Margaret Brown

April 2006By Comments

Austin director Margaret Brown, 34, has just seen her acclaimed film about legendary songwriter Townes Van Zandt, Be Here to Love Me, released on DVD.

Was there a specific moment that sold you on making this film?
The music struck me first. When I first heard the song “Waiting Around to Die,” the next day I went out and bought all the Townes I could find on vinyl. After that, it was just a gradual realization that the film addressed a question I had about art and artists of all kinds: How much do you have to live your art?

And it took four years to complete?
I researched for about six months, and then we shot about forty to fifty interviews over a long period. I guess there are about eighty hours of interview footage. It did take a long time to edit, and we took breaks because we did not have money. Not knowing if I would ever finish was agonizing. There’s a lot that I could not work in, and some of it is on the DVD.

The film doesn’t follow a traditional narrative.
I avoided the rise-and-fall-and-rise-again Behind the Music chronology because I did not think it was the right way to tell the story. I wanted to go for an emotional truth over a factual truth, because there is so much mythology surrounding Townes, and I wanted to be able to play with this too.

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