Ned Benson wrote, directed, and partially funded his first film – The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – His and Hers. Landing a few scripts on the Black List and working as a script doctor just wan’t cutting it, so Ned took matters into his own hands. The intention of the film was partially to make a statement on the subjectivity of relationships, and partially to make a statement on the subjectivity of watching movies.
Yes, the film is actually two films that can be watched in any particular order – but ideally in succession (there’s an intermission). The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (the name is derived from Paul McCartney’s iconic song) describes a love relationship between a husband and wife. Each film interprets a different perspective, one from His viewpoint, the other from Hers.
Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Mama) and Scottish actor James McAvoy (Trance, X-Men: First Class) are the complex characters who fall in and out of love. After a terrible argument on the streets of New York, McAvoy’s character is mowed down by a speeding cab. Each film shares scenes that are just from their viewpoint, some scenes are identical and some are completely unique. Shooting The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – His and Hers, took forty days, twice the length of shooting a single film.
The Myriad Pictures film, with no U.S. distributor yet, was mostly privately funded. The double-barrel sociological experiment aspect was a selling point, enticing many private investors including: Jessica Chastain, Cassandra Kulukundis, Todd J. Labarowski, Ned Benson and Emanuel Michael. The producers are looking for a distributor that will agree to giving the story a joint theatrical run (meaning both films back-to-back), the way it will be shown at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival.
Viola Davis (The Help), Bill Hader (SNL) and William Hurt (History of Violence, Into the Wild) also star.