Natalie Dormer: 'It’s a bold new world for the film industry'
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Starring Natalie Dormer, this year’s psychological thriller In Darkness follows blind musician Sofia as she’s drawn into London’s criminal underground after the death of her upstairs
Credit: In Darkness
“I love psychological thrillers,” Natalie says. “It’s one of my
In Darkness is a bold foray into the genre, being Natalie’s first venture into script-writing - and it’s a chance that she’s waited almost a decade for.
Speaking about the late 00s, when the idea for the film was first put forward, she reveals a frustration about the scripts that were coming her way, and how this impacted her confidence.
“I was at a certain point in my career where I felt that I wasn’t of a level that I was getting anything other than two-dimensional roles,” she says, “and so
“For an independent
Natalie is convinced diversity in
One of the most interesting points of the film is that the heroine is a blind character, and the cinematography thus must adapt to her. “You basically have to create a visual grammar that
“And you have to do that visually and using sound, so sound design is something that we spent an awfully long time conceiving.”
He continues: “You can’t be in front of her, so you have to stay behind her, then being behind her constantly makes you feel like a voyeur - so it kind of puts you in a different headspace.”
“When you’re in her apartment, instead of just having a camera over in the corner of the room and just watching you’re very deliberately on her shoulder; you’re very deliberately off her eye-line. There’s very specific grammar that you’re creating in order to tell the story.”
Allowing the audience to become a voyeur to Sofia’s story, whilst still allowing Sofia to maintain power, is a fine and difficult line to tread. “How to do that, I think, is an age-old psychological thriller question,” says Natalie.”
“You could write a whole thesis on Hitchcockian heroines. Getting that line between victim and empowered heroine; it’s necessary because you need to see vulnerability in a character or else you don’t engage with them physically or mentally. That’s how we identify with a protagonist, that they feel pain and fear the way we do, so you have to have that.”
“It’s a way to suggest vulnerability as well,” says Anthony. “The beginning of the film is all about watching her routine, understanding it, watching her go home, seeing her alone in her apartment, and then there are very deliberate building blocks that are applied.”
Natalie adds: “It’s what you explain to the audience in the first five minutes, that what they see is not what they think they see.
“Anthony immediately tells the audience that they can’t trust themselves, so the unreliability of what you think you see, or whom you think you’re watching, is immediately set up.
“And like I say, for us, you can call it derivative, but it’s just a love letter to psychological thrillers - as film lovers ourselves.”
In Darkness is out on Digital and DVD now
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