Director and Slamdance co-founder Dan Mirvish is not only my friend and a legendary annual fixture in Park City—he’s also a damn fine indie filmmaker. His last effort, Between Us, starred Julia Stiles and Taye Diggs (as well as the criminally underrated Melissa George), and was a trenchant look at sexual politics in the twenty-first century. His newest, Bernard and Huey, which premiered at this year’s Slamdance is just as good. Which is to say, very very good. With a script by the great Jules Feiffer, and based on two of the cartoonist’s most beloved characters, it’s a look at the friendship of, in the current parlance, an alpha and a beta male in their early twenties, and again some thirty or so years later. It’s hilarious, heart-breaking, and sneakily wise. That actors like Jim Rash and David Koechner would be stellar, you could probably expect, not to mention exemplary supporting performances from favorites like Mae Whitman, Nancy Travis, and Sasha Alexander, all of whom are consistently excellent. But Mirvish also coaxes beautifully sketched performances from the two actors playing the younger versions of the two main characters, Jake O’Connor and Jay Renshaw. For most of the time I was in Park City, Bernard and Huey was my favorite film I had seen at either festival. It's that good. Mirvish and O’Connor sat down with us to talk about the making of the film.
Photos by Gordon Hight.