During a bus ride, a man harasses a young woman in the back row of seats. Although this is plain for all to see, none of the other passengers intervenes.
Three Questions for the Director
1.Short Film has a unique way of telling stories and exploring themes. What is it that fascinates you about the short format?
Elena Felici: Overall, I enjoy the challenge of impacting an audience through just 5 minutes of video. I believe some of the strongest animated short-movies I have ever seen (from ‘Egg’ by Martina Scarpelli to ‘Bestia’ by Hugo Covarrubias) left me with crucial memories and touched core strings inside of me. There is something quite interesting in the short format, its length allows a filmmaker to go beyond storytelling and filmography rules; to experiment with ways of telling a story differently from what we’re used seeing.It allows anybody with some time and passion at hand to develop something with a spontaneity that reminds me of John Cassavetes’ movies. What I mean is, that given its short duration, it’s hard to find a short movie that doesn’t express the essence of a director’s soul. It is easier when developing a screenplay for a short-movie to stay on track and not derail into fancy cuts and mise-en-scene, just focusing on what really matters to us. By watching someone’s short, we can really grasp on their way of approaching reality, on their hidden traumas and secrets... I find that beautiful and fascinating.
2.The program your film is selected for is called “Lifting the Veil”: What connection do you see between your film and that title?
Elena Felici: Women use veils as ornament of both beauty and protection. A veil can hide, obscure something we don’t want someone else to see. When we enter a room and we find a piece of furniture covered by a cloth, two things happen, at least for me: I want to know what’s underneath it and at the same time I want to disregard it – if someone put a veil on that object, they probably don’t want us to see it or it’s not of such importance to be shown. And yet it’s there, its coverage bothers us and almost makes its presence heavy. As human beings, I think we put veils on lots of things, emotions, vulnerabilities, character traits we don’t like... We hide and strive to portray perfection. In that sense, I believe BusLine35A tries to lift that veil of purity and flawlessness we like to put on ourselves, the short-movie brings out the ineptitude present in all of us, it deals with the human condition. The importance of accepting our imperfection is essential to letting off the heavy presence of all those hidden traits we carry within ourselves. It helps us grow and correct our mistakes.
3.What film has inspired you most to make films yourself and what part of it do you see in your own work?
Elena Felici: This question is tricky to answer... I have been watching movies since I was very little and could define several films as relevant for each different phase of my life. Each movie I watch is as important as the previous one, bad or good as it is, it always brings something more to who I am. I think a movie can resonate with you based on your current mood, state and personality. Based on where you are at in life. When I was developing the screenplay for ‘BusLine35A’ I remember watching Fellini’s filmography and being really inspired by the way he took the time to express his concepts. Some scenes in ‘8 ½’ are so long and yet they leave you the space to reflect on the story and what you are feeling. On the same line, I started watching master Roy Andersson’s movies and found interesting how he took time like Fellini, but extending it ten times more. Making some scenes excruciating to watch. For the cinematography, I took great inspiration from Denis Villeneuve and for the narration I got inspired by ‘Amélie’, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, by Wes Anderson. For the past months I have been deeply intrigued by spontaneous and realistic directors, like John Cassavetes and Larry Clark.
Producer: Michelle Nardone & Anja Perl Michelle Nardone & Anja Pe
Director: Elena Felici