Short Films in Focus: I Have No Tears, and I Must Cry | features

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How did you and/or Cherry Zoolander approach her character?

I think there is pragmatism in the approach of USCIS officers. Our life in real life was as cold, hard, calculating as the book. I think about the people who work at USCIS, they have to separate themselves from the person and go away from what they see on the page. That’s what I told Cherry to think about. I asked her to imagine that years ago, when she first started this work, she really cared, and wanted to make a difference, for aspiring immigrants and their families, but had been hit with bad news several times over the years. She’s been hardened by the hardships she’s endured, and the slightest questioning of her authority is a threat, so she has to step down. She did this to discourage Maria Luisa’s character from digging deeper or questioning the reasoning behind the officer’s accusations. Cherry was able to portray a cold demeanor very effortlessly, not mean, but harsh.

If you can speak to that, what was Alejandra Herrera’s experience with her character?

Elle was very attached to this character. He mentioned having to argue with US immigration officials for eligibility for a visa to come to the US in the past. She also told me what was going through her mind when she was optimistic about the future as Maria Luisa. He thought about the life María Luisa had left behind in Mexico and the opportunities she had in America. She also understood the connection of the story from the beginning. No one really wants to leave their country unless they have a good reason, and for María Luisa it’s her relationship with Jorge. Elle really understood it. Her not being able to live in America also likely means she won’t be able to live with George. Elle also spent a lot of time getting to know Lizde, on whom the character is originally based, and she even managed to adopt some of his mannerisms and character, but in the end she made the character her own and Presented one. Best performance I have ever worked with.

Interestingly, the film begins with a distorted shot of the couple in their car. I’m curious about your and your cinematographer’s process for finding your way through the scene. What overall experience do you want to give the audience?

I’m fascinated by the idea that looking through a mirror, or reflection, is a subjective sight. It has been filtered. I wanted to know visually what the illusion of safety was with Maria Luisa and Jorge, so we looked at reflections, and took shots through pieces of glass. Shooting through the side mirror of a car is meant to convey a kind of false reality. When Oscar Jimenez (my cinematographer) and I start looking at context we start looking at images thematically. One film we referenced was Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc, And that pretty much set the foundation that we wanted to work with because its frames express so much. We decided to shoot very close up, limiting the audience’s field of vision to the same headspace as the characters, which is a limited perspective of their circumstances. This incidentally helped us create claustrophobia and it really increased the tension during the interview. We added the glass elements we wanted to add, some filters and even scanned our finished film through Super 16 to add texture and grit to the image. I really like images that look lived-in and well-worn.

#Short #Films #Focus #Tears #Cry #features

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