Friday, January 25, 2019

Alyson Moon Interviewed by Chris Zisi

After viewing two 18 minute films of Alyson Moon it would be easy to say I have just seen two horror shorts by an alluring Asian beauty. That would be an understatement and do disservice to the work of Alyson Moon. In reality, "The Ritual" and "No Trespassing," though technically are short horror films, are two well choreographed dance pieces...'danse macabre' shall we say. Or perhaps these two terrifying films are cut out of an opera. Maybe I'm making too much out of this film duo, though Alyson Moon has created two pieces that so mirror her ethos that over-simplification needs to be eschewed.
Appropriately these films are about a modern woman (and quite a good looking one) trudging through the wastelands which are today's major cities. Like our sultry protagonist, Dublin and Stockholm also have elements of a time long ago that pull us back to a more pure time filled with mystery and elements of nature that befuddled us. The modern world may falsely believe that they have eschewed superstition and magic, and so may the young people in those urban centers. In reality, the past has an icy hold on them and eventually it will claim them back. These two stories are told in a cacophony of music, visuals, and acting (I would even go so far as to say a choreographed dance presentation). Watching Alyson Moon sashay through these films is like watching a graceful ballet star woo an audience.
The mystifying and horrific elements of "The Ritual" and "No Trespassing" are quite a contrast to the glamour and allure of Miss Moon. The Asian radiance and beauty set in America's film capital, southern California, is a dichotomy that is similar to the protagonist's plight in the above mentioned horror shorts. Though not biographical pieces, it is easy to see why Miss Moon was so naturally able to capture the camera and our imaginations in her portrayals.
Alyson Moon was kind enough to talk to me about the above mentioned films and a third one, "Scrupulosity." I haven't mentioned this ten minute shocker as given spoilers would be too easy. I'm so thankful that Alyson was kind enough to discuss it. What follows is a short interview I did with this beautiful actress and filmmaker...another interview will occur in the near future.
Chris Zisi: The difference between a perceived adherence to a religion and a relationship to God. You have shown what an OCD adherence to religion can do...ultimately take you away from the true God...Your dramatic performance here seemed personal. In other words, this struggle is one that took place close to you (or maybe its personal). Can you talk about your own spirituality, and has it matured as you have begun making films? Part two, Can you speak a little about what you have seen in today's culture that makes "Scrupulosity" such an important film (which I believe it is)?

Alyson Moon: The religious theme can have a thousand interpretations but when we talk about faith, the speech becomes more complicated. Personally I have always had a very strong spirituality, but this should not be confused with being bigoted. They are two very different things. I am not a Christian, I am of Buddhist faith but I have always proclaimed myself as multi-member because I have studied and followed Taoism for many years, and I have made mine many of its teachings. I also share some of the principles of Hinduism and Zoroastrianism because they can teach us a lot. In modern culture it is easy to fall victim to religious scrupulosity because we tend to consider religion as something to be feared, something that punishes those who do not follow a set of rules, and this in my opinion is wrong.
In my opinion, religion must always have a positive value, it must be something that comforts, helps, and why not, also that makes you happy. The great enlightened masters like LaoTse and Krishnamurti were cheerful, witty people and laughed a lot. Who said that a spiritual teacher must always be serious, gloomy and sad? This is wrong. Returning to the film, in Scrupolosity I wanted to show, even if in an exaggeratedly dramatic way, to which extremes it can bring a misinterpreted sense of awe or fear of breaking the will of a Superior being ready to punish those who make the slightest mistake. This must never happen! I love to imagine that there is a kind of father or mother up there in the sky, loving and welcoming.
Chris Zisi: I love the themes of modern society not being out of reach from its past. Today's Stockholm and Dublin may seem very 2019, but the 'old ways' still have a grip, and perhaps something to impart on us. Your lovely protagonists in these films are not out of the reach of the supernatural elements of the past. Pretty deep (at least to me, like I said, I'm not the smartest guy in the world). Can you discuss what motivated these plots and are you, perhaps, warning modern society about the perils of thinking they are so advanced, advanced enough to forget where they came from?

Alyson Moon: I decided to set NO TRESPASSING in Dublin (although some scenes we went to shoot in Czech Republic) because I really like the atmosphere of old Ireland and then I said: this film must have as a setting the old Dublin with its atmosphere dark and that perennial haze that makes everything more fascinating and mysterious. This is perhaps the film that I enjoyed most to realize, perhaps because I too feel a bit '"a witch or a sorceress" (but much kinder than this of the movie, haha).
During its realization there were also some funny moments but I cannot tell any anecdote to not create spoilers to those who have not yet seen the movie.
As for THE RITUAL, the discourse is more complex. I am a big fan of classical culture and I like very much the ancient Greek history. For this reason I wanted to write a movie that even if set in our time, however, had a link with the past, a kind of thread that connects the culture of the ancient Greeks, with its legends and its rituals, to the current curiosity for magic and for occultism. Currently black magic is a very controversial subject that is spreading very quickly, sometimes taking on a dangerous value when it is practiced by malicious people. In my film, however, I do not speak mainly of this, but I wanted to put all the attention on the Eleusinian rites of ancient Greece.
The  Eleusinian Mysteries are the cults of pre-Hellenic origin, which originally took place in Eleusis, in Attica, since the seventh century BC, such as feasts for agriculture and fertility. Later, when Eleusis became part of the Athenian state, such feasts became the official cult of the Athenian league and extended to all of Greece, as well as to the colonies. They were also widely distributed in Rome, as a cult of Cerere-Proserpina, counting among the initiates Cicero (106-43 BC) and later the emperor Gallieno (253-268 AD). The cult was banned by the Christian emperor Theodosius in 392 and Eleusis was sacked by the Visigoths. The Eleusinian mysteries are therefore rich in symbolism: mysteries of fertility, of birth and death, and not only in relation to agriculture, but also as hope for a better life beyond death.  There is one thing to explain: in a scene of the movie appears a vast field of wheat that has a precise and very important symbology: wheat, as the sun descends as vital energy in the earth in autumn (descent), where it grows up to re-emerge opening the road in the darkness of the womb in winter: a clear parallelism with the spiritual journey of the profane (seed) that turns into neophyte (new plant), to achieve its maturation of initiate.  Obviously I cannot unveil the ending of the movie, but I can say that certainly will not bore the audience! 😉
Chris Zisi: Modelling, acting, dance perhaps, choreography, directing ? Where does Alyson want to go from here? From my vantage point, it really looks like 2019 and 2020 are important years for you, and I see you ready to strike it big. What do you want to accomplish, in addition to film making, over the next 2 years.

Alyson Moon: I am a person who hates to get bored, so I never stop for a moment. I always need to face new challenges, design, create, develop ideas. Currently I'm making a new horror movie set in the circus world, but not in the traditional sense: it will be rather a sort of sideshow, a macabre carnival full of intense moments. And I'm finishing writing the script of another movie, but there will be time in the future to talk about it. You forgot to mention painting, among my great interests: I recently invented a new pictorial technique inspired by Jodorowsky's psychomagic. This technique is my secret, and in this regard I can only say that it is a pictorial technique capable of arousing very strong emotions as it is able to create a "connection" with a loved one, even if far away.
Since I can never stop me, I plan to write a book and for now I can not reveal the content but I can say that it will be touching.
What else to say? Try to enjoy life as much as you can, as if it were the last one,  because every moment of it is precious.
Chris Zisi:   In a world increasingly relying on computers and smart phones, art is a perfect way to keep us human. In "About Art" (available on YouTube, you seduce our subconscious or creative mind to bust out and follow you on a tour of what art is and where it can take us. Are we as a society de-valuing art? If so does this scare you? I see your efforts as an actress, dancer, painter, etc as an attempt to remind or introduce people the magic and usefulness of art, and its ability to keep us that accurate?

Alyson Moon: Any form of human activity as evidence or exaltation of his inventive talent and of his expressive capacity can be defined as art. the meaning of a creation usually does not have a well-defined boundary, but is extremely mobile and fluctuating. art speaks the language of the heart, makes us see from a different, deeper, more human perspective the reality that surrounds us, so it is almost the synthesis between our ego and external reality. No, I do not think that we are a society that underestimates art, indeed I notice with great pleasure that a growing number of people approach art in its most sublime form, understanding its true essence. On the contrary, I believe that people have an ever greater need for art around them, understood in its most beautiful meaning, that of pure poetry. I do not want to introduce people to art: I am not a teacher and therefore it would be presumptuous to want to "teach". The concept of art is modular and that is why every artist tends to give a very personal vision, depending on their points of view and their conditioning.
Chris Zisi:    s Alyson as an actress and Alyson as an artist (painter or dancer). Many great actors and actresses have been great painters and dancers...does acting and painting (...or dancing) feed off of each other in order to make you better at each medium?

Zhang Hanyun: More than nurturing each other, I think they complement each other. All forms of art are never pre-established, they are not programmed and never follow a precise logic: simply, you have to follow your instinct and see where it is taking you. Oscar Wilde said that art reflects the viewer, not life, and in these words there is a fund of truth. Of course, art is insensitive to the application, but when you can transmit sensations and emotions in a pure way it means that it has arrived at the destination. In my movie "About art" you can see how even simple old bottles can express art: everything depends on what eyes you watch them. The water of a flowing stream, a dance step, a stain of color, are they really what they appear? Each object could be a dreamlike and surreal vision: who are we to say exactly what it is? Who prevents us from making unusual combinations, and why define them if this is only an illusory way of interpreting things?
Chris Zisi:   Which medium (acting, dancing, painting...or any other medium) is the best way for you to express to us "who is "Alyson Moon"?

Alyson Moon: I believe that there is no better way than another to express oneself: I was born first of all as a writer, I write since I was twelve years old and I have continued over the years. So far I have published five books and I am thinking of the sixth. As for painting, it is an art form that gives me great pleasure and emotion. Recently I have created a new technique of painting that takes partial inspiration from psychomagic, and raises in those who require the work great emotions, due precisely to the particularity of this technique, very simple but at the same time also complex.
About acting, I must admit that it is a great love because it is so exciting to enter each other's life each time. Someone believes that when an actor is acting he is lying, but this is not true: when you are playing a role do not "pretend" to be another person: "you borrow his life, that of the character, that for a certain time becomes yours, completely, and it's a magical moment. 😊

Having the opportunity to befriend Alyson Moon was a true pleasure for me. I am excited about her future and the films she will make. Stay tuned, I will have a second interview with this fascinating and dynamic personality. Please click on the links below to see her films and read more about her.


  1. I love "No trespassing " and " The ritual ". This beautiful actress deserve a lot of success with this movies!!!!

  2. a slim actress like a hummingbird, who in a delicate and poetic way manages to give life to dark works of art that capture attention from the first to the last scene. Unbelievable! I'm sure this talented actress will go a long way and have a brilliant career

  3. I met this charismatic actress by watching the movie "Scrupulosity" and I was positively impressed. I can't wait to see his next work, even my husband and our children enjoyed this movie