Creeping Panic: Rebecca Hall and Andrew Semans on Resurrection | Interviews

Within that there must be a line of logic. You have to make sure you hit the right timing, that there are cadences and rhythms. The pace, or the lack of it – and moments to pause, to think – were very specifically mapped out in my head. She experiences memories, and there are memories that are more or less painful; when you hit them, the feelings come or they don’t because you try to suppress them. Acting is very strange.

As Margaret’s past resurfaces, it’s also fascinating to see these ripples in how she begins to manipulate those around her, especially the young women in her life.

HR: That’s another reason why I found it believable that Andrew was bold enough to write this character so honestly. I was fascinated by Margaret’s relationship with her intern. She’s this person who gives you a job, so all this emotional advice that’s helpful on some level, but she’s also kind of coming out of how good she is at giving advice. It’s controlling and then she dumps a huge amount of information on this poor girl just because she can. She has more power.

That act is quite abusive, as is the way she parent her child. As things get worse, she becomes more controlling and that is also problematic. The repetition of abuse is subtly woven into this narrative in a way that feels real, but then you also have these outlandish elements that push it towards something epic, almost mythological. There is this ultimate retribution. Here we have a woman with such rage, and she has a way of expressing it in the end that feels very primal. You couldn’t get to that level of primal without the extremity of history.

Andrew, the 70s conspiracy thriller that “Cloths“and”The conversation” influenced this film, but you have also referenced Todd Haynes‘”Sure” as a great inspiration.

AS: I refer to “Safe” all the time because it’s possibly my favorite movie of all time. I have such a strong emotional response to “Safe,” even though it’s so austere, partly because it’s the best induction of generalized anxiety I’ve seen. As an anxious person, this means something to me. When I first saw it, it blew me away because it was a film that used techniques, images and tropes from horror films and thrillers, but it’s not horror and it’s not a thriller. It engages in the style of telling a dramatic story with elements of satire. I saw it when I was young, and it never occurred to me that you could use these techniques in a non-horror, non-thriller space. It was the first film I had ever seen that felt so stripped down and tight. It all takes place in these incredibly mundane spaces that are somehow imbued with a sense of menace or paranoia, but never overtly. It is a very elegantly made film. And it is all structured around this absolutely extraordinary central notion of Julianne Moorewhich still blows me away.

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