There’s a certain level of satisfaction achieved when you manage to interview someone that you truly believe is gonna hit the big time. That’s the case with Melbourne creators Renee Kypriotis and Martino Eros Passi, otherwise known by his musical alias, Dolorres. Though they’ve been kicking around with a camera for a few years, mainly focusing on music videos for other Melbourne artists like CD and Gabriel LCR, six months ago they announced the official launch of their production company Almanac.
Still in its infancy, the two aim to turn Almanac into something that will act as an umbrella for their artistry and a point of contact for their future visions.“I think the main purpose of why we launched Almanac was to give ourselves a bit more legitimacy,” Renee tells VICE.Regularly, both Renee (for her films) and Martino (for his music) have been described as world class talent, and still in their early 20’s, it’s not far from the truth. Their work together over the last couple of years has depicted kids with enormous amounts of potential, locking in time the nuances of the world around them in incredibly creative (and sometimes) poetic ways.“Yeah, there's always gonna be a coming of age element. Someone's always gotta be coming of their age,” Martino tells VICE when discussing their films.Though he’s joking (I think? Sometimes it’s hard to tell), what Martino says is kind of true. There is this tinge of suburban banality that sits behind the feel of Almanac’s films, especially their latest, Subdivide. Kids zoom around on bikes in formation like a scene from Stranger Things or ET as women in hair rollers and old men smoking cigarettes watch on from their front porches. There’s a general “kid questioning the world” aesthetic, with Martino always as the central character.
It’s an inspiration likely stoked by the fact that the two did, in fact, “come of age” together. They went to the same high school, dated, then settled on best friends. When Martino started making music when he was 15 years-old, Renee asked, or rather told, him that she would make the music video for one of his first singles, ‘Fluffy Dice’. “I was like, ‘this is how it's gonna look. And this is what we're gonna do’. And he's like, ‘Alright, sweet’. And then we made that. And then the rest was history,” Renee said.From there, Renee made all of Martino’s music videos. Realising that their creative partnership obviously worked, the idea of a production company was born. Almanac, Martino says, was inspired by the sports magazine from Back To The Future II but the actual meaning of the word centres around the recording of everything significant in a certain time period.“It has this omnipresent meaning, where it means everything in one. Which is what we do because aesthetically everything's very colourful, there's always a lot of detail, we always go really over the top with things. We kind of do everything,” he says.
Though Renee doesn’t necessarily see her style of film as auteristic (though Martino describes it as “cute femme horror”), there are certain elements – the framing, the colour-blocking, the styling of characters – that prove otherwise. For someone still in their early ‘20s it’s an impressive feat. With favourite directors like Celine Sciamma, Andrea Arnold and Ari Aster, it’s easy to see where her talent for capturing a person's individual character comes from.
Looking to the future, Renee and Martino are thinking big. They’re young, hungry and don’t just want to stick to music videos. Fashion films, advertisements, short films, even a full-length feature film is front of mind.“Eventually, eventually,” says Renee, “But that kind of scares me.”Follow Julie Fenwick on Twitter and Instagram.Read more from VICE Australia and subscribe to our weekly newsletter, This Week Online.