Pretty pretty

04.09.2013 | Blog , Film | BY:

Juliana Sorelli is a young french film director living in Los Angeles. She left Paris and its old beautiful buildings about one and a half year ago. She has found a new aesthetics in LA and loves the square buildings and the blinding neon lights. Perhaps that is what inspires her to make films.

Juliana is pretty much self-taught, she took a couple of classes in film but didn’t feel comfortable with the strict guidelines from the school and the teachers. She knew what she liked and what she wanted to do, so she mostly learned by watching a lot of movies and reading books about directors she liked.

Today Twin is excited to premiere Juliana’s new short film Pretty Pretty, an ironic essay about physical beauty and the sublime. We had a chat with the young director about the film and what beauty is for her.

Tell us about Pretty Pretty…

Well, it took a long time to make it. Usually when I have an idea, I start making it the week after and then two weeks later it’s done. But this one took almost six months, because the movie sort of constructed itself. It was just a one minute video from the beginning, with me in bandages saying all these quotes. And then I really liked the video and I thought I should do something more of it. I showed it to some friends and they also wanted to see more.

So you are acting in the film?

Yes! Before I started to make films I thought I wanted to act. But the more I was doing it, I couldn’t stand someone telling me what to do, because I felt it wasn’t me or it wasn’t right, so I slowly realized it would be much better if I acted for myself and produced my own things instead of controlling other peoples work. If there is a part in my film that I feel that I can do and that I’m right for it, I’ll do it.

Where did you find the inspiration for the short?

That first bit came up from an AA meeting. I’ve been sober for three years now, but I sometimes have to go to AA meetings, but I don’t like them that much. Many times people are going up there talking nonsense, but everybody claps and laughs no matter what they’re saying. They could be saying anything and everybody are cheering for them. So I was sitting at the AA meeting and thought it was a bit weird, these people don’t really listen, it’s just for show. Then I came up with the idea of a kind of “AA meeting”, but focused on women and plastic surgery. And at the same time I was reading this anthology about beauty and the sublime, and I got really into that and it helped me to develop the other stories.

What is beauty for you?

I think that being from France, I am used to a certain kind of aesthetics , especially from Paris with all those old buildings and that kind of pretty. But I was born there, and for me it is normal and really dull, and I find some parts of LA more beautiful. Everything is squared and there are neon lights everywhere and I find that really interesting. But I understand that many people think that this is just ugly. So it is kind of the opposite of what someone from here would think. Maybe I can find beauty in things that are not standard beautiful and different. But I can’t really explain why, it is like a compulsive attraction.

Is there a message in the film?

The common point in the three stories is that women tends to be focused on their own personal beauty. But admiration for beauty and glamour can be a curse. In two of the stories the women realize that there is also something more important than your own self and your own body. You are part of a bigger experience that goes beyond how you look and all the material things around you.

In these films two characters find their places in life when they realize how grand the world is. One of them gets this experience at the ocean, the other among the mountains. The only one who doesn’t find her place is the purely narcissistic person in the second story who gets totally lost in herself.
For me that’s the message behind the film. Everybody can get a bit self obtained and think that what we experience right now is so dramatic and important. But when you think about it for a second you realize that there are so much going on around us that is much more exciting than our small daily problems. That’s how I see it but I’m not sure if everybody else will see it like that.

Any other exciting projects coming up?

I just started up my own company, and I’m working together with a producer. I’m writing scripts and we will start sending them to festivals, actually I just finished editing another short film, it’s a fifteen minute long dark comedy.
It’s crazy how much have happened in one year. Perhaps next year I will be making features! I hope so! I am so grateful that I found out what I want to do and that I can actually make it. If I get an idea, I just need to give it a try. If it doesn’t work out, then at least I gave it a try.

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