Color/Blind, a movie by Caroline Mariko
Caroline Stucky, aka Caroline Mariko Stucky – as she presents herself in one of the five teasers of her latest short film Color/Blind – is a Swiss-Japanese Filmmaker. Inspired by her father who owned a Super 8mm camera and her uncle, founder of Métrociné, her passion for films started at a very young age. Self-taught, she created videos to entertain her family and have fun with her friends. In 2005, she had the opportunity to work at the Aïchi Universal Exposition on a show created by Robert Wilson – In the evening at Koi Pond. Since then, Caroline studied filmmaking in LA, cinematography in Hamburg, screenwriting in NY and has worked for over thirty film and theater productions.
Today (September 20th 2014), is a special day for her. Two of her latest short films – Color/Blind and Paper Boats – are going to be screened on opposite coasts of the United-States.
KM: Caroline, tells us more about your films and where they are going to be screened.
– Paper Boats tells the story of a young boy and his fear of time passing by. It was written by Anna Kriegel, a very young French writer and is the first film I directed and didn’t write. I was a bit nervous in the beginning but Anna let me free to do whatever I wanted. In the end, it was a great experience to put in images someone else’s words, especially ones from a writer who inspires me as much as Anna does. The film will be screened for the second time in New York, during the Williamsburg International Film Festival.
Color/Blind is having its US Premiere at the Hollywood Weekly Magazine Film Festival in California. It’s a commentary about racism and how we should never judge a person for their appearance. I co-wrote it with Lex Scott Davis, an actress who writes poetry. She helped me find the voices of each character who are teenagers who live in Harlem and do freestyle rap. Another exciting collaboration was recording the original soundtrack with two outrageous artists, Swiss Chris and Kevin Njikam from M7 (Movement 7). It took six months to find the perfect collaboration and I really wanted to work with New York musicians but it ended up being with a drummer from my country and a composer from Oakland California. Music or art should I say, really has no frontier.
How did you approach filming Paper Boats?
– The screenplay is very poetic and abstract so I decided to keep that style for the visual part. I divided the scenes in two styles – real world and surreal world – and simply followed the script literally. I had a great producer, David Borens, who got everything I wanted and a team who never questioned my method. Paper Boats was by far the smoothest production I ever worked on.
How was it the smoothest one?
– I am not saying it was all easy. We had to change a little bit the script because we couldn’t find an actor with the right age or we had to cancel one night because of rain and find a new location that was less populated for one exterior scene. Anyway, filming in NYC is not the easiest thing to do. First of all, the weather forecast is always wrong, than people on the street are not very cooperative, you have planes and helicopters flying every 2 minutes over your head wherever you are and it’s hard to find a parking space. But other than that, everything went as planned.
Where did you get the idea for Color/Blind?
– The idea came to me when I was living in Harlem. I stayed in an apartment where every night, people from the building or the neighborhood came for dinner or to have a drink or a chat. I am by nature shy but I immediately felt comfortable. Later I realized it was because no one was judging me for my race, which has been something that was always an issue wherever I went. Even on the phone, for a job interview for example and the person who interviewed me meets me afterwards, I often hear: “I didn’t imagine you this way”. Of course, I have a French accent but I look Asian. So I kept returning to the thought that if everybody was blind, appearance or ethnicity wouldn’t matter anymore.
What is next for you?
– I am currently writing a screenplay about a young man who grew up in South Brooklyn in the 50’s and who managed to escape the street gang he was in. I am also preparing my first feature film that I am co-writing with Anna Kriegel – a love story between a teacher and her former student in a homophobic and conservative environment. Other than that, I have other short-film projects such as a spy-comedy and more fun stuff, which I am sure you will hear about soon.
Caroline Mariko: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Caroline-Mariko/262552040452595
Paper Boats: https://www.facebook.com/paperboats.themovie
by Kyoko Miura