Along with other titles in this year’s edition of the Berlinale, “Orlando” director Sally Potter’s “Rage” found its ardent admirers and its detractors. Over seven days, blogger Michelangelo shoots behind the scenes interviews on his cell phoneo at a fashion house in New York, while a designer of Middle Eastern background prepares to show his collection. The series of interviews reveal a larger puzzle of an industry in fear as the effects of globalization and a declining economy creates a lage gap between what appears on the surface and what lurks behind the scenes.
“I don’t think [the film] is about the camera, it’s about the person behind the camera,” said Potter Sunday evening in Berlin. “We live in a society that fetishizes appearance.” For her inspiration, Sally looked internally when creating the film’s characters utilizing a somewhat esoteric method in developing the film. “I don’t know where [the characters] come from. I suppose I met thm in the solitary process of writing the relationship of thought which is anarchic in addition to experiences in life.”
The collaborative process and the development of each character won praise from the actors who attended the Berlin screening including Steve Buscemi who heaped compliments on the director. “Sally created an atmosphere where we really trusted her, it was one of the most pleasant experiences I’ve ever had,” said Buscemi. “I think it’s incredible what she did. It was stripped down and in this age of trying to get financing, it was amazing what she was able to do.”
“I try as a director to be the first and best audience that an actor will have,” added Potter who said she diligently worked one on one with each actor separately. “It’s within that holding space that the actor can do their best work and then be the vessel of your intention.”