Writer, director and photographer Aoife McArdle talks about her first feature film, Kissing Candice…
Your film, Kissing Candice, made its Irish debut at the Dublin International Film Festival – what are you hoping audiences will take from it?
Hopefully, they’ll enjoy being immersed in its world. It’s a dark fairytale that deals with universal themes, but it’s also quite anarchic – youthful in both content and form. It’s set on the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic, as it felt like a good metaphor for being a 17-year-old; on the cusp of adulthood and always on edge. I knew the area well, as my parents are both from Louth. It has this timeless, wild west kind of beauty. Mostly, I hope they like seeing so much local young talent in one film.
The visual style and mood is quite distinct…
I love visual storytelling. I’m obsessed with every aspect of it – art direction, lighting, cinematography, costume, post production and colour grading. I love the detail of filmmaking. So much of the metaphorical depth, mystery and atmosphere of a story is created using these tools. Aesthetically, the vivid colour palette and low-key lighting style is probably a distillation of multiple interests – dreams, art, photography, vintage horror and noir. I guess the goal is always to create eye protein rather than just eye candy.
When did you feel Ann Skelly was the right actress to play Candice?
From day one, I had a good feeling about her. She had a natural connection to the character and that was exciting to find.
This article was originally published in the March 2018 issue of IMAGE.