Isn’t it curious how in the same year I played two different characters, which both were named Cassandra?
In our play ‘How desperate can it get’ and my film called Cassandra.
I am very smitten with this archetype. The seer and the forsaken one. The one nobody believes. The crazy one. The one, who knows.
Still, it wasn’t the same person, but there were parallels. Both Cassandra’s are caught in a functional world, betraying somewhat their own essence. Trying to pretend something they are not. They have to survive in a world, that isn’t really made for them.
In the play Cassandra takes tablets her mom gives her to dull her experiences and above all emotions down. Otherwise she would become a danger to the family system, which within the play she eventually does. Cassandra stops to take the tablets and she sets out to kill her father, who abused her as a child. In ‘How desperate can it get’ she stops functioning. Cassandra becomes the crazy one, no one can control anymore. She is a ticking time bomb.
In the film on the other hand, the character’s storyline isn’t as clear cut. The audience has to make up their own mind. How they want to interpret Cassandra and her fate.
Is she stuck in the black and white world of busyness and functioning, while dreaming of a world that is more vibrant and alive? Or is she actually awakening to a part of her soul asking her to transform? Is she becoming the seer?
Another possibility is, that Cassandra is caught in between both worlds, traveling from the one to the other, without ever residing in either of them.
There’s no definite answers to all those questions. The film on purpose remains quite abstract.
I can say for sure though, that Cassandra accompanied me throughout the whole year of 2011 as two different characters. In both cases the archetype was very dominant..
It’s a powerful and tragic figure all at the same time! I wonder whether Cassandra will re- enter my life at some stage or am I done with her
Whatever may be the case, this film is still very, very close to my heart. It is the first film I shot in Cornwall. It all started an incredibly talented musician, asking me to do a film with him. It turned out, that I ended up filming mainly without him, but with Caro Woods instead, whom I could convince to be my camera woman. To be fair, Esteban contributed the music, which is irreplaceable, when it comes to the wonderful atmosphere being established.
Creating the film was a great undertaking on so many levels. I found out, that I don’t like storyboards a lot and preferred to work it out on set.
Instead we went to the locations I had chosen and just started filming. And by doing that, I kind of found out which takes I liked and which I didn’t. I edited several versions before we shot the actual thing.
I remember my friend Rachel, giving me a film, called ‘Monsters’. The director only had a rough script and no story board. It’s called guerrilla style. You simply go to the locations and just do it. It’s a really interesting film to watch by the way. Don’t be put off by the awful title!
Fact is you can do it that way. And why not! Especially, when you don’t have to coordinate hundreds of people.
Of course this is a much more intuitive approach and might turn out to be more work. I am not sure. I do know we put a lot of effort into the film, even though it didn’t feel like that at all.
And I still really love the result, taking into account, that we made Cassandra with very little means.
And now watch the film, if you haven’t already and tell me where you think Cassandra is!