We recently had the pleasure of meeting the crew behind the upcoming movie Waves. A film that is as much about quantum physics as it is about humanity, the film traverses both time and space to present a serene mix of beauty and a call to reality.
Speaking with the film’s writer and director Pilli Cortese is a memorable experience. Speaking animatedly about the film and its influences, Cortese’s passion for the film’s subject matter is obvious and this passion clearly infects those around her including the film’s lead actor Maurizio di Antonio.
The film focuses on two main characters, a woman in London and a man stranded on a desert island, who have never met. Waves adventures into the dimension of the unseen and follows the characters as they start to perceive each other despite physical separation. The film focuses on the phase prior to their encounter, going into details as to what would happen if they could have faith in their perceptions. To this end, the film focuses much of its time on the theory of entanglement and the romantic idea of a twinflame-like connection.
When discussing the film’s themes, Cortese speaks enthusiastically about the need to embrace our emotions and how we must try to remember how to communicate without technology. If we remember how to do this she believes we may find a way of communicating wordlessly through our energy or, more precisely, waves.
This technological and societal repression of emotions is, according to Cortese, ‘the worst thing you can do to a human being. For centuries artists, poets and even scientists have been communicating with their soul essence or Muse; it could be that with the advent of technology we have abandoned this habit and in doing this lost something very precious: the ability to listen to our senses’.
Using her experience as an actress, the director could explore the relationship between suppression, repression and expression more freely. She gave her actors a lot of freedom and chose to not storyboard the film. This was an active effort on Cortese’s part, allowing the cast and crew to ‘go with the flow’ of energy, with Cortese stating ‘I prefer to risk – give free reign to creative people’.
Due to a large part of the film being set on a desert island, the cast and crew spent a long time in the Seychelles. Speaking of the experience, Cortese said ‘you feel completely unmasked’. The spirituality the director felt on the island is expressed throughout the film and juxtaposes the feelings of entrapment presented in the London-based segments of the film.
Filming in the Seychelles was not without its difficulties. Lack of electricity in adventurous locations, as when filming in the jungle, and the hazardous conditions challenged the team but their spirits, thanks largely to the tone of the film, were not dashed. ‘Sometimes I thought it was part of a divine plan,’ Cortese says of the problems they encountered. When something went wrong there would be the idea that it was due to the waves and that everything, even the bleakest of problems, happened for a reason. Hearing Cortese and her crew speak so enthusiastically about such problems is inspiring.
Waves is a product of Cortese’s Wo-Ho! Productions. The company looks to make films that give back the ‘woo-hoo factor’, helping people reconnect with their emotions. Waves’s innovative transformational style certainly seems to affirm the company’s goals.
When asked what advice she would give to budding film-makers Cortese urges them to learn what it means to act before they begin the film-making process, as this will allow them to connect with their own emotions and will allow them to understand the needs of the actors and trust their contribution to the overall vision of the film. She also stresses the importance of asking why you want to tell this particular story. There is a huge difference from having just an idea for a film and feeling a burning belief. She believes an idea comes from your brain and lacks energy even when it’s good; a belief is imbued with your emotions and will fly from the screen straight to people’s hearts.
As there is minimal dialogue in Waves, sounds and music play a key role in the film in order to focus the audience on raw emotions and stimulate all of their senses. One of the songs ‘So Alone’, by Music Composer Stefano Lentini (who composed the original score of the film), is already becoming very popular among the public who have seen the trailer of Waves.
There is not a confirmed release date for Waves in UK yet, but there are plans for an opening in the USA this coming Autumn to be confirmed soon.
Be sure to check back here at Roobla for more information!
The Pre-Cannes event was organised by Paola Berta, Sheepish PR, Beverly Hills UK – Film Society & Events.
Photos by Karyn Louise, © Ruby Photography London.