Interview with Rupert Jones

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Kaleidoscope a new film  written and directed by Rupert Jones opens in UK cinemas on 10th November.  The film a drama inspired by the work of Hitchcock and Polanski. At the heart of this modern day Psycho are some unsettling questions: Can we ever escape the role in which we are cast by our early circumstances? Must a perpetrator first be a victim?

Staring  some amazing British talent in the form of Toby Jones, Anne Reid and Sinéad Matthews Kaleidoscope immerses us in the world of middle-aged Carl (Jones), recently released from prison, who is trying to adjust to life on the outside. His bleak life is challenged by the arrival of his controlling mother (Reid) just as he embarks on his first date in 15 years. The film is a twisted and tangled delve into one man’s psyche, as influences of past and present collide in his tortured mind. 

We recently spoke to Director Rupert Jones about the film:

Kaleidoscope film written directed by Rupert Jones starring Toby Jones photographed by Andrew Ogilvy Photography


Where did the idea of KALEIDOSCOPE come from?

I’m never sure where ideas come from. This began with the notion of a man who wakes to find a dead body in his bathroom and with no memory of how it got there. Everything came from that, really. How did the body get there? And what to do now? The next big idea, I suppose, was the notion that the man’s mother would be the quasi detective of the piece.

How did you go about setting the tone – what did your DoP help bring for the aesthetic?

I guess the two biggest aesthetic choices were that we were going to imagine that the previous tenants of the flat had lived there for decades without changing anything; and that we were going to light the film with hard shadows and pretty severe contrast. Philipp Blaubach, the DP, was absolutely tireless. Some of the more challenging shots are in the film because of his dedication. Even though we were working six day weeks, Philipp built a large scale kaleidoscope at home which enabled us to get the interior shots of the kaleidoscope. He was also, along with the grip Chris Rusby, instrumental in making the stair shots attainable.

What has it been like working with your brother, Toby?
I’ve worked with Toby a couple of times before, so I knew we’d function okay. We see a fair amount of each other, so we’re quite used to communicating. Given that it was such a quick shoot, there isn’t much time for anything outside the work and I think we’re both professionally minded, which is to say there for the same reason – to realise the script.

How did you get Anne Reid and Sinead Matthews involved?
I met Sinead through a casting director. Given her character’s nefarious motives in the film, it was important to cast someone we instantly liked. Sinead is very alive and charismatic and sexy, so it was fairly easy to see her in the part straight away. There were various issues that complicated the casting along the way, so it was not until we were well into pre-production that we cast her. Thankfully she said yes. Casting Anne was actually quite straight forward. She’s a fantastic and intuitive actor with great authority, which is the bottom line for me. When we approached her, she asked to meet and we did and she agreed. I think she was intrigued and challenged by the script and rather relished the prospect of playing against type.

Is there a specific reason that London felt right for the setting?
Not really. I guess it was the most convenient and realistic.

The film has been noted as a modern-day Hitchcockian and Polanksi-esque drama; what inspired you in the writing and final directing stage?
Any mention of Hitchcock or Polanski in relation to the film feels very flattering. The challenge of holding the audience in a state of suspense was something I was really interested in from a craft point of view. As a writer, I wanted to engineer a story that worked in that way, I was interested in the demands of that kind of structure. I watched a number of Hitchcock films, as I was writing, but I couldn’t point to any specific aspect. I was interested in he Tenant which is a film that rather haunted me when I was a child – it’s strange atmosphere, and that somehow i was dealing with things beyond my field of experience.

Have you got anything else in the pipeline?
Yes, a few things in various states of completion. But I’d rather not say what these are. Superstition.




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