- The American director, who sprung a surprise in 2013 with the film Little Feet, where his own children played the lead roles, returns this year to Seminci with another feature film with his family at the head of the cast
10/25 / 2020.- American filmmaker Alexandre Rockwell returns to Seminci with his film Sweet Thing, the story of two teenagers who must get ahead in a broken family, with an alcoholic father and an absentee mother. And he does so again with the help of his children, Lana and Nico Rockwell, as he did in 2013 with the film Little Feet, which screened in the Official Section of the 59th Seminci. This time his wife Karyn Parsons also joins the cast.
“I was surprised that that the previous film received the great reception it had and I decided to give it some kind of continuity and try to recapture the same idea: the poetry distilled by the enormous imagination that kids have. I took the risk as director and, despite a few doubts, the truth is that I was lucky, “said Alexandre Rockwell, who appeared by videoconference from the living room of his US home with the rest of his family.
In Sweet Thing the challenge was bigger, since the protagonists are adolescents and have that great desire for freedom that is typical of teenagers. “When they enter adulthood they have to adapt to a series of rules of conduct and constraints that are sometimes underpinned by negative ideas like racism. It is a shock and it is normal for children to wonder if they have done something wrong, it is a dilemma that everyone faces, ” said the director.
Despite the difficulties involved in pulling the film through, Rockwell is satisfied with the result. The film tells the story of two siblings who decide to break loose from the complicated world of adults inspired by their friendship with Malik, an unconventional boy who frees them from their shackles. Together they embark on a journey into the poetic world of childhood and early adolescence.
Lana Rockwell, who has only worked in film with her father, pointed out that although it was sometimes difficult to separate the father from the director, the shooting proved an easy job because they both maintain a good relationship and communicate well.
“There are advantages and disadvantages, but working with the family also makes it easier”, said the teenager, who confessed that she was more interested in telling stories (including behind-the-camera work) than in acting as such. “It is something that I take from my father,” she added.
The hardest scene for Lana was the one in which her hair was sheared, as this is one of the main traits of her physical identity; but she also claimed that she learned a lot from the more complicated parts of the shoot.
For his part, Nico Rockwell, whose character also cuts his hair in solidarity with her sister, highlighted as well the good relationship with their father and the fun of making this movie. However, rather than being an actor, he confessed, he would prefer to go into sports.
“I feel no special passion for acting. It has been a lot of fun, but I don’t know what will come next, I would like to be an NBA player, ” he said tongue-in-cheek, surrounded by his family . For Karyn Parsons this was her first film with her family, and she found it a rewarding experience. “I liked playing this character, although it has its dark side too, and I appreciated doing it with Alexandre,” she said.