March Hare : What prompted Dos Arieles?
Jennie Epstein: This project came naturally from being in quarantine and the struggle to form creative ideas and actions under these circumstances. Our friend Yashira Jordan who is a Bolivian director casted us for a project called El Gallo y la Espada, where she created the look for the characters. We had so much fun while working with these characters that they kind of started taking their own route until we decided to branch out on our own story about them and grow them further. The subject matter is obviously communication, an engrossing subject in our time; the things that arrive from it and from the lack of it.
MH: Are there any projects you dream of being able to do?
JE: I would love to work alongside Wes Anderson, whose work I love and partly inspired this in a way... I would even love to assist Adam Stockhausen who is Anderson’s Production Designer. I think ultimately I want to go down the route of directing.
NM: As an actor embarking into more and more demanding characters, naturally. I’m happy to create with what I have in the moment and if that takes me to a better place, that would naturally make me happier.
MH: What’s your favorite element of the movie-making process?
JE: I love envisioning the whole process in my head. Since I am a really visual person, especially coming from the art side of film, watching your vision come to life is really fulfilling.
NM: Uh, many things. It’s really exciting how chaotic things may seem inside of you and then watch it unravel in small beats and human interaction; the making of small moments and so on until it becomes this thing, it’s very beautiful to experience.
MH: How does it differ working on other people’s projects vs. your own?
JE: Well this is the first project I really created myself (with Nakai of course) and I really liked being able to have the final say in the editing process, costumes, art direction, literally everything- doing this from start to finish. I’ve worked with people who I disagree with a lot, but I’m not in a position to be vocal about my opinions, so with this project being one of the creators and having that ability to speak up is really gratifying and rewarding.
NM: The freedom of it always will help you be more comfortable and able to change things if you yourself don’t like it, it’s a tricky thing though, I also enjoy very much diving into someone else’s ideas or to see how their own ideas play in your interpretation. In general both have good impacts, I feel.
MH: Nakai, what would you say are the differences between the Bolivian and U.S. movie industries?
NM: Funny enough the first movie I acted in was a Bolivian/ North American cast and crew. The movie industry here has a bigger structure with naturally a bigger audience. Being Bolivian I grew on many North American films as anybody in the world did, that makes a difference, you know. Hopefully it goes both ways, and multilateral ways, all over.
MH: What makes you want to make movies?
JE: I know how much film and TV has changed my life. It filled me with joy, sadness, rage etc… I've always felt something after watching a film, good feelings and bad feelings, but bad feelings that feel good if that makes sense. I would love to be the person who gives that to other people, as it's done for me.
NM: I just like to dream things out, and then to ground them in truth. Like any other form of art where you materialize your imagination, connecting those two, as ordinary and human as they may seem, Films are the most wonderful to me.
MH: What can we expect from you in the future?
JE: I try not to think super far ahead. Of course it's natural to do so, but I don’t want to think far ahead in a way which later leads me to disappointment. But in the near future I’d definitely like to design a few more films and shows and then really focus on directing and making my own projects.
NM: I don’t know... but a hopeful I don’t know.
NAKAI MIRTENBAUM is a Bolivian actor based in New York City, residing in Brooklyn since 2018. He works in theatre and film.
JENNIE EPSTEIN is a Brooklyn-based artist working as an Art Director in film and television production.
To see their work, go to @dosarieles on instagram.