Neon Lights, Dark Alleys & Cinematic Inspiration: The Photos of Marilyn Mugot

The French photographer and graphic designer talks the movies & directors who are influencing her unique style of photography.

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Marilyn Mugot (@mary_wolf) captures atmospheres. Reflected in her love for cinema, her photos are a glimpse into a world balanced quite equally by darkness and neon lights -- one offsets the other to create shadowy scenes where entire stories are told. As for her process, Marilyn describes, "I perceive my photographic work through a director’s eyes, however the difference in my vision is that the whole world is a stage." 

Photography and cinema are among the two largest circles in the chaotic new library venn diagram, so we chatted with Marilyn about her process in making the two intersect:

Your bio says you're passionate about cinema, what are some of the first films that inspired your work?

All the cinema of the 80's and 90's inspired me a lot, I could quote: eXistenZ, Twelve Monkeys, Dead Ringers, A Clockwork Orange, The Thing, Blade Runner.

Who are some new directors/cinematographers/directors of photography that our readers should be watching out for? Are there any more recent films that you really admire?

I really like the work of Lars von Trier, Nicolas Winding Refn, Michael Haneke, Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan. I think they are innovating the current cinema. If I had to quote from films that I saw as an adult, I will quote Nicolas Winding Refn's Pusher and Bronson trilogy, all the films by Haneke and Lars Von Trier.

What are some of the defining threads in your work or continuing themes that you try to evoke or represent in your work?

I went to China at first out of curiosity, I wanted to discover what seemed imagined in my mind and what was being played out in the real world. I discovered a multifaceted country torn between traditional and cutting-edge technology, this ambivalence is felt everywhere in China, like seeing the Buddhist temples next to sparkling buildings reflecting the lights of the night. There is an amazing contrast where the human being is under-represented. Modernization impacts on people's basic needs. 

What equipment did you use for these photos?

For this trip, I used a Nikon d700 and my GX7 hybrid.

What's a tip or piece of wisdom that you were taught that you could pass on to aspiring photographers?

It's not very original to say, but the important thing is to do what looks like us without restriction. To create for oneself above all. This process takes time, and it evolves with maturity, self-esteem, life experiences and perception.

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Marilyn Mugot
Marilyn Mugot

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