Crazy Love - interview with Don Klores

Crazy Love

Tough love

Director Dan Klores tells Eddie Harrison why he felt inspired by a bizarre story of obsession

Crazy Love isn’t your everyday romantic comedy: boy meets girl, boy loses girl and arranges for hoods to throw acid in her face, boy goes to jail, then re-emerges to marry the very same girl. Arguably the darkest date movie ever, Dan Klores’ new film follows the astonishing true story of married 30-something attorney Burt Pugach and 20-year-old model Linda.

‘It’s another story from New York street culture [like Klores’ 2003 semi-autobiographical 1950s-set documentary The Boys of 2nd Street Park], and one which I remember profoundly shocked me when I was nine or ten years old,’ says Klores. ‘It featured on the front cover of the New York Times every day for months; there was something about that idea of brutality crushing something beautiful that people were somehow attracted to. This film is about the obsessive side of love that people are afraid to discuss, about the terrible things we do in our loneliness. It’s also about forgiveness.’

As well as recreating the story using photographs, music and newsreel footage from the period, Crazy Love features interviews with Burt and Linda Pugach, who have been together ever since his release from jail. ‘They were the last of the 35 interviews I did for the film, and it was very daunting, very challenging,’ says Klores. ‘I tried to do my job without passing judgement on them. He’s very clever, very controlling, but that dame’s responses to things show that she’s thrown up a number of psychological disguises to deal with what happened. They’re an incredible couple, and their story says a lot about relationships. And yet there’s a lot of humour in there, and I genuinely believe that Crazy Love is an upbeat film.’

Crazy Love, Grosvenor, 6.30pm, Thu 21 Feb.

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