Overload

I think I somehow have managed to re-assemble the fragments of the grinding thoughts while frantically sorting all the impressions from last Sunday. The well-known, but not very welcomed, insomnia struck like lightning while I awaited… I’m not sure what, exactly… And there are always the attempts to get rid of it. It took a long walk down to the misty waterfront (The post below, that mentions the words “backup” and the magic number that quite obviously is “3”, probably helped too!) following a graveyard shift which was spent lying on the floor and listening to some Heavy Metal – Everything to chase the obtrusive thoughts down the road. But of course I just had to go to the computer at 4 A.M. and find three more teaser-concepts for the film from the co-director / co-D.O.P. / editor in the mail. (Bye for now, “Dreamland”. See you who the hell knows when!) The excitement got gradually harder to contain, especially at work where you’re supposed to behave a bit “civilized” and where you can’t start rambling like an even more obvious borderline-maniac about composition, camera angles and actors’ expressions. (Nobody would find it interesting in the slightest… No, we’re not creating “high art” or anything… But for several reasons, we simply just need and have to delve into this project full throttle.)

As for that Sunday now, two days ago, something magical did happen on the set. At some point, the three lead actors in the movie made that intangible transition from themselves and into their characters. I’m not sure if the saying is true – That “the guy who plays the devil actually has to be a bit like the devil”, but they all simply became the persons that they had decided to play. These characters were born after we had written the final synopsis back in October / November last year. For us, they were already “real”. (Well, as real as fidgets of the imagination can be.) But it was still astonishing and enigmatic to see them come alive. It was an assault on all senses. (And I mean that in the best way possible.) A mental overload. (Especially when they switched to some method acting and characterization that isn’t even in the script – That was just fucking awesome. We are humbled beyond words.) It’s like writing a story and suddenly meeting the characters face to face IRL when you least expect it. I mean, what the hell could possibly be more efficient for tearing down the thin veils that separate reality from illusion? (Apart from maybe hard, hallucinatory drugs?)

There is a book in the film (“The Divine Comedy”) that we refer to visually and metaphorically in a way. (Except that “Dante” is a chick… And… Except that… There really is no “Dante”.) But the physical book in the movie is in fact one by Swedish filmmaker Kay Pollak, and it’s called (translated) “To Choose Joy”. One of the actresses read a certain paragraph from the book aloud and a crushingly overwhelming insight dawned on me: That there was no other time when this part of the film could have been made. Each and every moment, good, vexing and awful, had built itself from within towards this particular event. I mean, think about it – We finally got the best possible weather that we could have killed for with the deadline of Mother Nature breathing down our necks, the best atmosphere oscillating between that of a joyride and the chaos in side-splitting lunacy, a well-prepared crew and possibly even more well-prepared actors. (Not that I’m saying that anybody wasn’t well-prepared, but I was a bit… Off…)

And why was that book there in the first place? No idea. It was as far as I remember a gift and I have seen it in several copies in various places, but it could also have been any book in the world that I created the fake cover for. It was also pointed out – That “To Choose Joy” pretends to be / fills in for the “The Divine Comedy”. I’ve begun to realize what makes certain film-makers exploring the same themes over and over again until they have carved out a niche for themselves. It must be the drug. And the only way to feed the addiction is to keep chasing it, no matter what.

by Markus