One of the most interesting shorts in this year’s TIFF selection is Canadian filmmaker Molly McGlynn’s 3-Way (Not Calling). The film follows a couple that decides to spice things up a bit by inviting their local barista into their bedroom for some experimentation. Among the many somber films in this year’s selection, 3-Way (Not Calling) comes as a breath of fresh air. Read on for our interview with McGlynn in which we discuss the creation and inspiration behind the film.
Scene Creek: Where did the idea come from?
Molly McGlynn: I was listening to a podcast about threesomes – it’s not autobiographical. My boyfriend is our producer, which made it interesting to crew up for this. People were wondering if it was something we’d done [laughs]. I think it’s more about the pop-culture interests in open relationships and polyamory and all that which I think we’re seeing. All of that pretty much has the sexual dynamics covered but I think a big part of it that is not addressed is what that does in terms of identity or your relationship. We also often do not see female led stories about the topic.
SC: Did making this film change your opinion on threesomes?
MM: Totally. I’ve known people who have had serious sort of relationship dynamics and I’m in a happy committed relationship, but I think for a large part of my twenties I was in relationships or not, I was kind of just flailing around a bit. I think there’s something when you settle down and think that you’ve found your person where part of you wonders if you’ll ever be the person you were before ever again. You’re saying goodbye to yourself in some ways and even though it’s not autobiographical I think I identify with the idea of being in a committed relationship when you’ve had an erratic youth.
SC: The film never frowns upon sexual experimentation. It never offers a concrete opinion on whether having a threesome is a productive experiment. Was it important for this to be your message throughout?
MM: Yes, totally. I didn’t want to be didactic about it or tell anyone what they should be doing. I felt very adamantly that I wanted to say that people in relationships have the ability to make decisions that only matter to them and I think something like this in some cases can be really benificial depending on your relationship. Who I am to say it wouldn’t be?
SC: Was it surprising for you as a short filmmaker to have a sex comedy like this in the selection?
MM: It was. My last short film was about two sisters grieving after their deceased mother. So I knew I needed to do something different. I actually felt more comfortable in this world then I did when I made my last film. I’m starting to settle into what kinds of films I want to make. For me, I think its easier to address conflicts through comedy. Some of the earnesty makes me cringe. I just think it’s fun and it’s playful and the world is certainly saturated with enough depressing stuff right now. Some people do that very well, I just didn’t feel like I personally could add anything to that. We had no funding – we got turned down for funding – we had a two day shoot. I just said, “fuck it, let’s do it and have fun.” It turned out well and I was very surprised that TIFF programmed it.
SC: Why do you think it’s so difficult to get funding for something that strays from the norm?
MM: It’s a tough one. I think if we had gotten funding that we would have made a different film. I think part of the beauty and the magic comes in what happened in those two days in those conditions with those people. I think maybe some people might have read it and thought, “What is this?” Maybe it’s the type of film that you have to see once it’s finished to get it, and that’s OK. Hopefully next time I apply for funding they can see that it translates and understand what I’m doing a bit more.