#venezia73 The Baby hates society. Interview with Alice Lowe

Alice Lowe (Sightseers,Locke, Hot Fuzz) directed and starred in her revenge movie “Prevenge” while she was pregnant, portraying this experience as a superpower beyond the Clichés, through a melange of different genres (horror, comedy, noir and a sci-fi touch) reflecting the different physical and psychological states related to being pregnant: she wanted the film to be funny, scary, sad, awkward, frightening, tense and beautiful.
I had the opportunity to meet her after the screening at Venice Film Festival.
Marina Abramovic says that having a baby would have been bad for her work, so she had three abortion. What do you think about it?
When you are an artist it’s a really big decision to have a baby because of the anxiety that contemporary society provokes. For instance you really do feel like you have to get a senseful job, you do have to change your life, all moral pressures that doesn’t help people at all.

Especially as a woman you think “ If I’m an artist can I carry to be creative? Is it selfish to be creative if I have a child?
To me the baby itself is (especially for an artist) the most pristine creation, at least in the beginning. I really appreciate the way you portrayed pregnancy as a female power (yet individual) to radically transform social patterns.

I have to admit that among the few films directed by women, I have never seen films directed by mothers.
It’s pretty sad. We miss the all creative subject. Through your child you can inspire your art, express your creativity, but we are told that again and again that your career will be over, that you self sacrifice and you give up everything. I wanted this film to be about someone who doesn’t do that.  I felt a big conflict within me, of everything I was supposing to be learning and thinking (you know, all the academic books about the subject) and actually what I was feeling naturally was different to whatever they were telling me. It’s very much about identity, individualism. I really wanted to show that we are all different, with different experiences.

You directed, (and also starred in) the film during your pregnancy. How did you go trough this double creative process?
I hope you didn’t feel like the main character.
For me it was a cathartic experience making the film. I felt this freedom to do what I felt I wanted to do. For instance I wanted the film to have a sci fi feeling, and the reason for that was because I feel is an alien experience to have a baby, and it’s not normal just because you are a woman, you feel like something terrific is inside you, is such a vivid and intense experience. An amazing thing was happening to me. I didn’t feel alone anymore. I have to say I had a quite beautiful time during pregnancy, not like the main character.

I saw the film as a criticism against a male centered society, which consequences are reflected also in women’s behavior. The grotesque characters that Ruth murder are mostly men, but the murdered women are quite eloquent.
Indeed. I wanted to show that it’s not just men who makes this kind of judgments. Also women can be negative and alienated.  It’s more that the baby hates society.

In relation to other revenge movies, Is there any link between MS 45 by Abel Ferrara and your film? The Halloween scene for instance.
Definetely. Actually my first influence was Taxi Driver. I wanted to create a female maverick forced to go against society.  Zoe Lund in MS45 was fantastic, her performance is amazing. The narrative is clean. The POV’s gives you a strong subjective feel.
Both films are about reversals and opposites: you expect the characters to be sweet, but they are cruel.
Regarding the halloween scene I have the sensation that masks can show more than real faces. You can see society without veils.
I shoot my scene during a real Halloween night. I thought that the more real it was the more powerful it was. Some drunk men even tried to fight me during the shooting. I wanted the film to be very visual as well, to entertain the audience through scaring images and to release certain kind of ideas, instead of holding them inside. That’s why I created a “carnival of images” using found footage and close up on insects (like in the dream scenes).

Will you show it to the youngest protagonist ever when she’s grown?
Oh god, I don’t know.

Article by Alexander Darkish

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