Like every normal person, I hate my voice. And I am not the only one who hates my voice. The voiceover gets a lot of strong reactions. A lot of people love it, and a few people truly hate it and pronounce the films are unwatchable because of my Latvian accent. But it also has a certain level of theatricality, and everything is important for a manic character.
The book that influenced me most is Sherlock Holmes, which teaches you the way to deal with reality: to deduct. It teaches you to put together the signs. For example, I look at a person and I see their coat, their jacket, their handwriting, their iPhone, and I am able to deduct some details about who they are, what they wear, and what they do. For many years I was fascinated with Sherlock Holmes. The series trained me to look at the world through these sharp, unforgiving eyes.
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Animation remove you from a visual reality - if it was live action, you wouldn't be able to see through the person's mind. But animation takes a step away. It creates a very stylized landscape, but at the same time it is the form that is best able to address the reality of being alive and being in pain.
I guess for major film industry players a film is a money making devise, so using formulas assures them that their investment will have returns. A lot of big studio films are created by formulas and committees, stripping away any individuality or personality from the work so that they could appeal to most everyone on there planet but to no one in particular.
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I try not to think of myself as a woman filmmaker. I don't look for women influences. I have noticed that there is a certain ceiling that a woman filmmaker can reach. I don't believe that it's sexism per se, but there are certain expectations in the industry about what films should be, how they should be made, what stories they should tell, and it's a habit, it's a tradition.
I guess I'm interested in the behind-the-surface feelings of the human condition, in my own way. I was always struck by the gap - at least in the books I was reading - between what people tell stories about and what I actually feel. I started thinking about a gap between fantasy and reality.
Nobody wants to see the truth. Everybody wants to have the fantasy. When I look back at the books I was reading in my childhood were selling some sort of fantasy as well. Most stories are not going to tell the deep suffering of every day. No book prepared me for the suffering I would experience in life because the word "suffering" does not even describe what the suffering is. No story is going to tell you that, and no words can tell you that.