HN: What is the main underlining theme that you wanted to deliver through this trilogy? How is each film intertwined to the trilogy’s main theme?
Marta Pajek: I wouldn’t say there’s one particular theme, especially that throughout the triptych we shift from micro to macro scale – from intimate to global. What I wanted all three films to evoke, however, is the feeling of frustration, similar to what one might have when looking at an impossible figure. At the same time, I wanted the films to bring some kind of catharsis. What connects the three films is also a female protagonist, who might be seen as the same woman and the element of nature, which plays a role in all three stories.
HN: What are the independent themes or messages that you wanted to deliver with each film?
Marta Pajek: I don’t like to think about the films as delivering a message. I would rather hope that the audience can recognize themselves or their experiences in the stories and resonate with them. Part III portrays an exhausting relationship between a man and a woman, part II shows a woman’s search for herself through the corridors of her home and part I is a dystopian vision of the end of our civilization.
HN: The three films have received many international awards. What part of your animated films do you think is attractive to animation professionals?
Marta Pajek: I think it would be best to ask animation professionals. But I hope it’s the same thing, that it appeals to non-professionals – I hope the stories resonate with individuals in the audience on a personal level and that they touch them.
HN: Where did the idea of using ‘impossible figures’ come from, and what was your aim with that? And how did you design the scenes with ‘impossible figures’ in each film?
Marta Pajek: The first impulse was to use impossible figures, trying to write stories which would resemble them on a narrative level. With them, however, came other inspirations connected to illusions – M. C. Escher, patterns, anamorphosis. In part I the impossible figure acquires a more symbolic, monumental meaning – it actually appears as a monument in one scene.
HN: Could you please let us know what you took care in the most in the visual design of the characters, and what were your goals with that?
Marta Pajek: My drawing style is quite simple, so the main difficulty in designing the characters was to make them look like individuals – with certain personalities and with imperfections, but at the same time not to go to extremes, to avoid caricature.
HN: Each film has scenes of fast movements in geometrical spaces that gives a strong sense of perspective that pulls me into an endless, surreal space, and it makes me feel like I am confronting those situations with the protagonist. Please let us know your intentions with that, and the creative process behind making those scenes.
Marta Pajek: I’m glad you feel that way – that was indeed my intention! Space is an important factor in the film, it allows creating illusions and playing tricks, which should bring you closer to the protagonist. In some of the scenes I relied heavily on 3D to create camera movement along patterned walls or an anamorphic illusion. In others, however, it was the simplicity of the black and white drawing that allowed cheating the eye and confusing the brain.
HN: I felt that the mysterious and vivid expressions of the physical contacts in the films convey the characters’ raw emotions to the viewer in a strong and intuitive way. How did you develop those visual expressions and what did you take care in the most in the creation of them?
Marta Pajek: I think that sound had an important role to play in this case. Naturally, I tried to make sure, that the animation is simple, but perfectly timed. It is the sound, however, and the work of Michał Jankowski, that adds this extra dimension to it. Michał did sound design for my first professional film, Sleepincord, and we’ve been collaborating ever since. I think it is this sound layer that allows the connection to identifywith the protagonists.
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