Filmmaker Marie Schlingmann from Sister Aimee is among the voices, faces and creative folks that are a part of the ten films selected for our favourite section at the Sundance Film Festival. Added to the fest at the beginning of the decade, over time, the NEXT section (formerly referred to as “<=>”) has unearthed some of the best voices in micro American indie film projects with the likes of Sebastian Silva, Josh Mond, Rick Alverson, Anna Rose Holmer, Andrew Dosunmu, Craig Zobel, David Lowery and Janicza Bravo. We return with Sundance Trading Card Series focusing on the 2019 NEXT section selected films and personalities.
Lavallee: What kind of visual ideas did you have prior to filming and how did it inform camera choice, color palette, prod design, lighting?
Schlingmann: While the film is a period piece, the themes and problems the characters were facing were current ones. This mash-up of classical style and modern approach defined all our choices and also served the mash-up of genres that reflected Aimee’s character: screwball, western, musical. We didn’t want a period style that puts the viewer at a distance, so part of our camera and lens choices were based on how to achieve the most immediacy while keeping the world of the story intact – wider lenses that put us physically closer to our characters, no filters etc.
Lavallee: Briefly, could you detail the world that the main players inhibit and how they relate to their surroundings..
Schlingmann: In the beginning, Aimee exists in a world of sensory overload – fans, music, yelling, praying – and she steps into a world defined by absence – wide open spaces and secrets. She has to be stripped away from everything that is connected to the persona that has given her power in order to inhabit a new identity and come to terms with the old one.
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