An Interview with Sophia Romma, Director of Used and Borrowed Time

Would you tell us about how it started for you? When did you become interested in cinema? Tell us about your first experiences, what did you work on before making Used and Borrowed Time?

Cinema is a lurid way of expression. Nonetheless film can also immerse one in the cherry oaky colors of wine and the aroma of roses imprinted upon celluloid. When I was a child and had arrived on the purple shores of American soil as a refugee; I became infatuated with American Movie Classics which I had skipped school to watch with my grandmother. Turner Movie Classics and American Movie Classics ignited my passion for the films of legendary directors such as Hawks, Hitchcock, Lang, Ray and Welles. There is indisputable evidence on the screen of the methodic unraveling of a character’s life, exposed and infused, drenched in drama, and accentuated by a cinematic religion which guides motion-pictures. I realized that there is this egocentric conception of the director’s craft which I yearned to exhibit desperately, to tame insanely and to possess—intimately. I began to revere the French New Wave auteurs of the Cahiers du Cinéma. I ceased paying attention to rules and conventions, aiming to write and to direct cinematic works that were more disputable, disagreeable, and uncomfortable for exposing an inconvenient muffled and often stifled truth about the horrors of those beasts in society who bring forth collective harm to the innocents. In my films, there is a gravitational pull to unmask those who prey upon the tolerant underserved and who cause them irreparable grief. I am aware of generic conventions and commercial expectations of the film industry, but I have maintained a strict adherence to fostering a personal vision by conforming to, yet oddly transcending, genre and commerce. I was reared in vaudeville, off-off Broadway theatre and am a child of La MaMa Experimental Theatre, but upon graduating New York University’s Tisch School of The Arts in the late 1990’s, I began teaching screenwriting and the narrative history of film at the New York Film Academy and so commenced my obsession with the transformation of draconian in sync Hollywood as I embarked upon the 1990’s Movement of the art-house independent films which portrayed corsets, clerks and criminals without apologies—devoid of shackled conformity and overbearing censorship film industry codes. I made films which called for social change, integration and acceptance. The reconfiguration of the film industry when I was young, granted me the carte-blanche