THERESE (2017)

Claire is a young woman on her way home from a late shift at work when she is confronted with a ghostly figure from her past. Trying to evade this disquieting apparition, the past and future become twisted and Claire is forced to come to terms with a childhood friend's downfall.

Therese was written and directed by Gorjan Markovski as part of his University of Auckland Masters Degree. It was produced by Cameo England and Christienne Jauregui. The film stars Maya Wyatt, Emily McKenzie, Kate Castle, Courtney Bassett, Astrea Dominue, Kirsty Hamilton and Alex MacDonald.

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"Walking down my eerily quiet suburban streets on late nights alone, I often thought it would make a perfect setting for darker thoughts - ones you had hoped to stay buried in the back of you head. Not only does such an isolated setting make it easy for such thoughts to percolate, the strange, intrusive sounds, the shadows and eerie yellow flood of the streetlight made me feel like they could physically manifest themselves and leap at me. So I decided to make a film where just that happens. Where our protagonist Claire, wrought by years of conflicting feelings of guilt, disgust and plain confusion has them manifest in increasingly more frightening and strangely erotic ways. The story is about someone unable to come to terms with the ‘revelation’ of their friend’s sexuality.  

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This is something any young queer person fears may happen within their friendship and family circles should they tread out of the closet. The story is told through the heightened tone of the 70s Italian Giallo, a genre that is no stranger to making bedfellows of horror and sexuality. In my mind the Giallo also fit well because Claire is not so different from the sleuths trying to find the murderer in those films. It's just the mystery that she is trying to solve is herself, what she has done and how she reacted to a situation. But unlike the Giallo, sexuality really wasn’t what I wanted to be seen as a threat and danger here. Instead its Claire’s way of seeing it as such that turns out to be the most effective killer."               - Gorjan Markovski (Director)