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Screen Queen: Interview with Aoife McArdle, Director of Kissing Candice


by Meg Walker
01st May 2018
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Writer, director and photographer Aoife McArdle talks about her first feature film, Kissing Candice

Aoife McArdle, portrait by Alex Hulsey

 

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.