LRM Online recently had a chance to speak with director Kim Farrant, whose latest film, Angel of Mine which is out On Demand!
Below is the official synopsis for Angel of Mine:
“In this intense thriller, Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) stars as a woman on the edge who believes the daughter of a neighbor (Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale”) is actually her own.”
LRM Online: I loved the film. I was surprised from the Q&A that this is actually a remake of an original French film.
Kim Farrant: Yeah. It’s very much inspired by it. Because we do quite a bit in terms of…their film is way more of a drama and ours is a thriller. There’s way less physical engagement in their film. It’s just like the stakes go even higher in ours, the plot takes some more twists and turns. I mean, definitely, the film is based on that film, but it’s not a remake by any means in terms of drama or anything.
LRM Online: Got you. Yes. Thank you for that clarification, that change. Let’s start with how you … how Angel of Mine came to you?
Farrant: It came through the Etting brothers, Josh and Brian Etting. They thought that I would relate to Angel of Mine, to the script, and understand some of the theme because there were some parallels with [my other film Strangerland]. I love reading script, but there was stuff that I wanted change. We did quite a bit of work on the last act very much, you know, within the balance of reality and you know, not going into like a Hollywood funding. So yeah, it was a very beautiful collaborative process with the writers and how I came aboard.
LRM Online: Well, it was definitely very emotional at some points. I mean, I mean I’m feeling for Lizzie, like it’s like, you know, she’s, she’s like … like as she nods, but then yet you’re like, you’re feeling her pain at the same time.
Farrant: Yeah. Yeah. Well that, that was our hope that you would definitely identify and relate to her. And it’s the feeling that I was very interested in — those raw, ugly, untenable and unforgivable aspects of ourselves or you know, the feelings within that we just deem completely revolting and that no one could ever bear witness in us, but that we all feel them. Especially when in the groups of loss or obsession, you know, those kind of more intense emotions come to the floor. And as a society I think we sweep them behind closed doors. We have very little tolerance to create for a healthy rage. And so I really wanted to, you know, like honor those feelings by bringing in a really raw and unfiltered, uncensored way.
LRM Online: Yes. In which scene do you think was where that marking point where you realize, okay, Lizzie as at her breaking point? Which scene would you say was, I mean there were several, but which one do you think was like … what’s the one?
Farrant: Interesting question. Well, I think there’s different kinds of breaking points. Like there’s a point where she goes in to her workplace when she’s being fired. She has a confrontation with her boss and suddenly she’s manhandling her boss. And I mean that really freaks her out about how much fury and anger is in her body. But then there’s also moments where, you know, she’s being completely isolated and alienated from everyone around her, including her family, and feels, I would say, completely alone. And that, you know, that breaking point is, is one more of grief and, and of, of losing hope, just feeling the madness. So there’s different ones and then there’s like, you know what I mean? Claire, Claire rejects her in the party and throws her out of her party because she, you know, she’s so kind of invasive and you know, acute stalking and you know, those are things you don’t tolerate. So I think just rejection after rejection on all fronts is amassing within her friend and kind of adding to her feelings of not only brokenness but yeah, journey into a descension into madness.
LRM Online: Yes. She, I mean Lizzie definitely faced rejection all around her from everybody. Like no one was willing to listen to her. There are several emotional scenes where characters like Yvonne and Noomi have several scenes that are kind of intense.
Farrant: Sometimes we’d have them improvise with each other, sometimes I would improvise with them on set so that, you know, it was, I mean it was a really fast turnaround shoot. 27 days in the 10 hour day in Australia. Sometimes I would work with Noomi where she would, you know, talk to the wall from someone in her own life and use that, you know, we’d use it as a trigger for conjuring whatever the parallel emotional feeling that the character was having with someone from her own background or history of trauma. So, you know, I’ll do whatever it takes on set to get the performance. And I was very lucky to have actors who were so willing and vulnerable and open to using whatever worked in the moment to get there. And improvisation is definitely one of those tools.
LRM Online: There was a scene I would say was the most intense and the most sad and the most unexpected that you did have a chance to discuss during the Q and A. I didn’t expect a scene like that where Lizzie goes on a date. She is pretty much physical interaction with her date at the end, but yet the ending was just kinda like, Whoa, what do you make out of this? And that was, I have to, you know, say you guys did a great job in that scene because on that scene, you have Lizzy at the end of having sex with this guy, and yet she ends up masturbating on her own, pulling away masturbating but then yet crying and it makes you feel for this girl of how heartbroken she is and how torn she is and that’s intense. That’s a, that was, I think that was a very intense scene that you guys handled so well and delicately.
Farrant: Well thank you so much to me. Obviously I don’t want to spoil it for people in terms of where she takes the scene with masturbation and whatnot. Is there a question that you wanted to ask me around that theme?
LRM Online: No, I wanted to complement on that because that’s something, I think that scene was pretty delicate but you guys handled it so well.
Farrant: Oh, thank you so much. We were very careful about sex scenes and we set really clear physical and emotional boundaries for the actors and at the same time articulate them themselves so that everyone feels really safe. Like the emotional life of the character within intimacy, within the sex without feeling that maybe the actor was going to be traumatized or is in any way exploited. And then you know, creating those boundaries does make them feel like I can fully let go into really what’s happening in the scene.
LRM Online: Yeah. Well thank you so much Kim. Is there anything you can buy in chance share that you may be working on or you know, pending or right at the moment?
Farrant: So I am the director of a film called Julia Butterfly. Based on the true story of the incredible actual Julia butterfly who ascended a two hundred foot, 1000 year old Redwood tree as a nonviolent protest against the lumber company that was selling the forest three times the sustainable rate. And she lived in the tree for over two years on a six by eight foot platform and survived systematic brutality from the lumber company to try and get her out of the tree as well as, you know, the harshest winter in California’s history. You know, snow storms, wind storms at 90 miles per hour. And the lumber company trying to drop the tree down on her. Selling trees onto another activist.
Yeah, I mean it’s the most remarkable story. It’s very much like an Erin Brockovich but up in an old red wood tree. So yeah, I’m doing that. And then I’m in development on a series, a TV series Primal with AMC Network. It is inspired by my childhood growing up with primal therapy and also being in a religious cult for awhile. So another film with Noomi. Actually not a film, sorry TV series called Random. I’m also adapting a book called The Boat by Clara Salaman, which is a psychological thriller. But yeah, that’s the slate
LRM Online: Great. Well, you’re quite always a busy woman, so I look forward to seeing more of these projects out there.
Farrant: Oh yeah. I appreciate your questions. They were wonderful.
LRM Online: Yeah. Well congratulations for now, for Angel of Mine and a lot of success to come.
Farrant: Thank you.
Angel of Mine is out On Demand now!
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