Australian producer John Winter (Rabbit-Proof Fence, Doing Time for Patsy Cline) makes his feature film directorial debut with this conceptually daring work that uses a film-within-a-film structure.
It also uses eight actors to play one character: sex worker Angie.
Winter said he was conscious of the danger of confusing the audience but had overcome this with devices used during the shooting and editing of the film. The other element that helped was Nicola Daley’s stunning black-and-white cinematography.
“I wanted to trim the film down to absolute essentials and place all the Angies in that black and white reality,” he said. “Black and white sharpens the senses and makes you more acutely aware of details, removes distractions and heightens what the characters are saying. It also gives the film a rawness that has an innate glamour – an emotional grittiness but visual voluptuousness.”
He described it as a risky film on several fronts: its content challenges preconceptions about sex and sexuality; the format uses eight actors playing one character, and a character who is only seen in silhouette; and its cinematographic technique uses four cameras, and with every take and set-up, the scene with that Angie is filmed in its entirety “so they were free to roam and be very much in the moment”.
“We rehearsed before the shoot but not on the day and the cameras had to follow the performance. It was quite inventive. My mantra was that we had to be truly brave; we could not make any creative decisions based on fear. No-one could be half-hearted. And all the cast were so courageous.”
Winter also wrote the script and co-produced with Melissa Beauford.
“This was a direction I’d been moving in for a while so I felt comfortable and enjoyed it thoroughly.
“The aim had been to challenge stereotypes about sex workers and to examine our attitudes towards sex and sexuality. I’m happy with the result. It’s a naughty film because its message essentially is that sex is ok.”