In The Woods

Manolis Kranakis interviews the director and the actors of  ‘In the Woods’

The director, Angelos Frantzis.

-What would be the one sentence to describe ʻIn The Woodsʼ?

I would say that it is a film about the religiousness of desire.

-Is it a childrenʼs fairytale or a film about adulthood? What exactly is ʻIn The Woodsʼ?

I think it is an existential fairytale for adults or, to quote a phrase by Katia Goulioni: ʻa childrenʼs film that
unfortunately can only be seen by adults.ʼ

-What led you into using a digital camera for shooting?

It was a coincidence. Vardis (Marinakis) owned this camera and after returning from a journey in Morocco, he showed me a few of his videos. I was so charmed by it that I ended up buying it that very night and the following day I went travelling taking the camera with me. Later on, during the film research, I was shooting with it. When I saw the finished material I begun to realise that it produced the kind of image I was looking for. A bit of digital super-8 in bright colours and violent forms. Just like a fauve painting.

-Would you say that the film lies somewhere in the thin line between a documentary and fiction?

I would say that it is a fiction film using documentary methods in order to avoid the norm and meet the unexpected. The mind has a tendency to shape according to its knowledge. My approach to drama was through the documentary in order to avoid shaping. Filming without knowing what the actor will do next allows you to be alert and have a different touch with your own senses. Of course when it comes to choosing angles and my leading style, these are all expressions of my views but are less filtered, closer to my truth, less shaped, more automatic, still carrying the unexpected. It is like being in a constant dialogue with the situation without defaults and preconceptions.

-How far did the story change through your collaboration with the three actors?

It changed dramatically. Nathan, Iakovos and Katia are the filmʼs co-writers. Not only due to the fact that the characters were crafted by their own experiences and personalities but also because the whole shooting was based on their interpretation and depiction of the story. Without their creativity, boldness, imagination and sensibility the film would be nothing.

I owe them everything.

The three actors of ʻIn The Woodsʼ.

-How much of your own selves did you invest in the story?

Katia Goulioni: The initial character line was set by the director in the script. During rehearsals a new bond between our own elements and the initial ones was created. It is like when you see a photograph of a person and itʼs hard to understand whether it is a genuine expression or an instant role. When we started shooting, the forest became the true protagonist since, I guess, it is beyond characters or bonds.

Iakovos Kamchis: During rehearsal I accessed areas of my memory unknown to me until then; the whole of me took part. While during shooting, I removed myself from the character and let the role find its own perspective, let him have his own perception and not be directed by me. Let him be spontaneous so that I donʼt need to constantly improvise.

Nathan Pissoort: A lot of myself! Shooting was intense, there were many elements of ourselves on screen.
The result is based, to main extend, to what the actors together with the director are contributing in order to
create the characters but also in their quality of collaboration and improvisation.

-Did you feel intimidated by the erotic scenes?

K.G.: The sexual act reflects both human qualities and faults. What makes these sensual illustrations
absolutely exceptional in the film, is the great power and freedom given to them by the director, as if they
were illusions escaping from his surveillance. As far as I am concerned, I have virtues as well as defects.

I.K.: When I first read the script, the one which the story we all created was based on, I was impressed with
the erotic scenes. They seemed very beautiful, deeply erotic and touching that I even wanted to play
Melodyʼs role too.

N.P.: Personally no. I enjoy going around naked and I trusted Angelosʼ guidance.

-How would you describe the experience of shooting in one word?

K.G.: Experience.

I.K.: Adulthood.

N.P.: Challenge.

Link: In the Woods Official Site

Interview: Manolis Kranakis
Photo: Nikos Katsaros