‘Violent’: We Are The City’s film about life, death, and faith

After watching the film I was pleasantly surprised. Not that I was expected it to be poor, but for a debut feature film, it avoided most of the pitfalls and cliches that plague many debuts. Did you have any mentors or friends involved in film who you bounced ideas off of, or did you just evolve as you went along?

Andrew: I think it’s the result of a lot of bad things. Realizing that we can’t do it that way. We’ll learn for next time. For instance, Josh and I made this movie called Reynolds, which is like, one of the worst movies ever. It’s the sort of movie someone would point out to a friend, “Hey, I found this on the Internet, it’s so bad.”

Is it on the Internet?

Andrew: No, thankfully not!

Josh: That’s the thing, you know. I feel like a lot of overnight success stories happen like that. We’ve done not only music videos, but short films, and even if it’s never been released anywhere other than our parents’ house, we still have those experiences which we’ve learned from.

Cayne: And also, because there are four of us, we’re all very aware of when something doesn’t work. And in the editing room, revisions get made that we didn’t expect, but were necessary. We’ve all found our strengths, but until it became time to give us our credits, there were no set positions or “stay in your jurisdiction, man.” Everyone was really involved in everything, and I think that having four minds involved in every position, it becomes quite meticulous. If four people think it’s right, there’s a better chance of it being right, with that much scrutiny.

Throughout the film, you use five chapters punctuated with cryptic imagery and voiceovers. Until the end, it leaves you wondering and puzzling over the guiding theme behind it all. I kept coming back to the first segment, “Astrid,” and the baptism scene; I couldn’t shake the feeling that that moment, short though it is, hovers over the rest of the film. What was the thought process behind that scene?

Andrew: I think you really hit the nail on the head there, with the baptism scene stretching out over the entire film. We also used water as a description of what death may feel like. There’s even the sound of a humming fridge (mentioned during the cryptic voiceovers) when she comes out of the water. I’d like to think that when she thinks back to her baptism, that is a moment that transcends the moment she was in, but stretches over the entire film and through her death as well. We wanted the water and sound of the humming fridge to keep returning as something that is constantly peeking through.

For me, anyways, the silence after the baptism, which co-exists with the sound of the humming fridge and the water motif, is the reminder of God always in the film. Even when she’s in the car and the sound dips out, there’s that silence again, with the hint of the humming fridge. Even in her darkest time, I interpret it as God being there.