Andrew Ondrejcak Introduces His Film THE ACTRESS

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"It was an enormously interesting process akin to being a painter and going to the Louvre to replicate a painting by an old master."

Andrew Ondrejcak's The Actress is showing exclusively on MUBI starting June 8, 2022 in the series Brief Encounters, as well as in the series Pride Unprejudiced: LGBTQ+ Cinema.

The Actress confronts old ideals of art and beauty, reimagining some of Hollywood’s most cherished performances. To do this, I recreated six iconic scenes from Hollywood films and made a simple but radical change: I replaced the leading lady with my own muse, Isabel Sandoval. 

The earliest film we recreated is Morocco (1930), the seminal film during which Marlene Dietrich dressed in a men’s tuxedo and kissed a woman (!). The most recent film we included is The Tree of Life (2011) because Isabel and I wanted her to play a mother, and Terrence Malick’s ethereal idealization of Jessica Chastain was our starting point. I particularly liked shooting the fur-lined spaceship set from Barbarella (1968) because I was able to offer Isabel (channeling Jane Fonda) dialogue that the original Barbarella could never have said.

In each scenario, the cinematographer Diana Matos and I tried to stay as faithful as possible to the original way it was filmed…including lenses, film stock, and camera movements. It was an enormously interesting process akin to being a painter and going to the Louvre to replicate a painting by an old master.

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