Horror director Ti West has returned to filmmaking after several years in television with X and Pearl, the A24 dual characteristics of ambition, desire and fame. Candy color, Disneyfied Pearlcurrently showing in theaters, is set during World War I and provides an origin story for the villain of Xwhich was released this spring, suits the horror, exploitation, and erotica of the 70s. Both films feature Bravura performances by Mia Goth, who plays the role. Xof Final Girl Maxine and the young and old versions of Pearl.
In X, a ragtag group of indie porn screenwriters, anchored by the ambitious Maxine, using an old farmhouse as their setting without the owner’s express permission and at a cost for their vanity. Maxine encounters her twin in Pearl, ravaged by age and with her own unfulfilled dreams gnawing at what remains of her consciousness. In the prequel, we get access to what those aspirations are, filled with color and overflowing emotion, with little Pearl being relegated to help her strict German mother take care of the site. camp and her ailing father, finds solace in performing for the animals in the barn until her hunger and thirst consume more for her and everyone around her. (The series will soon become a trilogy: A24 announced a sequel to X Is called MaXXXine).
The director talked to GQ about how to convey the sound of fear, make Pearl’s fears relatable, and teach your audience how to watch your movies.
GQ: I think a lot of the fear in your movies is existent; like what people want to do with their lives, what they think they can do within the confines of their environment, the transience of beauty and death. Talk about why those topics appeal to you?
Ti West: Existential things that concern only people. I am also very attracted to people who try to do very difficult things with a high failure rate. Most people grow up wanting to be a director or an actor, or a musician, and you know, I want to applaud your dreams here. But like, maybe there’s something more practical you can do. And it’s always a pity that people don’t believe you that way. But that’s also because the field of view is too narrow. Almost no one does it. There’s a good chance you won’t succeed in doing that. It’s a lonely road. And it brings up all the other existential issues like, Am I good enough? I want if people don’t want me? Hope that everyone doesn’t have [her] exact story, but everyone has a version of Pearl’s story, I wish my life was a little different.
Have you personally felt it?
Yeah, I mean, every time you make a movie, you’re like What if this stinks? It’s two years of your life obsessing over something that can be completely dismissed by everyone. The whole filmmaking process was very painful. It’s definitely an alcohol problem, but it’s pretty exhausting psychologically. I haven’t made a movie in seven years; I’m doing television, and television is a challenge for a completely different reason. But when I think about making another movie, I think, Why do I even want to do this? It’s traumatic, letting myself go through this for two years, just being constantly in control of something uncontrollable. And there’s never enough time, never enough money, and never the way you want. And it was a battle. But in my case it was well worth pursuing.
https://www.gq.com/story/pearl-x-mia-goth-a24-ti-west-interview How A24 and Ti West Made the Wild Arthouse Horror Double Feature ‘X’ and ‘Pearl’