Barry Hunt, whose post-apocalyptic drama ‘The Adventures of Anse and Bhule in No Man’s Land’ is currently available for streaming, has a theatrical background that speaks for itself.
From a press release;
“Barry Hunt is the Artistic Director of Sowelu Theater in Portland, OR where, along with the Sowelu Ensemble,he developed new acting methods derived from his Meisner influence, his emersion into methods of physical theater born from the psychophysical work of Michael Chekhov through Robert Ravan and theater work born from modern dance including Viewpoints and Suzuki
with The SITI Company. He has been an actor or director for 45 years with credits on stage, film and television. Mr. Hunt is the 2005 recipient of the Leslie O.Fulton Fellowship through the Portland Civic
Theater Guild. Mr. Hunt trained in the Meisner Technique at the William Esper Studio in NYC as well as the Circle Repertory Theater Lab and Robert Ravan Studios. He has directed over 40 theater productions and two award recognized feature films…”
We had a chat with Hunt about the film, which is also available on Amazon.com.
How did the idea for the film develop? Did your stage experience influence it?
We first produced Tania Myren's play for the stage. It was the inaugural season of SoweluTheater and it was very successful here in Portland, Oregon. It won several awards; design for Brad Scoggins, acting for Chris Harder as Bhule, direction for Gretchen Corbett and Best Original Production. Stand outs for Tania's script are its original future world and the unique pigeon language she created for the men's culture. In addition, her language was very visually stimulating. Several audience members commented that they could see a film in their minds eye. So, years later, this was one of the first stories we considered when we branched out into film.
We were also attracted to the visions in Bhule's world. On the stage they exist in the audience mind’s eye. It was exciting to be able to explore manifesting them on the screen. And coming from a stage background, I am more attracted to the films of Fellini or Ingmar Bergman and how they manifest abstract ideas without CGI. They relied on more theatrical illusions.
You seem to be making a statement on parochialism, eugenics and sexism in the story. Do you have any thoughts to offer on this?
Yes, these are definitely themes in Tania's story. My approach to my work is never dogmatic. I don't think about making a statement. My goal when I find a story I am attracted to is to tell the characters journey as truthfully as possible, with all the complexity of their virtues and flaws. Narrow thinking is a limitation we all possess to varying degree. The tendency to dehumanize the other out of fear or misunderstanding is a strong human characteristic. Sexism can fall into that category as well. What I can say is, this story believes those hurdles can be overcome.
What is the release history of the film?
The film has had its festival runs. It won best Cinematography for Michael Pritchard at the Santa Fe Film Festival in 2015. It was picked up by Adler and Associates Entertainment, Inc. for distribution. They released it for streaming on Amazon and Vimeo last April. That release helped it get discovered by the post-apocalyptic fan base and we have had a steady flow of reviews and interviews since. Thanks for being a part of getting the film to the audience.
What in your estimation is the appeal of the post-apocalyptic genre? Do you have any particular favorite films in the genre?
I think it has several aspects of appeal. First, the genre allows exploration of the human condition in unlimited and creative ways. Who's to say what a reinvented world could look like? And don't we all fantasies some areas we would like to transform in our world? This can release an exploration of our own potential for destruction as well as our potential for creation.
I always liked A Boy and His Dog. The Mad Max series is great as well. I will say though, I am more attracted to the characters in Anse and Bhule than to the genre itself. Their struggle is interesting to me.
Do you have any plans to expand on the story told in the film?
The story, especially its title, "The Further Adventures of...", lends itself to other stories. I think the ending particularly hints at a sequel. We have bandied about the idea of a sequel or web series. This would all depend on Tania's interest. The world and language of the film lives within her incredible mind. At this time she is not moving in that direction as an artist, but who knows down the road.