THE WRONG MOVIE: Q&A WITH LAURA HAJEK AND DEVERY DOLEMAN

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Featuring: Laura Hajek @edithpop Devery Doleman @deveryminou

Photographer/Interview, Jena Cumbo @jenacumbo

Styling, Dani Morales @more.daninyc

MUA, Natalia Thomas @duchessnatalia

Hair, Patricia Silva @rockrockhair

 

The Wrong Movie, Premiering at the Berlinale Film Festival February 15th – 25th 2024

 

This film might be the final chapter of a story we’re all part of. A chamber piece set in a US city. Keren Cytter reveals her ensemble very slowly: young people loosely connected and yet existentially linked. Trying to understand themselves and others. Money is a problem, to say nothing of life. Uniqueness. Everyone is carrying some sort of burden: Angel an old flame, Timur drugs, Nicole the ashes of her dead father (in her shopper bag). Death leaves behind traces, filth, and reality. Beliefs pop up alongside shortcomings: “You’re too white.” In constantly shifting relationship constellations, they wear their intense feelings on their sleeves, get wrapped up in each other, and fall into magnificent loops of dialogue. And yet every attempt at intimacy leads to another moment of helplessness. “It’s a vacuum cleaner. Do you wanna fuck me?” – “No.” Within all this somnambulant swerving, technological gadgets point to the future. The close and the distant, identities are easier to negotiate online for digital natives – and to market. A cleverly constructed tragedy about chilling, with fantastic synth sounds and one of the best uses of a drone in cinema history.

The film is premiering at The Berlinale (considered one of the top 3 film festivals in the world) on February 17th at Delphi Filmpalast with subsequent screenings around Berlin during the festival at various cinemas. The Wrong Movie is part of The Berlinale Forum program which, according to the Forum’s own mission statement, “…stands for reflections on the medium of film, socio-artistic discourse and a particular sense for the aesthetic. The programs of the Forum and Forum Expanded aim to expand the understanding of what film is, to test the boundaries of convention, and to open up fresh perspectives to help grasp cinema and how it relates to the world in new ways. The programs can include anything that serves these ends: contemporary and historical, analog and digital film, installation art, performance, and music. What fits into the program is defined by the filmmakers’ stance towards their medium rather than the question of what commercial potential a film may have. The cinematic form is never subordinate to the content. Both selection committees see their selections as a laboratory and a workshop.”

Laura Hajek plays Angel, one of the main characters in this story, a girl who is unable to recover from heartbreak.

Devery Doleman, plays Timur’s mother, a complicated woman who is navigating the loss of her partner, and her son’s drug abuse.

 Laura wears Blazer, L’Agence @lagencefashion Bra, Aerie Necklace, Laura’s own Tights, Hue Shorts, Vintage Look 2, Devery (on right) wears Suit, L’Agence @lagencefashion Socks, Happy Socks @happysocks

How did you get involved in the film?

LH I’ve been a close collaborator with Keren Cytter, the film’s writer and director, for almost 10 years now, and so when she was interested in making a feature-length film, I was excited to participate. Keren’s work is internationally renowned for its exploration of the interpersonal relationships humans have with each other and with entertainment and in many ways, this film is a continued exploration of those themes.

DD: Laura recommended me to Keren for the role of Mother, and Keren cast me after a Zoom meeting. I’ll be forever grateful for the intro – I loved working on this and hope to continue collaborating with Keren, she’s utterly original and as an actor, I completely trust her vision. And I know Laura’s relationship with Keren is a important one, so I was honored she suggested me, and made sure I showed up for this!

 

What was it like filming in Rockaway?

 This was filmed close to the chaos and ecstasy present on 116th st, and also on the beaches. It was particularly satisfying to bring crew and cast members who hadn’t been to Rockaway, out during the wintertime, when everything is peaceful and the cross-bay breeze knocks the air out of your chest when you leave your front door.

 

JC to LH and DD: I know you both as multi-medium artists, acting, music, and performance. Do your other artistic pursuits fuel how you approach acting? Do you like to keep things separate?

 DD: For me acting and music and performing for the camera are all related because fundamentally it’s about how you channel and direct your energy, your life force, to serve a story or project. It’s always about finding the way into a role or song so I can tap into it and then try to bring it to life and express it fully outward within the world of the music or the story. Every band I’ve been in has needed a different frontperson and you just – pour yourself into that shape., bring that shape to life, and then further shape it from the inside once you’ve become it, if that makes sense.

LH: I agree with Devery, in that all art is about how you choose to channel your energy. Every work of art that I make, whether it is music, dance, theatre or otherwise, is all part of telling the larger story of who I am as an artist, and that is essentially how I believe a legacy is crafted.

JC to LH and DD: Without giving too much away about the film, I found it to deal a lot with identity and loss, both in terms of death and ending of relationships. Laura, your character Angel is very obviously dealing with rejection and a breakup. Devery, your character is dealing with the absence of her husband and is dealing with her children growing up and one of her sons’s drug abuse. Are there things you drew from in your personal experiences or other fictional characters’ experiences that you drew from to embody those characters?

 DD: I have a lot of addiction in my family so plenty of experience to draw on; when my character tells the story of the neighbor’s daughter who was “too quiet” I drew in part on conversations I would overhear my aunts having – those conspiratorial conversations about bad things happening to people you know, and how they would be both horrified but also in a sick way delighting in the drama. She deals with her pain by refusing to pick up on her son’s bids for attention; she makes him work for it and constantly shifts the goalposts, and I’ve known a lot of people like that. She feels like she can control her pain by getting ahead of it by being very blunt, by shocking you first, but she’s unable to actually feel or sit with her own pain.

LH: The challenge with Angel was to present this dichotomy between her exterior world, that of someone who was pulled together and successful, and her interior despair and need to be loved. I think what makes this character so interesting is how you fuse those two sides of the story and how they seep into one another, just as with real life.

 

What do you hope audiences take away from the film?

LH I hope that after viewing this film the audience considers the difference be- tween something seeming real and something having the appearance of reality.

 

When will the movie be watchable in the US?

We are hoping to have a US premiere soon, as we are waiting to hear back from state-side film festivals.

 

JC to LH and DD: I know that music is an artistic outlet for both of you. What is one thing you’ve been working on lately that you’re excited about? Any new releases or performances coming up you want to shout out?

DD: One of my bands, Fuck You, Tammy! which plays the music of Twin Peaks and the David Lynch Extended Cinematic Universe, will be performing at Berlin Under A in NYC on Friday, March 1: we plan to release our first EP this year which I produced and I’m very excited about.

LH: I am currently continuing to tour with Adventures[bk] The Robyn Party, playing female forward queer pop, and working on a new release with my project A Place Both Wonderful and Strange. More than anything, I want to act, and I’m looking forward to hopefully getting some new opportunities to do that in the coming year.

Devery, left, wears Jacket, Zara Bodysuit, Calzedonia @calzedonia Boots, Chloe @chloe Look 6, Laura (rt) wears Blazer, Toteme @toteme Shirt dress, Live The Process @livetheprocess Earrings, Alomaloni @alomaloni Boots, Danner @dannerboots Tights, Laura’s own

 

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