Eggs and Soldiers, written and directed by Imelda O’Reilly

Synopsis: Eggs and Soldiers: A single Irish Dad forgets to buy the tree on Christmas Eve. Ned the older son’s humanity is challenged as he risks everything to have his younger brother Marco experience a real Irish Christmas.

Eggs and Soldiers is about broken people trying to stay alive in a broken system. Nobody is perfect and everyone in one way or another has different sets of issues.

The title comes from a food game from Ireland and England where you cut the bread to look like soldiers and then dip the soldiers in the egg. It was to help get children to eat their food. I have been developing this project and in terms of visual references I used Gary Oldman’s Nil By Mouth as a starting point. We used a lot of long lenses to create the world of the characters. The tone of the film has a rugged and gritty feel to it. We shot mostly in Washington Heights in New York City. The colors in the world were muted greys and browns.

Christian wants his younger son Marco who is biracial to experience a real Irish Christmas. He buys Selection Boxes, Christmas Crackers and plum pudding which is what a typical Irish Christmas would be like back in Ireland. Christian even manages to mess that up when he forgets to buy the tree and bring it home. Christian drinks himself out of despair to alleviate the constant haunting of this displacement and the struggles of being a single parent.

During the fight sequence we used a hand held camera to show the destabilization of Ned’s world. The series does include evocative visual angles, vibrant use of shadow and light with cinematography that alternates between tranquil and edgy. Christian is living on the edge and I wanted the camera to emulate this edginess.

Director’s Artist Statement
As a writer and filmmaker I play with the borders between my relationships to reality, mystery and tension. The act of seeing and how story unfolds in the narrative. I am chasing subconscious thoughts that inform imagination and behavior and how they intertwine.

My intention is to engage viewers, lure them into a world on the surface that appears joyful but underneath I create a subtext that destabilizes the viewer using words and images as counterpoint in aesthetic and tone. When I work I begin with words but then delve deeper into images. Wallace Stevens says, “the poem is the cry of its occasion.” Poems have always been blue prints for me, in poems time is condensed and moments have more clarity. Later on when I am editing the footage I have another opportunity to reshape my ideas.

As a child growing up in Catholic Ireland I spent a lot of time climbing trees and dreaming myself out of the countryside. I invented stories and characters shaping a fictional universe they could inhabit. It is this transcendental space that drew me into a point of creating my own work process and practice. I believe creating is a form of meditation. Imelda O’Reilly.

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Dark Passages, web series

Dark Passages, the Web Series, is an anthology type series similiar to the old Twillight Zone.
Each webisode is approximately 10 minutes long with a different strange and bizarre tale from filmmakers around the world. We are preparing to launch Season 2 but the first Season is avaliable at:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1xaJLni_O34Z5rDFsY_bOA
Website: http://darkpassages0011.wix.com/dark-passages
Facebook Page: Dark Passages the web Series

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Interview with filmmaker Aneek Chaudhuri

1. Charles Abraham: Aneek Chaudhuri, do you truly believe that happiness in life is impossible?
Ans. I might be the most optimistic person on earth while saying this, but indeed my perspective on life is quite different. No, I believe happiness in life is extremely possible and one deserves to be happy. When I see people around me earning humongous bucks and yet they sleep off the day with gloom faces, I feel pity. I mean that’s what they aimed to be, to be successful, to earn huge and lead a happy life. But, to me life is not about money at all; moreover, I believe that more a person would be inclined toward money, the less happy he/she would be in life. My childhood was not a delicious cupcake, but I always sensed a ray of hope.

2. I think it’s safe to say that most people would disagree.
Ans. I think almost everyone today will oppose this, but ones who are reading this will actually think of life to be quite easier.

3. What are your views on love?
Ans. I am quite neutral about love, as for me my creation is my love. Now giving a personified form of the same, if a person actually fits into the character, I would prefer to fall in love with the person. I mean, here I mean the platonic bond between me and the girl. So, for me it’s no inertia that I should be in love with a girl, it’s something more than a compulsion and my films are based on similar themes where the protagonist actually craves for a platonic bond rather than getting sexually attracted to someone.

4. To say, if you need to choose Cinema over your girl, whom would you choose?
Ans. Of course Cinema! See, both have their own places in life, but Cinema is immortal for me or something that corresponds my life-span and my Cinema will die along with me and is set to accompany me even after death; not the same with a girl. However, I can also prove to a good lover.

5. Now, let’s come to the person as a director. Aneek, you have been involved with movies based on sexuality, homosexuality etc. So, what made you choose such subjects?
Ans. Not on homosexuality, but my movies made in the recent past, were based on identifying sexuality and its realization. Well, I am a straight guy, but was put to think by the relative nature of being homosexuals. There are friends, who are homosexuals by nature, and according to them it is quite normal (I think the same); however, there are persons who may have been in bed with the same sex partner and hence, was confused about their sexual orientation. My movie that got screened at an International Fest, Embrace deals with the same and the design is based on Salvador Dali’s The Great Masturbator. Hence, I derived that one can also be bi-sexual and that’s nothing but the overpowering of feminine nature in a person over its masculine part. I choose subjects as a chapter of realization and make others do the same through my films.

6. What inspires you to make films?
Ans. Life is a great inspiration in choosing films. Cinema is not a tiring business for me at all, it’s all about an enjoyment of life to its zenith. I do not go to social clubs, but Cinema provides me with the same intoxication. Isn’t that enough to inspire someone?

7. Aneek, I also came to know that you have made a feature length movie Cinema Bid Adieu. The name itself is quite interesting; please give your take.
Ans. No, actually I am working on a project that would help to nullify the usage of language from Cinema and starting with Bengali Cinema, I want to achieve it at a global platform. Cinema Bid Adieu is the first project and is almost complete now to be screened. It deals with the context of Lumiere Brothers’ Arrival of a train and combining it with the content of ‘Shrinking nature of war’. In this, I have defined how the crisis is slowly getting at a micro-level and in future, it will be applied to sustain you on earth. Quite tough to establish my opinion that quick in India though, but I will not accept quick turn comments.

8.Would you ever act in any film, or your film?
Ans. Not in my film, though! But if I ever get the opportunity to play the role of a lunatic character, or an artist (not the usual kind), or someone who is not me then it would be nice to play such a role, It would be a challenger for me and it had been a dream for me to play such roles. In my film, I would prefer to stay behind the camera.

9. You are quite young to be a filmmaker. Do you face problems in instructing people or any kind of barrier?
Ans. Well, my thoughts are quite matured, so there’s no barrier in making films.

10. Will you take a retirement from films?
Ans. Not until my death! This is the thing which I enjoy, the day I will leave making films, I will live my part of life; hence, that symbolizes death. I have lots to gain and lots to bring to India. I feel energetic, and I can even stand out there holding the film camera, in 45 degrees in summer and capture event, I can lie down the ground in winters, and I can craft a film, even if am just out of OT. It’s out of the question of retiring from films.

11. Aneek, before leaving, some words for aspiring filmmakers.
Ans. Enjoy your work, and don’t always treat Cinema as a commercial venture for revenues. Cheers!

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

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