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Karie (site owner) Written by Karie (site owner)
Jan. 21, 2011 | 1:14 PM

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An Interview with Alexander Roman, director of REFLECTIONS OF THE PAST

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On June 22, 1954 in Christchurch, New Zealand a crime has fascinated the world for 57 years. Two teenage girls, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme murdered Honora Mary Parker, mother to Pauline in Victoria Park. In 1994, Peter Jackson made a film called “Heavenly Creatures” with Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey that drew a deeper following. This documentary film provides for the first time an open discussion on the murder case and relationship of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme.  FilmRadar sat down with director Alexander Roman to discuss…..

How did you first become interested in film?
From the moment I could turn on a TV set!

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
Well…I evolved into becoming a filmmaker.  My big plan was to become an actor.  I grew up in San Francisco and dreamed of coming to Hollywood to pursue my dreams.  I wanted to be like the people I loved on the Silver Screen.  But like many aspiring actors, writers, and directors who come to Hollywood to have a career in Show Business….it’s a really tough journey.

As I was pursuing my acting career, I did other jobs in Hollywood to keep my bills paid.  I found myself slowly creating short films and then very unexpectedly, doing my first full length feature in the documentary format.

What are some of your film influences?
My biggest film influence is Alfred Hitchcock.  When I was little, my father told me he use to deliver chocolates to Mr. Hitchcock when he stayed at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco probably around the time when he was filming “Vertigo” with James Stewart and Kim Novak.  Alfred Hitchcock was able to explore the dark side of human nature and take the criminal elements of each film to unforgettable feets that still hold up in today’s market as simply a great film!

How did you first hear about the Parker/Hume murder case?
I first became aware of the Parker/Hulme murder case with Peter Jackson’s film “Heavenly Creatures” with Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey.  Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh who co-wrote the project captured the intensity of being in love or at least that’s what I walked away with after seeing the film. 

What is it about this case in particular that caught your attention?
What caught my attention the most in this case was the reasons behind the crime.  The notion of Pauline & Juliet being separated leading to an action to kill someone to prevent it.  It’s a fine line…friendship & love and whether or not Pauline & Juliet were more than friends.  When dealing with same sex relationships and the possibility of it being romantic…it’s either denied or debated most of the time. 

When did you decide to make this film?
I decided to make the film back in May 2009.

What was the great challenge you faced while making it?
The biggest challenge was the visual aspect to Parker & Hulme.  Usually in a documentary film, you can see a hundred or more images of the subject…I barely have ten images of Parker & Hulme.  So, I tried to be as creative as possible with my limitations.  I do have reenactment footage which blends into the film beautifully.

Another big challenge was getting people on camera to discuss Parker Hulme.  The crime happened over 57 years ago.  Most have either passed on or did not want to participate in my film.  Being a one man band in creating this documentary for the most part, it was tough finding people to discuss this subject and with the story taking place in Christchurch, New Zealand and little old me in LA…it wasn’t exactly the next city over to knock on doors and try to find people.

What do you hope people take away from the film after seeing it?
My hope is that people might take a moment to think about their relationships.  What is the driving force in your relationship with others?  What does this person mean to you?  What value or purpose are you bringing to the people in your life?  How much are you giving vs. receiving in your relationships?

Homosexuality is the most denied human experience because we struggle to accept it and honor it.  We may find ourselves starting a friendship and as things progress with that individual, an attraction begins to surface which could lead to love for the same sex.  How often does one not acknowledge what is transpiring with another person?  How often to we choose to ignore, shut down, and run from what another person feels for us? 

How are you promoting this film?
Well…it’s a self funded project.  So my piggy bank is a bit low:(  I was able to break into my first film festival at the Hollywood Reel Indie Film Fest winning Best Documentary for 2010.  I’m looking to build a strong word of mouth with doing special engagement screenings in LA, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco.  I’m awaiting to see if I will be able to do a direct theater release in New Zealand in the coming months.

What is your next project?
Next project…next project…hmm…well I may be doing another documentary on a famous mystery writer or pound the pavement with my scripted feature or TV series ideas…we shall see how far my first creation takes me.

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