The Force at work / La Force en action

The Force at work / La Force en action
Read the whole story now being read around the world! / Lisez toute l'histoire maintenant lue autour du monde!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

FANTASIA FESTIVAL • Most Beautiful Island

Writer, director & star Ana Asensio 
I just came back from a brief but enlightening interview with writer, director & star of the movie Most Beautiful Island Ana Asensio with Larry Fessenden, who also wears many hats for this production including playing Rudy the doorman, and Jenn Wexler also a producer. I had just seen a screener of the movie that will open later today, SOLD OUT, and will have a showing on the 24th at 3:15 PM.
We must tiptoe around the elements of the plot so as to not rob you of the many surprising turns in the intrigue.

The story is inspired by true events, so I was curious to know more.

Ana Asensio / Luciana - " The character in the story is in a vulnerable situation because she is undocumented and there was a time in my life that I was in that situation. I also met many women like me. So the kinds of things that happen to the main character during the story were very similar situations, some of them were exactly the same, as what happened to me. So that was a source of inspiration. And the main event that happens in the last part of the film, in which Luciana ends up going somewhere that she is not expecting to go and how she makes the decisions to gather what she needs to get there and so on, that is also something that happened to me. There was a person who told me about a job. She lied to me. I ended up going somewhere else and being in a strange place. And the place was an illegal place and the fear, the illegality of what was going to happen to me, that was the core of the inspiration of the story."

me -" It seems to me that the story line exploits phobias.  Can you elaborate on the phobia element of the movie?"

Larry Fessenden / Rudy -" When you are in such a vulnerable situation you are just open to all the possibilities of what can go wrong. When she looses the child she is babysitting that of course reminds her of the central loss of the film that happens off camera, before the movie begins, where she lost her own child. I think she is in a very vulnerable place. So she has no safety net, no papers, she is not legitimately here and of course in our current situation in America, this is how the politics have placed a number of people in this vulnerable situation. It wasn't needed. I think that is one of the reasons the movie resonates with things that change in the real world. To be in that position is very scary."

Jenn Wexler - " In New York city you can be surrounded by millions of people and be completely all alone."

me - " The thing that creates the revulsion factor in the movie is quite surprising and most women cannot even stand the sight of it. How were you inspired to use that thing?"

Ana Asensio - " Many men have expressed more disgust than women in the theatre!" We all laugh.
" There is not just one fear inspiration for me. I knew that I wanted to do something extremely scary, that I haven't seen before in any other films, or even heard of. I just wanted the film to combine something that was going to be terrifying for almost anybody but with some beauty. I did not want to use weapons, or any blood and gore."

me - " It is very ingenious. That was the word that came to my mind. The movie is subtle and ingenious. "

Ana Asensio - " I guess in a way, thinking about it afterwards, I was reminded of the ancient Roman practice of feeding the Christians to the lions as a spectacle for the crowds. It was the excitement and the rush of the confrontation between the beast and the human. In my country (Spain) we have the bullfights where the public is far away so they will not get splashed with blood. It is that kind of idea where we get excited by the possibility of seeing someone get hurt."

It is a movie that is very close to reality. Jenn Wexler explained: "It is important to note that it was shot with Super-16mm-lenses and inspired by the look of European action movies of the 70s." Added Asensio: "I feel closer to the New York 70s movies where the city feels dangerous and the extras looked like real people, real New Yorkers. We go to these dangerous locations."

The movie kept me on my toes me all the way. The locations are indeed ominous and dreadful. I enjoyed the final denouement for the character Luciana.
The movie won a Grand Jury Award in the narrative competition at SXSW this year.

 4 LENAs for ingenuity!
-LENA GHIO                                                          

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