THE YOUNG PRODUCER TOLD US ABOUT HER FIRST SHORT MOVIE
Young and talented. Melodious words in a barren landscape: the cinema industry can rarely say these words, especially if we consider our nation, Italy. But, as we say in Italian: “Good blood doesn’t lie!”. Around the world, far away from our country, our blood runs into the veins of many young Italian-American talents who are growing and showing their projects to the world.
Therefore, Film4Life turns to the United States, giving visibility to emerging filmmakers such as Mara Tasker, born in 1987, who has just made her debut behind the camera with an intense and beautiful short movie, Latent, that you can find at the end of this interview. Here is what she has told us…
1) What do you think about the role of young people in the movie industry?
The youth role is critical in film. We have a responsibility to reflect on our world and our art as the filmmakers and producers before us have done. Film is a means of conversation and we must continue it for our own generation to grow and to communicate with those around us. On the business side, film is contingent upon culture and economics both are which are subject to frequent change. Without the reposnse to the world from a younger generation, we would lose our voice and the industry would falter. All artists pull from one another and just as we respond to those before us, it’s important that we continue a creative cycle. Youth in cinema is necessary because new talents will be tomorrow’s influential filmmakers and artists.
2) What can you tell us about your debut behind the camera?
This was my first film since film school. I work full time in Los Angeles now and was missing thinking in filmic terms. This film was my way of responding to Anotnioni’s Blow Up, that I studied in college. It is a film that I think about frequently and really wanted to respond through film. Since I had limited time to create this outside of work, I wanted to try to contain a simple drama to a simple space. We had a very strong crew and talented cast to the execution was really enjoyavble. It was a great feeling to give the camera such lyricism and it’s a style I plan to continue in future films.
3) Have you ever thought about becoming an actress?
I’ve never thought about being an actress actually. As much as I enjoy watching incredible performances and certainly have actresses that I admire, I just know it’s not a skill I have. I’m not comfortable letting go of myself like that in front of so many people. I’d rather show myself through my style of filming and let people see me in a more subtle way.
4) Why black-and-white?
I have an affinity for black and white. I studied so many old films from around the world. In some way I just got used to seeing things like that. I like the aesthetic it creates. I feel like it helps you see the film like a painting sometimes. In this film, I wanted to stay close to the simplictic style and minimize everything in the room so that the natural tensions between the characters could come out more. Black and white felt like it supported that idea best.
5) How can a filmmaker write, produce and direct his/her own movie?
It takes a lot of time naturally, but Rossellini said, the camera is a pencil. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that you need a lot more than you do. I think if you keep to the resources you have and find the right actors for well written characters, it’s a simpler process. Having a cinematographer and partner in production that you trust implicitly, will help the rest to fall into place. You just need to be clear from the start that you want to keep the process simple and defend your vision within the collaborative process.
6) Did you use your italian roots for Latent?
Absolutely. I did a semester in Rome studying Italian Neo Realism but I also grew up around Italian cinema. Thinking of De Sica and Rosselini, i wanted to make a simple film that was based on strong characters. A number of my favorite films are classic Italian films and the images from those remain in my mind. Whenever I go to the industrial beaches near LA, I think about Red Desert and when I find myself at big, late night parties, I think of La Dolce Vita. Italian cinema is so rooted in the arts and in the history i comes from, I think it created some of the most powerful imagery in film history. There are clear references to Blow Up in this film but even generally speaking I feel that it’s a style that comes into play sometimes without my even knowing.