ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS
a film by Roland Reber and Mira Gittner
Germany 2009, erotic-drama, 86 min, rated 18
- „Scandal film.“ (Bild)
- „Among the most exciting which German cinema currently offers.“(Filmstarts.de)
- “Easy Rider on the way to sexual self-discovery.” (AZ München)
since 24th september 2010 available on DVD (in German with English subtitles)
premiere in Germany: International Hof Film Festival 2009
theatrical release: march – mai 2010
with Antje Nikola Mönning, Mira Gittner, Marina Anna Eich, Maren Scholz, Martin Kagerer
camera: Mira Gittner, Roland Reber. editing: Mira Gittner
music: Wolfgang Edelmayer. line producer: Marina Anna Eich
producer: Patricia Koch, Marina Anna Eich, Roland Reber, Antje Nikola Mönning
director and script: Roland Reber
production, distribtuion & sales: wtp international GmbH
Three women – no moral
„Morality is the excuse for those who don’t dare to live their truth.“
Michaela (Mira Gittner), Gabriela (Marina Anna Eich) and Lucy (Antje Nikola Mönning) are angels of vice. On their motorbikes they ride through the countryside to live their lust. They could see a lot, but only see themselves. They call themselves angels. But they are angels with dirty wings.
To be a full member of the angel’s exile paradise Lucy has to prove herself and meet challenges.
The new Film of Roland Reber and Mira Gittner is an anthem on immorality. A holy song of egoism and a painful study about our time and a generation who lends their feelings. Only castrated angels need moral.
“For me moral is just a form of pressure of society against the individual. The whole world follows the rules, which are imposed by moral. For me nothing is more boring than a movie that pretends to transmit a moral message. For that reason ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS has been created, an immoral work about three angels who leave heaven out of boredom. When other angels bored themselves to death, they swore to live their lust and vice on earth. They are angels with dirty wings.” (Roland Reber)
For the newspaper BILD the film ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS is a “Scandal-Film”, for the online-magazine Filmstarts it is „among the most exciting which German cinema currently offers.“ In his new film ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS author Roland Reber shows in an authentic direct and pure way the unrestrained search and addiction for life. It is not about good or bad, but about authenticity.
The main part LUCY plays Antje Nikola Mönning, in Germany well knowned as nun in the ARD-Sequel “Um Himmels Willen” (for god’s sake).
Like all productions of wtp international GmbH, ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS has been produced without public funding and with the creativity and commitment of everyone involved. What is special about wtp international film production is the uncompromising dedication to film, which binds together the film production team since 6 feature films, as well as the way to produce – script, production, editing, sales, distribution, dvd-label, press are made by the same team – and the consequent refusal of public funding money and co-production of TV stations, to keep the creative freedom.
The previous films of the team were screened at numerous international festivals, in cinemas and are available on DVD.
ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS had its world premiere in October at the SITGES International Film Festival in Spain, its German premiere at the Hof International Film Festival 2009 and its Asian premiere at the International Filmfestival of India in Goa (Roland Reber Tribute). The German theatrical release wass on 4th of march 2010. Since September 2010 it is available on DVD (German with English subtitles).
SPECIAL WORKING METHOD
„The special working method of wtp international allows focusing on the creative process. I develop the script, make the directing of the actors on set. Mira Gittner is responsible for the pictures and the editing. After the last shooting day Mira shuts herself away in her editing studio and doesn’t leave until the work is done. I see the film once the rough cut is ready. This division of responsibilities has been proved with six feature films and will continue for the next films.” (Roland Reber)
Teamwork – literally speaking.
ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS is the result of teamwork. At the beginning of the shootings there was only a title and the idea of three women who drive through the countryside with their motorbikes. From then on everything came up in an organical way. During the ongoing shootings the story was developed. Director and author Roland Reber then wrote some scenes, which were shot in the next days. There was no improvisation. In that way, bit-by-bit, the film was made. Everyone could bring in his creativity and ideas.
This working method, to see filmmaking as a creative adventure, is typical for Roland Reber and the wtp team. With a small team and a multiple distribution of tasks within the ensemble an artwork is created to which everyone involved has a creative relation.
Roland Reber is not only the director but also author and co-producer, besides playing the part of LUCY, Antje Nikola Mönning also produced, Marina Anna Eich played the role of GABRIELA and also took over the organization of the production and is responsible for the distribution, the public relation and sales of the film. Mira Gittner played the role of MICHAELA and was responsible for the cinematography and the editing. This approach leaves much space for spontaneous ideas during the shooting period. That is how the biker scene was included. During the shootings for a commercial the film team met a biker who organized a group of Harley riders for the next day. During the break between the driving scenes one of the bikers explained to Mira Gittner something about her motorbike and others were talking about the media society. Roland Reber had the spontaneous idea to make a scene out of this, which was immediately realized.
AT THE SET – on the road
ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS was shot at original sites. For the driving scenes at times the equipment was simply packed and the team drove along stopping to shoot at appropriate places.
As some dialogue scenes should be shot on the road, as a symbol for a way, it was a lucky coincidence that the circuitous road near Landsberg was almost completed, but not yet opened for public use. The responsible department gave the shooting permission and so the team only had to avoid some trucks of the road workers or some bike riders that had already discovered the road for them.
Wtp international film production already used the surrounding of Landsberg for their films several times. Perhaps meanwhile it is out of habit, but it is mainly because the public authorities of the city and county are very cooperative.
script and director Roland Reber
producer Patricia Koch, Marina Anna Eich, Roland Reber, Antje Nikola Mönning
line producer Marina Anna Eich
camera Mira Gittner, Roland Reber
editing Mira Gittner
music Wolfgang Edelmayer
2nd camera Marina Anna Eich, Christoph Baumann
production assistants Claire Plaut, Ute Meisenheimer
production│distribution│sales wtp international GmbH
year of production 2009
shooting time August – September 2009
post-production September – October 2009
locations Bavaria, Austria
Hofer Filmtage, Germany, Oct 2009
SITGES International Filmfestival, Spain, Oct 2009
International Filmfestival of India, Goa, Nov 2009
Chennai International Filmfestival, India, Dec 2009
Fantasporto International Filmfestival, Portugal, Feb 2010
Mostra Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Brazil, Oct 2010
Ourense International Film Festival, Spain, Oct 2010
„Scandal film.“ (Bild)
„Among the most exciting which German cinema currently offers.“ (Filmstarts.de, entire article)
„The most popular film at this years International Film Festival of India.“ (Satinder Mohan, Advisory Panel member, Central Board of Film Certification)
„ Ironic essay on feminine horniness and emotions, where on the search of the true feminine self, love, lust and (self)deception are being dismanteled experimentally. (Blickpunkt:Film, entire article)
“Angels with dirty wings is an overdue moral lesson.“ (filmjournalisten.de, Julian Reischl, entire article)
„Antje Nikola Mönning succeeded in the acting surprise of the year!“ (BILD TV)
„The film is sensual, erotic and very provocative. It also represents a new and wonderful level of maturity in everything from the photography, to the script, the acting and of course the masterful and creative direction.“ (Gordon Weaver, former Vice-President of Paramount, read more)
“Antje Nikola Mönning wows audience.” (Popcorn Bollywood, entire Interview with Antje)
“Reber is real food for the mind for our rotten times.” (Goan Observer; read more)
„The movies of wtp international have already become an unmistakable trademark.“ (Blickpunkt: Film, entire article)
“Easy Rider on the way to sexual self-discovery.” (Abendzeitung)
“Needless to stay it is a provocative film, demanding to be heard, and therefore, Recommended Viewing..!” (thirstyrabbit.net; entire article)
INTERVIEW WITH ROLAND REBER (author & director, producer, camera)
You call the film an anthem on immorality. Why?
I consider moral as a form of pressure of society against the individual. The whole world follows the rules imposed by moral. For me there is nothing more boring than a film pretending to transmit a moral message. For that reason ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS was made, an immoral work about three angels who leave heaven out of boredom. When other angels bored themselves to death, they swore to live their lust and vice on earth. They are angels with dirty wings. I am not a friend of black and white explanations- this is good, that is bad – so I tried to develop characters which are nor the one, nor the other, they try to live, but do not even know what that means. Lucy becomes alive only in orgasm, the other two only on their motorbikes; this is the only thing they have. During the film Lucy tries to get rid of the unfitting suit of life, which amongst others moral has put over her. She tries to get rid of the norm to live like others expect her to live. She starts to look into her mirror and to see and live her dark reflection. Like this she becomes neither better, nor worse, but a bit more authentic.
How has today’s society influenced the characters of your film?
“Where should I have learned to feel? I am part of the generation which lends their feelings” Lucy says towards the end of the film. When people define themselves merely through poses they copy from the media, authenticity gets lost. For example when you get a new mobile, the message “I love you too” is integrated. It is only being copied. The original falls by the wayside. For me this is a generation of lent feelings, which consequently is no longer able to feel true authentic feelings. For me the key scene of the film is when Michaela and Lucy talk about love. Lucy only knows lent feelings and calculation, for example she wanted to stay with the son of a doctor because the father had a great house and then calls it “falling in love” because that’s the way one calls it. It is about authenticity. Be keen on a great house, but pure. Live your lust, but pure. And the key sentence for me is “Without Love we are only empty shells in an empty world”.
In what way is border crossing and provocation in your film calculated?
When you show the moment of the orgasm or explicit sex in an open and realistic way, it can be confusing for some viewer. Superficially seen the provocation is an aesthetical one, but the taboo goes deeper. Here it is about aliveness. Lucy lives only in the orgasm elsewhere she only plays life. Had she been a prostitute right from the beginning, no one would have been shocked, she would just have been a whore, but she goes to the brothel by her own choice, to feel life, to feel herself. At the beginning for Lucy sex is an expression of the game, a useful tool to manipulate others, towards the end an expression of being. Provocation is not a self-purpose, but it sets free strong feelings in the viewer. In this film there is no “nicely shown” and unrated sex, the sex is shown in a realistic and unpretentious way, pure, that is provocation. Sex is shown as sex and not as so often: the “wild slut”, who fucks wearing a bra and during the wildest sex scenes the blanket is draped in order not to show any genital part or hard nipple. If sex is a part of the story you can also show it. One also shows people while eating. But my aim is not to provoke the viewer. I just want to show the moment, the only moment in which Lucy really is herself and not imitating a bed scene from the media.
You have an own way of filmmaking and producing. The actors are often also involved in, other parts of the filmmaking for example editing, cinematography, script, production etc. You make your films without public funding and always with the same team. How does this working method look like?
Our films are created out of our willpower, but also thanks to spontaneous encounters during the production. In the case of ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS the title was the first thing that came into my mind. From then onwards everything developed in an organic way. For example we met a man during the shootings wearing a Harley Davidson shirt. I asked him if he only had the shirt or was a “true biker”. He affirmed and we decided that he and his biker’s club should appear in the film. In film industry the trend is towards specialization. Many colleagues think there should be a division of the artistic, technical and administrative positions. I don’t think so. Creativity is not divisible but a holistic process. We are not a company that produces films, but filmmakers. Filmmakers make films. And this is an integral process – an enjoyable one.
So we represent “our” film and not a product of other people. I would never talk of “my movie” but always of “ours”- it is teamwork.
Many actors often see themselves in a fulfilling position. They say “I took part in a movie”. They distance themselves with the argument that they are only actors. With us nobody is “only”. For me acting starts to become touching when it is personal and authentic. An actor may achieve this more likely if he deals with the role and not being the creature of a god like commander. That is military, I make films. I don’t see myself as a tamer who dictates to the actor which faces he has to make, I expect his own interpretation from a creative artist; otherwise I could play the role myself. I rather see myself as a conductor who coordinates the soloists uniting them to a harmonious orchestra. That is my definition of teamwork, that’s why it is not “my”, but “our” movie. We make films with a small budget, so that we can produce ourselves and therefore we have always the total authority of what we do. We use our own equipment, and do everything ourselves from the production, the postproduction up to the marketing and distribution. So nobody can interfere and this gives us the freedom to be creative.
INTERVIEW WITH ANTJE NIKOLA MÖNNING (leading role „LUCY“, Co-Producer)
What is the message of the film for you?
For me it is mainly about honesty, above all towards oneself. My character LUCY deceived herself and others for all her life. Now the other two hold up a mirror to her, so that she realizes who she is, namely a false, horny, greedy bitch. This insight is not at all judgmental at first. What she will do now, whether she changes or lives what she is remains open, the film is not moral, that’s what I like about it. For me one of the most important sentences of the film is: “Without love we are empty shells in an empty world”.
What is special about the character of Lucy?
Lucy is a person who, in the course of the film, realizes what she is and then first decides to live exactly this. In a majority of the films there is a character, the whore or the stripper or something like that, who regrets in the end and changes her life and gets married. Or flees the terrible pimp, like I did as “Jenny” in the ARD series “Um Himmels willen”. But that a woman consciously decides to work as a whore and is even horny about it, that is what makes Lucy to a very special character for me. It is her free and conscious decision and in the film it is nor judged nor approved … it is about the pure Being.
Was it difficult for you to shoot the explicit scenes?
No, because first I trust Roland hundred percent as a director and second because I knew that the sex scenes were supposed to tell a story. That is why it was so important to me that my orgasms were real. Lucy defines herself through sex and the only moments in which she really lives, and not only enacts life, are in the orgasms. So I wanted these scenes to be as authentic as possible. This is also a key topic of the film: be what YOU are. Therefore as an actress I wanted to BE, not only to act. I can only smile when I look at the sex scenes in Hollywood or TV productions. There are women wearing bras and being draped in blankets and always look perfectly made up. But Lucy wants to be in the dirt, because it is alive there. Choreographed sex scenes wouldn’t fit this role, it would destroy the credibility. Furthermore there were clear agreements with the actors how far they were willing to go. This created a relaxed atmosphere.
Weren’t you afraid about what others would say about you, e.g. colleagues or family and friends?
No, that is what the film is about. Be what you are, no matter what others say about it. Lucy did everything under the guise of a very questionable moral, from which she liberates herself during the film with the help of the two others. I consider the handling of sex in our society as very dishonest. It begins with the fact that most people go to the disco to get sex, but pretend that they want to have fun or dance. Or a dinner with candle light and apparent romanticism is being enacted to achieve to get sex. There someone like Lucy is more honest, she goes directly to the brothel.
From the nun in an ARD series how did you get to shoot ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS with the team of wtp?
I got to know Roland Reber and the team almost three years ago in Cannes. At that time I just started the shootings to the TV series “Um Himmels Willen”. When I saw 24/7 THE PASSION OF LIFE and MY DREAM OR LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE and got to know how wtp makes films I wanted to be a part of it by all means. Because Roland Reber is a director who leaves a maximum of freedom to everyone involved at the set and encourages the creativity of everyone. With wtp, actors are no marionettes who are only allowed to jump back and forth between marks. Everyone can participate actively and is being taken seriously. That’s why I decided to get completely into the team and to co-produce this film. And evidently after the role of a nun it was tempting to play something completely different.