even more creative expression inspiration!
Step 3: Join in the conversation about the film.
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