Director Marialy Rivas on Her Provocative Film 'Young & Wild' Out in NYC and On VOD Today
I met with Pedro Peirano (screenwriter for The Maid) and we structured the movie based upon the interviews and her blog. After that, she and I wrote the dialogues and the final screenplay. It took us months to do so, but it allowed us to get to know each other better. We based the story loosely on her life, deciding that she had to be 17.
Then the pre-production came along. I was positive about who our leading actress had to be: Alicia Luz RodrÃguez. She had made her debut at Cannes with Navidad when she was 15, and even though she wasn’t a professionally trained actress, she had the perfect amount of mystery in her to deliver a character that was going to have a voice over during the entire movie, constantly narrating how she wanted to make us believe that she was feeling. She also was brave enough to deal with the sex scenes and all the exposure the movie would bring along.
Starting with her, assembling the rest of the cast was a simple task. She was the light that guided the rest of the process.
I knew that the film, the people in it, and the photography that they were portrayed with all needed to be beautiful. Most of the characters were either rotten inside or very confused and in pain, but in this perfect world, there was no place to hide. I also decided to use a very tight depth of focus. This way, we could follow the character closely, and see only what she decided to pay attention to. Whatever she observes comes into focus; she is always in her mind, always a little detached from the flow of life.
The final challenge was to give a shape to the Internet world that she lives in. We worked very hard at trying to arrive at an abstract form that made the audience feel the experience of surfing the web that we all have. I really hope that we have somehow succeeded.
We also used and stole images from all over (porn movies, cartoons, old films, etc.), trying to create an on-screen mosaic of her teenage soul, which is bombarded with all kind of stimuli on a daily basis. The baroque world that we inhabit had to be present.
The final shape of the film came to in the editing room. Because the movie is told in chapters, like gospels of her life, we could have made a million different movies; it was like a Rubik’s cube. The hardest part was how to balance her double love interest, for both a boy and a girl. Bisexuality is hard, including in film.
People say that it is a bold movie that looks almost like a porn flick in that it is new and fresh. I think that if this movie is able to raise questions in people’s souls regarding how they perceive their sexuality, and of how much guilt, pain, phobia or hatred derives from absurd notions of misunderstood religion, I will be the happiest woman to walk this earth.
Every movie is an act of love, of deep passion; I really hope this can turn out to be a fantastic love story.