As showcased in films like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and The Bad Batch, filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour's cinematic ambitions know no bounds, as she blends together various unexpected storytelling genres and tones to make entirely unique experiences. Amirpour continues that tradition with her new film Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon, which features elements of sci-fi and thriller, but also has heartwarming familial connections at its core. While audiences might not know too much about the main character's past or future, Amirpour recently recalled how helpful it is for her as a storyteller to invest in those unseen elements. Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon is in theaters, On Demand, and on Digital HD on September 30th.
"I think the past -- and certainly the past and the future because I did think of a sequel for this -- and backstories are everything with the characters because then I understand why their house would look a certain way or the car they drive or all those details," Amirpour shared with ComicBook.com of developing those character elements. "I'm obsessive-compulsive about the world-building. I just feel like when everything -- how it looks about this world, the locations, the sound, the shoes, everything, the way the food looks and everything, then it's just there. Then these beautiful characters can just play. So yeah, that's a lot of it. I don't have to think about the present then in a weird way. It's almost like there somehow."
The film is described, "When a struggling single mother (Kate Hudson) befriends a mysterious mental institute escapee with supernatural powers (Jun Jong Seo), she sees a lucrative opportunity to make some fast cash. But when they draw the attention of a detective (Craig Robinson), their luck starts to run out as the cops close in on their crime spree."
While Amirpour is understandably no stranger to ambitious blends of genres, the experience presented Hudson with some fresh collaborative opportunities.
"Every experience is different, but Lily is wild and spontaneous, I would say, and very clear about what she needs when she needs it. She is a shooter," Hudson detailed. "I see her as a shooter, but I never ever felt like she wasn't completely focused on the performance, but I knew. I think sometimes actors can feel uneasy when they're working with what people call 'shooters.' I see shooters to be the great visual masters, so I knew that when she was directed at something specific, that was my time to have her back. I'm going to commit to this because she needs something that's going to look really cool. And I get excited by that because I just love cinema, and I know that those things take time and they're specific. So I like working in that environment."
She continued, "And then the dancer in me really likes it because it's like, tell me where to go and what to do, and I'll be there for you. So it was great. That's, to me, what it's like working with Lily. And when you're working with ... Writer-directors are very different. It's definitely a more specific experience. To me, when you walk into someone who's a writer-director, it is their vision, and you have to respect that and hopefully bring that to life."
Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon is in theaters, On Demand, and on Digital HD on September 30th.
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