We’ve been talking about Staci Layne Wilson’s upcoming short “The Key to Annabel Lee [A Woman in Triptych]” for a while now, and this week marks both the end of principal photography and the opening of the film’s official website – on Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday no less!
“Interestingly enough,” says Wilson, “wrap date was locked in on Poe’s birthday [January 19th]. We had some rather remarkable coincidences every date we shot — we commenced on December 8, 2010, which marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination (whose song ‘Imagine’ fits our theme as well) and finished the bulk of our filming on December 15, the day one of my favorite directors and a great inspiration, Jean Rollin, passed away.” The director adds, “I also think it’s interesting to note that ‘Annabel Lee’ is the last complete poem composed by Poe, and it’s the very first thing I directed.”
Death, and things in threes, are major themes in “The Key to Annabel Lee [A Woman in Triptych]”. Narrating and starring in the films (four shorts in all — best described as a cinematic form of installation art) is Nivek Ogre (Repo! The Genetic Opera), famous as the lead singer of the industrial rock band Skinny Puppy. Diane Ayala Goldner (Feast) appears as a wolf-like seducer in two installments of the experimental film, but “the star of the show, as in the poem, is Annabel Lee herself,” says Wilson. “She is the triptych of the tale, representing a notion along the lines of The Three Faces of Eve.” The director plays a version of the doomed heroine along with Cherilyn Wilson (Parasomnia) and Corrie Shenigo (After You).
Staci continues, “I have three distinct dynamic segments, each of which is comprised of the women portraying Annabel Lee,” just because “I like things in trios: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Trinities. Sun, moon, and stars. My color palette of red, white, and black. Trimesters. Seraphs — as mentioned in the poem — are angels described as having three wings. Poe uses three R’s – rhyme, rhythm, and repetition – in Annabel Lee.” The fourth, and most major, part is entitled “Integration” and merges the three personalities into one story.
While the plot line hasn’t been revealed yet, Wilson offers some insights. “One of my favorite novels of all time, Lolita, was a little inspired by Poe’s ‘Annabel Lee’… Originally, Nabokov titled the novel The Kingdom by the Sea. There are a few connections in my film, especially in regard to the forbidden, obsession, and fetish. Other inspirations include Little Red Riding Hood (see the Blue Streak Productions logo), the works of Lewis Carroll, and the photography of Helmut Newton.”
Are you guys as intrigued as we are? For more, including several new photo galleries and a fun “behind the scenes (and shoes)” film clip, be sure to hit up the newly launched official “The Key to Annabel Lee [A Woman in Triptych]” website. And don’t forget the movie (one or more of them) is already slated to screen during the 4th annual Viscera Film Festival, which takes place July 17, 2011 in LA.
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