Tom Hardiman turns into a director to trace with “Medusa Deluxe,” a deliciously darkish homicide thriller set within the aggressive hairdressing competitors which is about to bow at Locarno.
MUBI holds the rights to U.Ok./Eire, France,Latin America, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, India and Southeast Asia. The movie was developed and financed by the BFI and BBC Movie.
“I actually care about hairdressing, it’s one thing I’m actually keen about,” admits Hardiman, who “picked up their language” over time.
“After they discuss Russian weaves [in the film], that got here from a hairdresser in Peckham. Numerous them say: ‘I’m a hairdresser first, counsellor second.’ It’s a singular territory, however there may be an performing aspect to it too. They take heed to somebody’s issues after which bitch about them across the nook.”
Hardiman, who tells the story of a damaged group which finds its approach again by their shared ardour, labored with celeb hairstylist Eugene Souleiman on the movie’s elaborate hairdos.
“He helps you to peek behind the scenes, which is why I approached him – so many hairstyles are proven mid-style within the movie,” he says, evaluating Souleiman’s work to “fashionable sculpture.”
“There may be this cathartic second at one level, two individuals genuinely caring about one another, and you’ve got this coiffure with a ship on the highest. It’s completely ridiculous,” he notes.
“To care about nearly something, together with movie, is absurd and it’s humorous. I simply actually worth people who find themselves passionate to the purpose of obsession.”
Envisioning a character-led drama within the vein of Altman and Linklater, Hardiman determined to snoop on his forged in “locations of vulnerability,” in dingy rooms and darkish corridors – distant from the glamour and glitz. By no means actually specializing in the precise investigation, though the surprising tragedy continuously looms over everybody’s hair-sprayed head.
“One thing occurs when you’ve gotten a policeman coming. It modifications the ambiance. I choose individuals who simply fade into the background. Safety guards or, sure, hairdressers, who’re far more attention-grabbing than they offer themselves credit score for.”
Whereas he wished his characteristic debut to really feel genuine and touching, it sizzles with humorous exchanges and mentions of “cheeky chignons.”
“My first quick movie was about carpets and my second about lazy eyes. I identical to comedy,” he laughs.
“Hair is culturally vital; it’s about the way you wish to current your self to the world. However there may be additionally the backroom gossip, the enjoyable aspect of it. Once I have a look at Altman or Loach, and even [Sean Baker’s] ‘Tangerine’ extra not too long ago, I truthfully consider that of their darkest moments, individuals nonetheless crack a joke. Real realism wants humor.”
Shot by acclaimed cinematographer Robbie Ryan, nominated for an Academy Award for “The Favorite” and granted Camerimage’s prestigious Golden Frog for “C’mon C’mon,” “Medusa” would possibly shock the viewers with the duo’s visible decisions.
“I used to babysit my nieces and so they have been blissful to observe a YouTuber strolling round their flat for a stable hour. I felt there was one thing there that felt distinctive,” says Hardiman.
“We wished this movie to really feel joyful, clearly, however we wished it to really feel now. There’s a motive why we shot digitally. Robbie has a present – you actually ‘really feel’ an individual correctly by his photos. Once I would have a look at him throughout the shoot, I may simply see him smiling. We each got down to do the identical factor: To convey love and pleasure into individuals’s lives.”
At present engaged on a brand new movie about finance, diving into the world of economists and monetary teachers, Hardiman will keep near his “obsessive” pursuits for now, he states.
“When you get drawn into one thing, that stage of ardour is absolutely attention-grabbing. It drives you to do loopy issues. Attempting to unravel why individuals are pushed to that time is the idea for storytelling.”