An intriguing story centred around a neuron-transfer scientist’s experiments with a comatose young woman, Vanishing Waves is a brave and exciting effort from an up and coming team. Aleksandra Koluvija spoke to Lithuanian screenwriter and director Kristina Buozyte at a screening of her film about dreams, art, sex, and financing a feature.
A couple of years ago an idea was born. The sophomore film project of aspiring Lithaunian writer and director Kristina Buozyte and French co-writer and creative director Bruno Semper had a deeply imbedded vision. Out of this collaboration blossomed a film with a surreal love story beyond boundaries or social control.
After viewing the film at a Mobile Kino screening in Kreuzberg and letting my mind travel into a scientific dream world of absolute love, I got to talk to the ambitious writer and director of Vanishing Waves. Kristina Buozyte and I talked about how the Lithuanian and French collaborative project triggers an emotional journey in and out of reality. In a beautiful way the dream and real world become inseparable in this erotic sci-fi drama. The best part is that – while we talked about the ‘film’, ‘money’, ‘sex’, ‘the arts’ and ‘dreams’ – I learned a lot from this young aspiring Lithuanian director.
So, let me say a bit more about the ‘film’: Vanishing Waves could be called a phantasmagorical erotic science-fiction film, but it remains difficult to squeeze it into a genre. I will not even try to classify it and blindly put it in a lonely drawer; instead I will embrace that the protagonists Lukas (Marius Jampolskis) and Aurora (Jurga Jutaite) make the departure out of their lovely dream undesirable. It is so easy to become part of this film, so it is no wonder that ‘Twitch Film’ called it “The Erotic Sci-Fi Drama of the Year”.
Still there is always the question of ‘money’. Finding funding for this project was not easy in Lithuania. With the financial support, for example from the Lithuanian cultural ministry, the budget was still quite low. Kristina said that the biggest asset to produce the film was the belief of the people that actively participated in the film. With the support of the believers and as a Lithuanian, French and Belgian co-production, the four year long realisation of the Vanishing Waves project was possible even with the low budget.
Another touchy topic was the ‘sex’ aspect of the film. ‘Vanishing Waves’ includes very dynamic and energetic erotic scenes with nudity and adult content, which can be a bit of a hitch in Catholic Lithuania. Kristina had to face many rejections of actors – believe it or not, most nudity rejections were from men – before shooting began. Kristina said that “nudity has a meaning [in the film] but is not the centre of focus,” but it was still a long process to find the right actors. ‘Vanishing Waves’ has many hypnotising erotic scene and especially the scene with a tangled pile of naked human bodies moving in a sensual rhythm is very intriguing.
Obviously the film has an artistic uniqueness. Kristina, who chose ‘the arts’ over medicine (both medicine and directing were a career option), does not only blow up the limitations of genres with Vanishing Waves to create a sensual explosion, but she also combines medical science, eroticism and unreality. Her personal interest in medicine and science is very well captured in her artistic film.
In another life, Kristina might have been a doctor, but as a director she wants to further explore her ‘dreams’ and find a good balance with reality. She told me that before Vanishing Waves she was much more focused on an ideal vision of the project, but with her next film she aims to find an even better balance between dreams and realism while directing the film. We all grow further with each experience and I cannot wait to see her next film, but until then I will watch Vanishing Waves on DVD and Blu-ray.