In “Blue Moon”, young Irina dreams of a university in Bucharest when her chaotic, rural family ruins her future. Premiered in competition at the first San Sebastian Film Festival directed by Alina Grigo, and followed by Irina’s psychological ‘Blood for Blood’.
Gregor-who wrote and starred in the Berlinale award-winning film “Illegal” চলে went behind the camera for “Blue Moon” and used his attention and knowledge of Miss-N-Skin to create excitement arising from emotional violence. The film was also written by Gregor, who was inspired by his own community.
“Blue Moon” is produced by Gabriela Susie and Robbie Urs through the Enlightenment Center and co-produced by Atelier de Film, Forest Film, Smart Sound Studio, The Unfortunate Thespians and Avanpost. It was acquired by Spanu Films for international sales.
Diversity San Sebastian spoke with Gregor before the film’s premiere.
What inspired you to tell a story about the dark side of family dysfunction?
I grew up in that community. When I started sketching this idea I mostly highlighted the frustrations my friends involved as a child about the path to education. I was intrigued by the way a family contributes to such manipulations, especially on young women, and their psychological effects. It’s an interesting wormhole that sinks into love and fear where the victim can’t understand the conscience from crazy. In my childhood I was just lucky to be an observer but I explored those emotions with them.
Irina doesn’t say much in the film, she reveals a lot of her character through her actions. Did you decide to approach her character in this way?
I asked myself who is watching the story? And I decided that the public should not just observe a conspiracy. I was curious to test: what if the public was hunted down instead of “watching”, or if the audience felt Irina’s emotions regardless of the story? So, with the lead cast and DOP we have researched ways to do it and naturally, his actions have become stronger emotion producers than his words. Iona Chinu is a very strong actress so we had to pay attention to the balance between the rhythm of the scene and her strength.
How does culture play a role in Irina’s storytelling?
I will answer about my struggles as a female director. I think we have a culture of storytelling from an observational and cold point of view which is more interesting claiming that emotions are very easy to digest and therefore should be minimized. There are almost invisible corrections in the way a female director delivers part of her creation. I have been told many times that the plot of the film has been treated very emotionally or the emotions are very feminine. I tried to fight against the “story” and follow the character’s emotional journey.
Much of the film is vague, allowing the viewer to come to a decision about unemployment, family, escape. How does ambiguity help tell this story?
Irina is more concerned with how the role of the triangle changes: the victim-rescuer-attacker, the psychological journey of her inhuman process becomes more important. This is why in the first part of the picture the camera focuses on him and “obscures” the outside world. We used the depth of field in two different ways to express him as a victim or an attacker. The outside world is visible when Liviu is centered because Liviu is very connected to the community. In the second part of the photo, the camera follows Irina’s victim – Levi, but we keep the same depth of field to represent the victim in her ambiguity.