Nara wriggs, endless cycle of saying goodbye (2018)
Weeda: I just want to start off by saying your film is amazing. It’s always impressive when a filmmaker can make a film captivating, but still so short.
Nara: Yeah, I can’t make long films. Endless Cycle of Saying Goodbye was supposed to be three minutes long…[Nara laughs sheepishly]...but it’s less than two minutes long.
Adam: But that’s great! It’s an amazing, feeling-based film.
Weeda: Yeah! So, I’m curious. What inspired you to pursue such an experimental style present in Endless Cycle of Saying Goodbye? It’s very unique.
Nara: For that particular film...I’ve always been interested in doing more tone-based pieces; rather than narrative or character-driven sort of stuff? I like doing things really hands-on, so, I find when focusing more on tone...there’s a lot more freedom, and you can do a lot more with intuition rather than having to follow a plan. ‘Cause that sort of freaks me out, doing all the planning...and if something doesn’t go as planned, it gets all messed up, and you’re like...“But I’ve done all this work! And now it’s for nothing!”
Doing really tone-based things, or things with a looser structure...I just find works a lot better for me, and then it also works really well because when I’m getting feedback it’s a lot easier for me to adapt it...and a lot easier for me to try out multiple different routes to find the best one, instead of being locked into one or two options.
Adam: Yeah, I always feel like the number one thing in making a good film...is just like, letting the audience sit in an emotion, because the audience will forgive literally anything if they’re engrossed in the emotion or feeling of it. Endless Cycle gives a tone of longing - it makes me miss people. And I probably wouldn’t be able to describe what technical aspects made me feel that way, but it’s the kind of film that washes over you; and you’re hit with that feeling.
With that said, what wave of emotion do you want the audience to feel when they view your masterpiece?
Nara: I think a general melancholy feeling…? ‘Cause I don’t want people to necessarily be sad, but I want them to sort of be brought back into their own emotions...almost making the audience feel vulnerable when watching the film. Feeling down isn’t necessarily a bad thing that you have to escape, it’s sort of just something you have to let yourself move through. That serene, melancholic feeling…If somebody cries, that’s a plus!
Adam: So, if you saw something bawling their eyes out during the film, how would you feel? What would your reaction be?
Nara: I might laugh!
Adam: Well, Endless Cycle definitely hits you with a wave of emotion. I start off...seeing the dead things, and I have a visceral reaction, like “Ugh! This is kinda gross…” you know? But then as it goes on, I love that static shot of the two people. It’s a very hard film to describe my exact feelings when watching it.
Are there any people, or artists outside of film that inspire you to make films?
Nara: I think in terms of this specific film there’s a Toronto artist named Alexandra Gutnik who does a lot of collage-based work. So, that’s what inspired technically where I was going [with my film]. Also, the way she does her collages, I think, are really cool ‘cause she doesn’t try to make a new scene out of all the pictures, she just takes all the images she likes and lays them out in grids on a piece of paper. So, overall, it’s just...it is a tonal thing again; [her work] creates an emotion, or all the images complement each other, rather than creating something new.
Adam: I can definitely see the inspo of the collage aspect, ‘cause even with its short time-frame, your film really feels like collage. It’s got all these different types of images and styles that you’ve kinda thrown into a melting-pot...to make something new and whole out of fragments. I thought that was really cool.
Nara: An overall inspiration throughout my work, though, is a lot of stuff involving punk - especially Toronto punk. It’s such a big community. And because of the DIY aspect of it, they can really be a community...everybody supports one another and uplifts each other. It’s nice to know that there are people who aren’t afraid of trying new things, and also people who aren’t afraid of embracing new things. It’s nice ‘cause it’s constant inspiration in all different ways - and you know that you have an audience that is open to new things, open to experimentation.
Weeda: You’re right! I think it’s important to find a community in film that supports the way you approach filmmaking.
Adam: Uh, [Adam’s grinning mischievously], you wanna give a shout-out to someone?
Nara: A shout-out to somebody? [Nara smiles] Um, I’d like to give a shout-out to sun protection. [Everyone literally dies of laughter.] Sun-screen! Hats! Sunglasses! Drinking water! Staying hydrated! If you can’t use sun-screen ‘cause you’re allergic...then get a shall, or a light shirt to cover up your arms...that’s...good.
Weeda: You sound like a big sun-screen supporter! Canadian summers are hot. How do you feel about that? :o
Nara: Um, I was just thinking about this the other day, because it’s so hot this summer, but then I remember last summer was really...sad and grey and cold all the time. And even though it’s hot, and it’s kinda awful, I kinda prefer this to the grey weather. Just ‘cause I feel like, in the grey weather, everything felt stagnant. Although, it’d be nice if it wasn’t so hot and global warming wasn’t happening…but…
Adam: I’m always like “yeah it’s so nice and hot outside…” And then I realize the implications…:”(
Anyway, were there any challenges that you had to overcome in the making of your film?
Nara: So, when I made it, I was just putting it off for a while ‘cause I didn’t have a solid idea on what I was gonna do for the film. But, then it came to be like two days before I had to show a cut to my class...but I was really sick! I had a fever. But I had to get something done - so, I just walked around with my camcorder filming things in my neighbourhood, and just going around. General sickness, having a fever…
Adam: That’s a hardship! A physical hardship.
Nara: Yeah...and I didn’t have actors, so. Nothing like that. It was just - being sick and having to get it done. Oh, another difficult thing was the music. For the music, it was just weird saying “Hey, can I use your song?” Not specifically for this film, but for every film, I feel weird emailing [artists]...I like it better when I can just Facebook message them!
Adam: What’s your 2018 summer anthem? What’s your ride-or-die anthem?
Nara: My 2018 summer anthem...probably, uh, this isn’t a very summery song, but I’ve been listening to it a lot…Miss World by Hole. [Hannah snaps her fingers enthusiastically in the background in agreement. Snap snap snap!!! Ayeeee!] I was in with my friend in a candy bar the other day and he just put it on and we were like “this isn’t very summery music, but it’s a good song, and it’s enjoyable.”
My ride-or-die though…? Um, probably some Princess Nokia! Just ‘cause [her music] always puts you in a mood. Not even necessarily a good or bad mood, but just a powerful mood. And you’re like “I am strong!” Maybe G.O.A.T. or Kitana? One of those two songs by Princess Nokia.
Weeda: So, where do you see yourself going from here? Do you have anything that you feel you intuitively want to make?
Nara: There’s one thing that has stuck with me that I want to work into a film somehow. I was watching a documentary about Danny Fields the other day and somebody in the documentary was talking about Warhol and the factory crew, and the sentence he said was “You walk in...and there’s a room of beautiful people.” And the sentence “room of beautiful people” really stuck with me. I want to do something with that sentence. I’m sort of in the thinking stage of it, with all the possibilities. Maybe I’ll go home and make a mind-map.
Weeda: Maybe you need another fever.
Nara: Maybe! Yeah! Maybe I just need to, like, get really sick again!
Nara is making films right now but dreams of being a cowboy.
Nara is also 100% watching films at insomniac film festival and is NOT going on holiday to California.
FIND NARA ON INSTAGRAM: