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Trailer Premiere: Graham Swon’s The World is Full of Secrets

Says Graham Swon — a 2016 Filmmaker 25 New Face — about his debut narrative feature, “I’ve always wondered: is it possible to make a film which represents violence – at it’s most brutal and direct – without glorifying the act or exploiting the suffering of the victim? The World is Full of Secrets is an attempt to answer that question, through the pleasures and casual sadism of adolescence. It’s a love letter to that pain you feel when you first realize there’s a difference between fantasy and reality.”

Premiering today is the film’s trailer, which, counter to 98% of all trailers, contains not a single cut, its series of dissolves capturing in just a couple of minutes the film’s feeling of, as Christopher Small, intro’ing an interview with Swon, wrote in these pages, “the enveloping feeling of being told a spooky story in real time.”

The World is Full of Secrets has its theatrical premiere on Halloween, October 31, at the Anthology Film Archives. Here, from the press release, is more info:

An old woman’s voice recalls a terrible event from her distant past: on a summer night in 1996, five teenage girls meet in a suburban house, absent of parental supervision. To pass the time, they begin to tell morbid stories of the world outside, trying to best one another in a grim competition. As the night becomes darker and their play becomes more serious, their world of fiction is consumed by reality in this feverish Decameron-in-miniature.

Graham Swon (co-producer on Ted Fendt’s Short Stay, Classical Period, Matías Piñeiro’s Hermia & Helena, and Ricky D’Ambrose’s Notes on an Appearance) drew inspiration from ancient Greek theatre and cultural impact and form of radio for his affecting award-winning directorial debut. The World is Full of Secrets has screened at BAMcinemaFEST, Indie Memphis, Sarasota Film Festival and the Champs-Élysées Film Festival in Paris.

The film stars Ayla Guttman, Alexa Shae Niziak, Dennise Gregory, Violet Piper and Elena Burger. Swon wrote and produced the film, which is co-produced by Lio Sigerson and Bart Cortright, who also acted as cinematographer.

“This non-gory horrific tale without monsters or bloodshed is probably the most poisonous and scary US film produced in the recent years. Inspired by Southern Gothic’s dark romanticism, shot with acute minimalism, this film conjures up the best contemporary horror writers (such as Brian Evanson, Thomas Ligotti or Lisa Tuttle) with its hypnotic narration, its stylised grammar, both elegant and brutal, and its existential and metaphysical terror. In a gesture that reminds one of Warhol, Graham Swon prints on the young girls’ faces an ancestral violence inherent to the American culture, and puts the spectators in a torpor from which they will unheartedly depart.”

– Victor Bournérias,
Entrevues Belfort International Festival du Film

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