Anne Hath­away teams with Time­crimes di­rec­tor Na­cho Vi­ga­londo for a mind-con­trolled-mon­ster movie. Red Alert gets the scoop

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Mak­ing a Mon­ster Movie was a dream come true for na­cho vi­ga­londo

“i can’t avoid the fear that i’ll stop mak­ing movies at some point,” span­ish di­rec­tor vi­ga­londo con­fides to red alert when we meet at the toronto in­ter­na­tional film fes­ti­val. “so some­how, any time i get to make a movie, i try to ful­fil a dream, in case i stop mak­ing films.” the lat­est tick on his bucket list is a gi­ant kaiju movie, al­beit with a twist. Colos­sal, which pre­miered at tiff, sees re­cov­er­ing al­co­holic glo­ria (anne hath­away) dis­cov­er­ing that she has a bizarre, psy­chic con­nec­tion with the mon­ster that’s sud­denly started ap­pear­ing in seoul.

it was weirdly easy to Make

“hon­estly, i feel like mak­ing movies is never easy,” says vi­ga­londo. “in this case, it’s been kind of easy.” Pro­duc­tion com­pany volt­age Pic­tures boosted the bud­get af­ter see­ing an early cut so that more could be made of the korean se­quences, and hav­ing a star like hath­away on board helped. the Dark Knight Rises ac­tress was con­vinced af­ter check­ing out his early work. “i re­alised he could pull off all these am­bi­tious and crazy ideas that were [in the script],” she says. co-star Ja­son sudeikis, who plays glo­ria’s bar-owner friend, adds, “i watched a col­lec­tion of [his short films]. af­ter the first three i was like, ‘oh, this guy can do it.’”

vi­ga­londo loves to twist gen­res

Time­crimes, Ex­trater­res­trial… vi­ga­londo likes to sub­vert sci-fi tropes in his work, and Colos­sal is no dif­fer­ent. it plays like a small-bud­get mum­blecore movie crossed with Pa­cific Rim, and the fact that the us char­ac­ters con­tinue with their lives while dis­as­ter rages on in seoul adds a bizarre re­al­ism. “from a child­ish point of view, [flip­ping the genre] makes me alive for the process,” says vi­ga­londo. “But when i make a movie that changes the tropes or uses the tropes in a twisted way, i know some peo­ple will not en­joy it.”

his di­rec­tion is… odd

Per­haps un­sur­pris­ing, given his bonkers back cat­a­logue, but vi­ga­londo gives some bizarre on-set notes to his ac­tors. “it’s kind of synaes­thetic in that he’s ab­stract,” says hath­away. “he’ll come up to you and be like, ‘i re­ally saw the colour blue when i wrote this scene.’ i’ll walk away and be like, ‘oh...’” sudeikis agrees. “he’s that 12-year-old you see in the play­ground and go, ‘what’s he do­ing?’ you’re re­ally cu­ri­ous about him.” he has a unique way to de­stress too. “na­cho would just pull out comic books,” adds hath­away. “that was his way of han­dling it and stay­ing calm.” “or play­ing iPad games,” butts in sudeikis, “he’s a big gamer.”

the filM is oPen to in­ter­Pre­ta­tion

the premise might be bizarre, but Colos­sal res­onates deeply un­der the sur­face. Many crit­ics who saw the film in toronto praised the un­der­ly­ing fem­i­nist con­no­ta­tions, as the men in glo­ria’s life project their ideals on her. “when we were mak­ing it, i thought it was a movie about ad­dic­tion,” ad­mits hath­away, “but i missed all that.” vi­ga­londo de­scribes him­self as a “fem­i­nist ally” but doesn’t want to la­bel the film. “i just want it to live by it­self,” he says. “i want the movie to be its own state­ment. i don’t want to politi­cise the au­di­ence.”

Colos­sal played at the 2016 Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val and is ex­pected to open next year.

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