55DSL have followed up their summer short ‘Roma’ with ‘Beyond Mountains More Mountains’, a beautiful new short from creative collective Canada. This post-modern love story follows a couple on an epic trip from the northern mountains of Italia to the southern Sicilian Islands, in search of the woman’s lost boot. Mostly renowned for their work on music videos, this is a first short film for the Partizan-repped Spanish directors; LBB caught up with them for a chat to see how it went.
LBB> What was the brief like from the agency and what were your immediate thoughts on the script?
Canada> There was a lot of freedom in the original brief. We had to deliver a story featuring Italy and a couple. That was all, just a starting point. We admire Italy and its culture, so we thought it was a good opportunity to work out something in a longer format.
LBB> What was the pre-production process like - how did you go about developing the aesthetic of the spot? Were there any particular inspirations?
Canada> We wanted the film to be a real trip through Italy, so we kept on exploring different places in the country where we could base the action... and build an itinerary. The idea was put together from our personal ideas and experiences of the Italian culture, combined with a true reflection of everyday Italy. It is a sort of very typical Italian postcard picture with some not-so-common topical items.
LBB> The film is obviously a love story, but with some unconventional themes – could you expand on the narrative a little more?
Canada> Well, a couple embarking on a road trip around Italy will almost always have to deal with infatuation or love! At the same time the narrative was never intended to be too linear or comprehensive.
We tried to reflect as much truth as possible on the different moments and feelings that spark the magic of such a trip. The feelings between a couple never stay the same along such a journey, no matter what the narrative is. They are alive, have ups and downs – it changes constantly. There is room for jokes, casual conversations, games and even stupid moments, reflection and loneliness.
LBB> What was the shoot like - where did it take place, how long did it take? What were the challenges?
Canada> The shoot was planned as a road trip itself – we established an itinerary along the whole of Italy. We travelled with a very light crew for 10 days, armed only with a 16mm camera. Improvisation was a major force because, despite producing a few things in advance, many others had to be solved as our journey unfolded and unexpected issues were faced. It was crazy and very demanding – the team had barely any time to sleep!
LBB> Where did the idea of the name ‘Beyond Mountains More Mountains’ derive from?
Canada> That title was a bit of a joke from an old National Geographic documentary, but it eventually stuck. We think it actually fits very appropriately now. We believe that when you reach the top of a mountain, all that is ahead is another mountain. All you can do is just keep on going.
LBB> A boot and a nut play quite an important role throughout the film – what are their connotations?
Canada> We believe that what they connote is different, dependent on the viewer – that's how it should be. It puts the two ends of the film together in a capricious way. It is just like love – people are placed together in crazy ways sometimes. It may also mean that, after all, you may not find your boot – but it is the search itself that makes sense. What becomes the experience of life will stay, not the boot.
LBB> Is there a reason that the woman speaks English and the man Italian?
Canada> We wanted to have Italian in the movie, but English was also requested – it was a good balance. Viktorija [female of the film] is not Italian, so it made sense to have her speaking English.