Phillip Kaminiak directs ‘Circle’.
An analogy between the modern human being, living in mass cities, and the phenomenon of the circle of death.
Featuring Brenda Loustaunau Aguilar, Juan Carlos Estrada De La Cruz, Fernando Guez, Elisa Romero Ramírez, Carla Segovia, Paulina Vargas, Frank Vázquez, and Diego Vertiz.
Filmed in Mexico City.
Words from Phillip below.
Phillip, could you describe your collaboration with Qiaoqiao Zhang, what kind of conversations did you have about ‘Circle’ in pre-production?
In this case, Jacob Jonas The Company asked me if I wanted to make a film for films.dance in Mexico City. The dancers and choreographer Qiaoqiao had already been selected and a short concept had been written about the meaning of her choreography. It was about how we as humans are our own biggest obstacle, at least this is how I understood it. I said that I would love to shoot this in Mexico City, but it would be important to give this a narrative meaning, a second layer, and Mexico City needs to be a protagonist as well.
Humans functioning like ants in our turbo-capitalist, high-speed times, living in mass cities.
Around this time, I went to the North Amazon in Ecuador, and that’s where I observed the phenomenon of the “Circle of Death” which is when thousands of ants lose their pheromone track and start running in a circle until they die of exhaustion. This spectacle was very important and meaningful to me. The next morning I woke up and all made sense: Qiaoqiao’s concept in relation to the ant circle, Mexico City in relation to humans functioning like ants in our turbo-capitalist, high-speed times, living in mass cities.
Could you talk about how you were able to fulfil both Director and DOP duties?
If I’m well prepared and know exactly what I need, then it saves time and makes things much easier for me both directing and being the DOP.
I’m intrigued to ask for your take on structure, do you think dance films have any requirements and how did you build a structure?
If a structure is established you can be free within these boundaries.
Structure is all you need. Structure and a clear idea. If a structure is established you can be free within these boundaries. It’s a bit like jazz music. You can just improvise and you’ll know that if you follow certain rules it will work, sound good, and make sense.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading a lot of instructions and manuals for modular synthesizers at the moment. I haven’t finished a novel in ages.
- Jacob Jonas, Thomas Amoedo
- Executive Producer
- David Kohan
- Qiaoqiao Zhang
- Director of Photography
- Raven Bush
- LANDIA, Jacob Jonas The Company
- Production Company