THE RODARTE SISTERS ON THEIR FIRST FEATURE FILM WOODSHOCK
Visionaire contributors Laura and Kate Mulleavy premiered their debut feature film Woodshock this weekend and we couldn’t be more excited. The film revolves around a woman (Kirsten Dunst) who falls deeper into paranoia after taking a deadly drug. We caught up with the celebrated duo to find out more about the film.
Visionaire: What, to you, is Woodshock about? And how do you hope audiences will interact with it?
Kate and Laura Mulleavy: Woodshock is a stream of conscious narrative following Theresa, played by Kirsten Dunst. We hope that you allow the film to wash over you- to follow her subjective journey and experience.
Visionaire: There is a potent relationship in the film between Theresa and the natural world. “Wood” is a clear connection. Even the sound of her name. Cutting down trees. Growing up trees. Rolling trees. Can you discuss this – and in particular the symbol of the woods and the return to the forest?
Kate and Laura Mulleavy: We began this story wanting to create a film that can make you feel as if you are standing in the midst of a redwood forest. The recognition of how small one truly is when compared to the age and wisdom of the redwood forest and these old growth trees. The majesty of nature. That feeling then drives the story- being lost in a narrative as Theresa herself is lost. Her connection to the natural world guides the story. As she is more removed from it, she struggles to return. In a way, it feels like a creation story.
Visionaire: As female directors, how do you feel the film portrays Theresa’s story and perspective in its own way – and in a way that is different to a male view? Is this important?
Kate and Laura Mulleavy: Of course. There are rules made by the traditional male narratives that have been created in cinema. It felt important to make a film that represented the way our minds think and to challenge those rules.
Visionaire: The film feels to have been a hugely collaborative endeavor. How integral is that to you in your creative process? Is this a natural facet of creating as a twosome? How do you let others into the fold?
Kate and Laura Mulleavy: We truly looked to find partners that work internally as we do. It was a natural process- each of our partners brought their heart and soul to the project and shared in the world we were creating. What is best to realize is that it is important to set a safe space for creative ideas and to allow those working with you to flourish and for them to be their best selves.
Visionaire: On that note, Kirsten gives a mind blowing performance – how was it to collaborate with her in this new way?
Kate and Laura Mulleavy: Kirsten is awe inspiring. She is an incredible performer- she brings to life the internal experience of Theresa without the heaviness of “acting”. She just breathes and you feel connected to her thought process and to her understanding of life.
Visionaire: How does the film relate – both in terms of costuming, as well as Rodarte as a whole – to your work as designers?
Kate and Laura Mulleavy: I suppose the belief in following ones creative instincts and heart and to push to break boundaries rather than to fit into a mold.