To Return to Innocence From the Different Aspect: Christian Petzold on Afire | Interviews

This was, for me, the beginning of “Afire,” pondering to myself, “What occurred there?” The People, the French, and the Swedish—like Ingmar Bergman, with “Summer season with Monika”—all have summer season motion pictures, that are so necessary. In summer season motion pictures, there’s no state, no dad and mom, no college, no manufacturing facility. We’ve a break in life, and, on this break, one thing’s determined. Some issues are at work; some belongings you make flawed, and a few belongings you make proper. Love could be at work, or that love might become a misunderstanding. Germans, we misplaced our summer season. Along with the actors, I considered summer season motion pictures in Germany—and why, within the German summer season motion pictures of these days, in every image, there are dad and mom, factories, and policemen. We don’t have our freedom. It was destroyed in 1933.

Your movies mix sure temporalities, between previous and current and future. “Afire” is about within the current, however its use of voice-over suggests it could be a reminiscence, or Leon’s adaptation of occasions, taking part in out on display screen. This made me contemplate the problem of somebody like Leon, who doesn’t expertise the current second, whose creative concepts are knowledgeable by the previous, and whose existence suffers because of this. Are artists at all times working in a day trip of time?

We made this home, this cabin within the woods, ourselves. It didn’t exist. The forest glade, we made our personal, and we made our personal seaside. They existed, but we created them. The individuals swimming there have been probably not there; the movie will not be a documentary. However as we constructed “Afire,” we mirrored on all of the issues we constructed, and on all of the cabins within the woods, forest glades, and seashores within the historical past of storytelling—not solely cinema, but in addition literature, theater, Shakespeare, and A Midsummer Night time’s Dream. We have been working in a convention. 

Howard Hawks made remakes of his personal motion pictures; we might have an extended dialogue about that. I feel storytelling itself is at all times a remake. I don’t like to enter motion pictures about which any individual says, “This can be a fully new story I’ve by no means heard of earlier than.” I really like remakes. For a whole bunch of years, we’ve been telling the identical tales, every time at all times another way. Éric Rohmer was at all times criticized by actually sh*t individuals, who at all times mentioned he made the identical film again and again. His movies have been comparable, however as Invoice Clinton would possibly say, “It’s the variations, silly!” 

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