Archive of films 13 Conversations About One Thing / 13 Conversations About One Thing

2001, 94 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2002

In one of the most successful American independent films of 2001, the stories of several ordinary people whose lives are influenced by chance or a mere gesture, come together in a manner reminiscent of Altman’s Short Cuts. The characters are played by, among others, John Turturro, Amy Irving, Alan Arkin and Clea DuVall.


The director, who wrote the screenplay with her sister, adeptly intertwines the stories of several ordinary people who are not aware of each other but whose lives still cross without their knowledge. A man going through a midlife crisis decides to leave his wife and change his life completely. A young ambitious lawyer drives away from the scene of an accident since he is afraid the consequences might affect his career. A woman comes to terms with her husband’s infidelity. An envious businessman plans to take revenge on a popular colleague. A cleaning woman waits optimistically for a miracle. All these characters need to find the answer to a question puzzling philosophers for centuries: What is happiness and how can we achieve it? “I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that a quite banal gesture or coincidence can turn our lives around,” says Jill Sprecher.

About the director

Jill Sprecher lives in New York and studied philosophy, literature and film. She has worked both for large companies and in independent film. Her directorial debut Clockwatchers (1997) was shown at Sundance and subsequently screened at a number of other film festivals. It won the Turin City Prize for Best Film at the International Festival of Young Filmmakers in 1997.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Jill Sprecher
Screenplay: Karen Sprecher, Jill Sprecher
Dir. of Photography: Dick Pope
Music: Alex Wurman
Editor: Stephen Mirrione
Producer: Beni Atoori, Gina Resnick
Production: Stonelock Pictures, First Look Media
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, John Turturro, Clea DuVall, Amy Irving, Alan Arkin

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