Click here to listen to the interview.
UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS is director Juan Felipe Zuleta’s debut feature film co-written with Leland Frankel, but it has a sophistication, both visually and thematically, that belies it being a maiden effort. Following two misfits in a pink Jeep on a journey that may or may not have its origins in a delusion, it ponders the nature of reality by filtering it through the wildly divergent perspectives of Peter, a bitter little person who lashes out at the world, and Winona, a sex-worker who bubbles with optimism and the conviction that she will shortly be joining the aliens who first visited her when she was 15.
When I spoke with Zuleta via Zoom on June 17, 2022, we started with the surreal elements of the film before moving on to why Peter, a defiantly unlikeable character, is nonetheless incredibly charismatic, and the particulars of voices when casting.
We went on to talk about the color scheme in the film that is about more than mere aesthetics; filming during COVID: the beauty of the hand-held camera; why the film is an essay on empathy; and tracking the emotional arc of the characters.