Angela is driving to the beach. Her husband calls her, begging her not to go to that beach. Not that day. She doesn’t listen; she has a mission to accomplish. She cuts the conversation off. The beach welcomes her with a stunningly beautiful blue sky. Angela is pushing a pram along the sand. Her daughter sits in the pram. The phone rings again. Angela doesn’t answer. After wrapping up her daughter in her jumper, Angela is ready to take her purificatory journey into the cold sea. The sea returns Angela as a reborn creature; she’s no longer what she was before. She’s now ready to confess her misdeed and get rid of her burden, in order to regain her lightness. She goes back to the beach to talk to her daughter, but something interrupts her again. A ruthless game show host, keen to show her misery off to his audience, drags her into the vortex of a cruel and pervert quiz. Depending on her answers, Angela will either win or lose the final prize.
DIRECTION NOTES (by Matteo Piccinini)
“Poor unfortunate souls” is the story of a mother’s pain and of her struggle to regain peace. As cinema always contains a demand for realism, the main challenge was telling such a heartbreaking human drama in a provocative and surreal style. Using the device of a distorted metaphor put the direction at risk of turning the whole film into a parody. The acting too was on the verge of becoming too over the top. Both characters have an acting switch within an eight minutes duration film: Angela changes after having her bath in the sea; she’s no longer what she was before. Her husband goes from being apprehensive and upset on the phone to faking a quiz show host in order to condemn his wife. That’s why they never manage to communicate and to talk about a dramatic episode, which should instead reunite them as a couple. Rehearsals were therefore aiming to make the acting as “disorienting” as possible for the audience: the more surreal the story develops, the more real the acting becomes and vice versa. The result is that the audience is constantly tossed about between two dimensions, real and surreal. They are challenged whether to believe or not to believe in what they are seeing. The visual treatment I chose was cruel and poetic. I wanted sharp images with high contrasted, altered and desaturated colour tones. The story telling doesn’t claim the use of any special effect. The thought provoking power and the emotional involvement are all within the words, the silences, the noises of the nature around and the faces of this distorted family.