VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Director Sarah Adina Smith Explains Why She Wanted To Make “Birds Of Paradise”

Writer and director Sarah Adina Smith discussed subversion of audience expectations with new Amazon Prime Video movie Birds of paradise in his new uInterview.

“I read the book and really liked the idea of ​​creating a story set in the world of competitive Parisian ballet,” Smith told the founder of uInterview. Erik Meers. “So actually, once I sold the land to Amazon, I flew to Paris – I think even before the deal was done – and I decided to just love enjoying Paris and to take ballet lessons and sort of immerse myself in it. “

Smith revealed that she completed the first draft of the script in a week, during a heat wave. “The Airbnb I rented didn’t have AC, so I was like putting ice packs in front of a fan and writing at night, and it all seemed a bit – it was fun and romantic,” she declared.

“And I think I really got hooked early on wanting to tell a story where ambition and libido collided at this crucial point in a young person’s life when who they want to be mingles with who they want to be.” , she explained. . “And at the same time, I was really interested in exploring the themes of grief and pain and how the possibility of peace of heart and redemption even when it feels like you’ve done something irreparable and the story just gave me room to do it all and more.

“I wanted to start the movie in a very familiar way because I think sometimes it’s a great way for audiences to navigate it,” she added, “so it starts off as a classic tale of the stranger entering the big bad world of ballet and the supposedly bad girl, and you kinda like, you think “Okay, I get that story, okay!” And it’s fun! You know, it’s like ‘Welcome, sit down, eat some popcorn! We’re gonna have fun here!’ But then I hope I reverse the expectations and it becomes a much more complex story than that. I wanted to tell a story about the mess of this crucial friendship. I was hoping this movie was a slice of life in lives. longer of these characters, where for both of them they have been completely changed by each other in one way or another and it is not clear that this is a story of friends, lovers , on competitors, on enemies. I wanted it to be kind of all these things wrapped up in one. “

“Particularly, in a world where traditional ballet tends to be very strict gender binaries and expectations of who you are meant to be in order to be successful,” Smith continued. “And I wanted that to contrast with these contemporary coming-of-age stories where gender identity is a lot more fluid for a lot of people, and things don’t fit into those tight boxes that easily.”

Birds of paradise is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

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