MY DREAM OR LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE
a film by Roland Reber
Germany 2008, dramedy, 100 min, rated 16
- “Reber-Films are psychoanalytic and society critical art-sensations, poetic and pretentious, playful and ironic. “(Süddeutsche Zeitung)
- “…one would almost like to compare “wtp” to this small Gallic village, in which the small smart and the big fat regularly beat up the Roman invaders.“ (Filmstarts.de)
- “As an inconvenient, innovative conceptual film MY DREAM pleasantly sticks out of the trite entertainment mush of the ready-made cinema.” (filmdienst)
since 06th of march 2009 available on DVD (in German language)!
German premiere: International Hof Film Festival 2009
theatrical release: 13th of march 2008
with Wolfgang Seidenberg, Mira Gittner, Marina Anna Eich, Antonio Exacoustos, Wolfram Kunkel, Barbara Schmidt, Sabrina Brencher, Andreas Heinzel
camera: Jürgen Kendzior, Bene Zirnbauer, Mira Gittner. editing: Mira Gittner.
light: Martin Lippert, Christoph Baumann.
music: Wolfram Kunkel. line producer: Marina Anna Eich.
producer: Patricia Koch, Marina Anna Eich, Roland Reber
written and directed: Roland Reber. production / sales / distribution: wtp international GmbH
MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE is a phantasmagorical excursion into the depth of the soul, a revue-like dealing with the forces of the conscious and subconscious, and the loneliness of its Protagonists lost in life, produced as a colorful potpourri of our media landscape.
From silent film to talk show, from computer game to educational television – with a critical wink, director Roland Reber not only leads the MAN through his thoughts but also the audience through the mass media entertainment culture.
The MAN (Wolfgang Seidenberg) flees from the perpetual repetitions of his life. From the expectations of his surrounding, from the imposed responsibilities of his standardized life, from the constraints and situations he created himself. One day he packs his bag and leaves. He leaves his WIFE (Marina Anna Eich), who keeps on reproaching, leaves the LOVER (Sabrina Brencher), who feels used, flees from his MOTHER (Barbara Schmidt), who is still interfering in his life, from his deceased FATHER (Torsten Münchow), who is affecting his life even out of the grave, goes away from the jokes of his FRIEND (Andreas Heinzel) and the old German views of his GRANDFATHER (Wolfram Kunkel). All of them leave only one way out to the MAN – the dealing with himself.
“I left”. With this sentence the MAN searches the dialogue with the figures of the city night, because he doesn’t want to be alone tonight. Neither does he want to go to a hotel, because the figures of his life could find him there and he would return, as he always returned with them. On an abandoned factory site he finally meets GODOT (Mira Gittner) – GODOT: “The waiting has an end” – who settled in an old camper and spends her time floating on the sewers of the city on her dream island (a rubber boat with an inflatable palm tree), searching for signs of human existence. GODOT: “Most people live in, I live from shit”.
GODOT hosts the MAN for this one night. During their nightly roaming through the waste of the city and the garbage of life, from crumbling buildings to sewer and garbage dump, the MAN tries, together with GODOT – sly and philosophical like Shakespeare’s Fools – to figure out the rules of human existence in general and of the being together of the genders in particular, searches to name the destination of his so far aimless escape from and to himself. On this journey through the night, the garbage of life and the waste in his head, the MAN turns his inside out and lets his life pass in revue. Out of the darkness of his soul the characters of his life emerge in scraps of memories of his childhood, youth and adulthood, put in picture as a potpourri of our media landscape, from silent film to talk show, from computer game to educational TV.
For instance in a moment of security, when the MAN and GODOT are floating on the rubber island upon the sewage of the canalization – GODOT: “They dream, on the sea of excrements, their dream of life” – the recurring conflict between his MOTHER and his deceased FATHER appears as a surreal puppetry. In a ruinous hall, the MAN projects his conflicts with his WIFE and the LOVER onto a wall of scrap televisions and suddenly sees himself in the middle of the Talk Show “Only Loneliness Counts”. In his thoughts the TRAMP, who the MAN meets at the beginning of the film, turns into the melancholic TALKMASTER of the show that describes his life. His WIFE whom he only uses as a complaint mailbox in the cold of everyday life, his LOVER whom he only sees as a body, his friend who has the fitting joke for each situation as the perpetual entertainer in his Comedy Show “Only the Joke Counts”, and his GRANDFATHER who longs for the order of passed times and gives him a garbage can, out of which jumps a persiflage of HITLER like a Jack in the box.
The confused thoughts of the MAN give food to a media circus with philosophical dialogues and fantastic settings, bizarre and grotesque scenes which distort fairy tales and satirize political history, tragic and grotesque figures like the TALKMASTER (Antonio Exacoustos) who leads the MAN and the audience through the Show of Life.
From comedy to silent film, from 8mm up to theatre production, in partly oppressively real, partly surreal pictures full of humor, the MAN zaps through his life like through the programs of our media landscape – the Show of Life, life as a media spectacle.
MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE is a colorful potpourri of today`s media landscape. It is about the eternal quest for meaning and about the dilemma that happens, when we don`t want to get influenced anymore.
In his new film MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE director ROLAND REBER not only takes the Protagonist onto a journey through his thoughts, but also the audience onto a journey through our mass media entertainment culture, both with a critical wink. Questioning life and media critic enter a brilliant combination.
MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE is a composition made of words and music, accompanied with truly felt passion and human torment about the understanding of one of the most personal subjects – the quest of the Why. Although the film is self-contained it leaves space for more – more for oneself, more for a further part, in which the viewer might find what the MAN searches in the film.
In our times the urge to explain and understand everything is decisive and it is good to be reminded that there might be a world beyond the ordinary perception, which is revealed in dreams, with all the daemons of our life. This film awakes them with fantastic storytelling.
MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE was made, like every wtp international production, without public funding and with the creativity and commitment of everyone involved.
FROM THE IDEA TO THE FILM
The screenplay is based upon Roland Reber’s theatre play MY DREAM IS JUST A SICK CHILD that Reber directed successfully in Lünen in 1985. In March 2007 the idea to make a film out of this subject was created. Since years Roland Reber and Wolfgang Seidenberg wanted to make a film together, it always failed because of a lack of time. For MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE Wolfgang Seidenberg who plays the MAN was free, but only until mid of May. So the shooting period was fixed for April. After only one month of preparation for screenplay, cast and crew, location scouting, organization etc., 24 days of shooting with little sleep and much enthusiasm of everyone involved, the film was finally accomplished in September 2007, after another 92 days of post production.
SPECIAL WORKING METHOD
The film was made without public funding and with the commitment and creativity of everyone involved, with a small team and multiple tasks within the ensemble.
Acting, art work and setting, organization etc… are not divided at wtp international film- production, but are created by the members of the company.
This broad distribution of the tasks results in an integrated art work to which everyone involved has a creative relation. Roland Reber is not only the director, but also author and co-producer, Marina Anna Eich who plays the role of the WIFE also took over the organization and production and is responsible for the sales, distribution and public relations of the film. Besides her playing the role of GODOT, Mira Gittner was also responsible for the artwork and the editing. Wolfram Kunkel who plays the GRANDFATHER also did the music etc.
Roland Reber considers film making as a creative adventure. Everyone has the chance to bring in his ideas and creativity. This approach also leaves a lot of space for spontaneous ideas, which can be inserted during the shooting or even during the editing. For example the commercial with the director was made during the postproduction. There were supposed to be two commercials in the talk show, but during the shooting period there was no stirring idea and not enough time. When Mira Gittner presented a first edited version of the talk show she used a short sequence out of the making-of material as a placeholder, the one showing Roland Reber with the two bunnies. Roland Reber had been the light double for the TALKMASTER who was still in the make-up, and while the light was set, the camera was rolling. Like this, a light double placeholder sequence became a commercial. Another example is the scene between the WIFE and the FRIEND under the apple tree. This scene wasn’t part of the original screenplay. After the theater scenes had been shot unfortunately about 25 minutes of the most beautiful material between WOLF/FRIEND and LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD/WIFE were damaged. An additional shooting in the theater wasn’t possible, so Roland Reber wrote, after the first moments of shock, the scene under the apple tree, to give both characters a deepness and express the loneliness.
In the aftermath everybody was glad about the material damage, otherwise this important scene, which shows both characters in a different light, wouldn’t exist.
AT THE LOCATION – Canalization versus Studio
MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE was shot at original sites as well as in the studio or studio-like locations as the theatre for example. On one hand there is the framework plot, the conversation between the MAN and GODOT during the night, which was shot at original sites as sewer, garbage dump, an abandoned barrack or factory site, to express the authentic character of the dialogues. In these places, far away from the daily distractions that we are otherwise subjected, the MAN has the chance to draw the attention to him and to consider the inner structures of his mind and of his relation to different figures of his life. The MAN makes a tour through the garbage of thoughts of his life, symbolized by the places of the thrown away things of the city.
On the other hand there are the thoughts of the MAN, like the talk show or the surreal worlds of the MAN’s thoughts which were shot in the studio, an artificial, nearly theatrical place, just like life is a stage or a show in which everybody plays his role. A film studio is always a setting, just like theater. It is and remains an artificial place. This was very appropriate for the composition of the thought spaces of the MAN, who doesn’t live his life, but is trapped in his own and other’s role definition. Because of its abstraction the studio leaves to the MAN – and also to the viewer – the possibility to have his own thoughts.
REFERENCE TO THE MEDIA LANDSCAPE
In today’s life we do a whole lot of things to be distracted. We practice sport excessively, do shopping to buy things we don’t need, because the advertising subtly suggests that we urgently need to have it, or let TV formats empty of meaning live our life substitutionally, in order to deny any direct understanding or intuitive perception of our inner world.
We congest our senses with telenovelas, talk shows or action, disturb our thinking and our perception through mass medial sensory overload, drown ourselves with artificial state of minds from the TV and are proud about our inner distance.
Nearly every subject is turned into a show in the media: from partner seeking to the keeping of animals, cooking shows and marriage up to job seeking – everything is flattened to a multi medial produced show.
In MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE the show becomes the mirror of life that is directed by oneself and others, with regards to what is most effective for the viewing figures. Life is staging.
ABOUT THE MUSIC
The music to MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE developed spontaneously. Wolfram Kunkel is not only an actor (GRANDFATHER) but also a musician, one of the musicians who were one initiating factor for the “Schwabing riots” in 1962, when the police took action against street musicians who were peacefully playing music in the Leopold street, Munich/Germany.
Music is an important part in all the films of wtp international filmproduction. Music touches people where no picture or word can reach them. Therefore the director Roland Reber uses music in his films not only as a background but also as an autonomous component just as dialogue and picture.
During the preparation time Roland Reber had a particular picture in the head: at the funeral there was to be a solitary musician accompanying the procession at the gravel plant with „Amazing Grace“. When he met the actor and musician Wolfram Kunkel and saw all the instruments, which Wolfram Kunkel constructs himself, in his house he made a find.
Mira Gittner had edited a sequence of pictures, for the party at the end of the shootings, backgrounded with this music. Wolfram Kunkel then said, one could not have „Amazing Grace“ as a background for the whole film, he could record further songs. And that’s what he did.
The style of the drone, one accompanying tone which is continuously hold during the hole melody or a significant part of the music piece, is specially suited to the thoughts and memories of the MAN. Like the unconscious constantly accompanies us, the drone accompanies the main melody and creates a space of sound corresponding to the space of the thoughts.
SPECIAL ART WORK
MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE is set in the borderland between dream and being awake – as expressed in the first part of the title. On a personal level, awaking is something we do automatically every morning. While sleeping we plunge into ourselves and when we awake from the vanishing dream dimensions we arrive in our bed.
Occasionally we remember vivid sequences of happenings and scenes from our nightly expeditions. MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE plays with these different levels of consciousness.
On one hand there is the level of the dialogues between MAN and GODOT set realistically, on the other hand there is the level of the MAN’s thoughts about his life, shown in distorted pictures and show elements: life as the stage of a show, as a subjective and therefore distorted projection of our surrounding – the own inner theater. For example the talk show in the film has simultaneous screens. Like this the viewer can choose his own focus, which corresponds more to our actual perception than the fixed look onto a screen with a pre-selected focusing. Here the viewer can choose himself in which order and with what focus he wants to catch the situation, an interactive process.
MAN Wolfgang Seidenberg
GODOT Mira Gittner
WIFE Marina Anna Eich
TALKMASTER Antonio Exacoustos
GRANDFATHER Wolfram Kunkel
MOTHER Barbara Schmidt
FRIEND Andreas Heinzel
LOVER Sabrina Brencher
HITLER Sven Thiemann
FATHR Torsten Münchow
DEMONSTRANT Charis Berger
BUNNIES Patricia Koch, Martina Schölzhorn
FIGURES Klaus Melzer, Josef Sieber
BOY Valentin Seidenberg
DIRECTOR Roland Reber
CAMERAMAN Jürgen Kendzior
MAKE-UP ARTIST Cäcilia Müther
ASSISTANTS Claire Plaut, Ute Meisenheimer
PROSTITUTE Anja Schönleben
WINNER Rudolf Queisser
script and director Roland Reber
producers Patricia Koch, Marina Anna Eich, Roland Reber
line producer Marina Anna Eich
camera Jürgen Kendzior, Bene Zirnbauer, Mira Gittner
light Martin Lippert, Christoph Baumann
editing Mira Gittner
music Wolfram Kunkel
sound Simon Maischberger
make-up Cäcilia Müther, Anja Neukert, Simone Neufischer
production manager Ute Meisenheimer
production assistant Claire Plaut
production│sales│distribution wtp international GmbH
year of production 2007
time of production April – May 2007
post-production May – September 2007
locations Munich, Kreis Landsberg/Lech
Studio Panther-Studio, Oberhaching
Fantasporto International Film Festival, Porto/Portugal, 2008
SITGES Festival Internacional de Cine, Spain, 2008
Ourense International Film Festival, Spain, 2008
Festival Nouveau Cinema Montreal, Canada, 2008
International Film Festival of India, Goa, 2008
Chennai International Film Festival, India, 2009
Pune International Film Festival, India 2009
“Roland Reber and his team wtp international are famous for their difference. They are actually the splinter in the foot of German cinema.” (Festival International du Nouveau Cinema, Montreal/Canada, Julien Fonfrède – Programming Director)
„The extraordinary work convinces as an intelligent sweeping blow at a life directed by the media, traditions, education and stuck gender roles, directed with cutting irony.“ (filmstart.biz, Carlos Corbell)
“One can only hate or love the film… The film is at the same time a shrill revue, a cutting media criticism, a philosophical quest for meaning and an extremely alienated ARTwork, which has only one thing in mind – to capture life in all its strangeness, absurdity and diversity and to project it onto the screen.” (kino-zeit.de, Joachim Kurz, entire article)
“As an inconvenient, innovative conceptual film MY DREAM pleasantly sticks out of the trite entertainment mush of the ready-made cinema.” (filmdienst, Stefan Volk)
“A brilliant, profitable experiment.” (Blickpunkt:Film, entire article)
“Unicum in the German Cinema landscape! Reber-Films are psychoanalytic and society critical art-sensations, poetic and pretentious, playful and ironic. “ (Sueddeutsche Zeitung / Feuilleton, Hans Schifferle, entire article)
„MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE is a profound masterpiece for an audience, that also likes to use its brain with the passive medium of film.“ (Sneakfilm.de, Michael Welsing, entire article)
„A modern film coming to the right time, in which a lot of people get lost in this world of multimedia with explosive spreading of informations without content. An intelligent film full of poetic pictures and messages.” (Gerhard Beer, journalist)
“Brilliant. Intelligent. Creative. Insightful. MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE is a masterful motion picture that entertains while probing the psyche as surely as if Sigmund Freud was sitting beside you and whispering, “Admit it! That’s you isn’t it?”. (Gordon Weaver, film publicist / USA – worked among others for Paramount in Marketing und Public Relations, entire article)
„Without filmmakers like Reber it would only exist fast food for our brain, his pinch of chilli will expand my cineastic experience.” (filmjournalisten.de, Julian Reischl, entire article)
“Who gets into the new wtp-film, dares an experiment … one being worth it.” (Feder & Schwert, entire article)
“The waiting has an end…”. (Connection, entire article)
“The pictures are powerful and extraordinary.” (Teleschau, entire article)
INTERVIEW WITH ROLAND REBER (writer and director)
How did the idea to this film arise?
RR: During a car drive. I like to drive around to have ideas, I need to be in move for that, it doesn’t work in a standstill; it’s as if I could catch the ideas while driving, or they could reach me. The script is based on a theatre play, which I directed in 1985 in Germany. But the film is related to the play only in its basic structure, many scenes are new, for example the part of the TALKMASTER didn’t exist in the play. So, during a drive, Mira Gittner and I had the idea to make a film out of this subject and to shape it in a play with the different media elements of our entertainment culture. Soon afterwards we gave Wolfgang Seidenberg the subject to read and he was enthusiastic. That was the initializing factor. It was in March. As Wolfgang had time only until mid of May, we did the preparations in a rush and could start to shoot mid of April. But in the end I never ask myself where I get the ideas from, they are suddenly there.
What does the title mean?
RR: The film happens in one night, during which the MAN reflects his life. In the end it remains open whether also this night is just a dream. The description as a dream is a metaphor for life and it’s shaping. I don’t see any difference between being awake and dreaming; because in both of the states I believe it’s real. In the film GODOT says: “How do you know, you are awake?” Perhaps we are all dreamers who are waiting to awake. And the further title “Loneliness Never Walks Alone” is from Antonio Exacoustos who plays the TALKMASTER. He phoned me and told me he had a title for the film. I liked this sentence and that’s how this double title was created.
You call your film a Dramedy, what does this expression mean?
RR: The structure of the film plays with different elements of our media and cultural landscape and therefore also with the different genres. There are elements of drama, of comedy, tragic elements and surreal pictures; therefore MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE can’t be classified into one genre, just like life itself is a mixture. I see life as a Dramedy.
You have an own way to make and produce films. The actors are often also involved in other parts of the filmmaking, like editing, cinematography, producing etc. What does this working method look like?
RR: For me acting becomes touching when it’s personal and authentic, and an actor achieves this more likely if he deals with the role himself and is not a mere henchman of a god-like commander. That’s military, I make films. I don’t consider myself as a tamer who dictates to the actor which face he has to make; I expect his own interpretation from a creative artist, otherwise I could play the role or do the cinematography myself. I rather consider myself as a conductor who only coordinates the soloists and unites them to a harmonious orchestra. Everyone is participating in the creative process, the production helpers as well as the main actors. This is my definition of teamwork, therefore it‘s not “my” film, but “our” film.
What is your opinion about the subject of media related to today’s society? What was your motive to integrate the subject of entertainment industry into the film?
RR: I come from a generation who learnt to read and write before watching a round of nonsense in the boob tube. I want to emphasize that I am consumer of these media myself. I like to watch James Bond a lot. But I also read books. Generally speaking our society became decadent. Most people are more interested in career, money and party than in questioning life or anything else or having individual reflections about a subject. And the mass media entertainment culture contributes a lot to that. Most people are no longer capable of having their own reflections – one is not taught how to think anymore, but only what to think. It is like a mass hypnosis, which I believe is controlled, and distracts people from questioning life or themselves. It is more comfortable to watch the new action movie, than to face oneself. Further the film is about the staging of life, by oneself and others. Everyone plays his roles, his games and his show, which we then believe to be reality. The current situation of the media is just a mirror of our own life, which everyone produces for himself, but not according to his own needs, but according to what is most effective for the audience e.g. the viewing rate.
What do you want to communicate to the viewer?
I only think about the meaning when the film is released in cinemas and I discuss with the audience. If I had a prefabricated interpretation, this would mean to take away the vision of the own thoughts from the audience. I just have an idea. What I wish from the audience is feedback. The film should linger in the thoughts and hearts of the viewer when he leaves the cinema. That’s what I want to achieve, without imposing the viewer a hypocritical message. For me filmmaking is a dialogue between the viewer and me. But like I don’t entirely understand myself, I don’t entirely understand my films. I see my way of making cinema as an adventure of the own mind, that provokes reflection.
You make your films without public funding. What is, in your opinion, the best way to become a filmmaker without the habitual pressure?
The way we make films is independent. And for that, I think the individual way is the best one. Each filmmaker should go his own way. We make films with a low budget, in order to be able to produce them by ourselves, and therefore we always have the complete authority for what we do. We use our own equipment, from production to post-production, up to marketing; we do everything on our own. Like that nobody can exert influence on us and it gives us the freedom to be creative. Meanwhile most films have become mere products, investments. They are cut and mainly decided by financiers who are depending on the request and constraints of the market. If we continue to let ourselves dominate by the agents and financiers, there will soon only be ready-made films. Filmmakers should take over the responsibility for their films again, have the courage for creative adventures and develop films, which are not only designed in an office according to market values.
As in your previous films, this film has an open end. What induces you to leave all your films open?
The story of MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE has no stringent storyline, so what do I need a stringent end for? Do you know today, where life will lead you tomorrow? Do you know what happens at the end of your own film? You know that it ends, but not how. On the last shooting day, when we just had set the light for a totally different scene, Wolfgang Seidenberg stood in front of the light and the camera transmitted this picture to the monitor. We thought it looked great and shot it. That’s how the end of the film was made which was also the last shot of the shootings. At the end, I don’t want to fob the viewer, who followed me for over 100 minutes, with empty catchwords, which I don’t believe myself. “No empty phrases”. MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE doesn’t have any maxim as “if, then”. There are so many things in my life, for which I don’t have an answer; it would be unfair to pretend I had some. But if I succeeded in transmitting something, the viewer can draw his own conclusions and discuss. These kinds of discussions are one of the best effects of filmmaking. For the movie 24/7 THE PASSION OF LIFE we toured through Germany and Austria for months to hold the dialogue with the audience in over 60 cinemas.
Which is your next project?
RR: THE DIRTY BIT OF LIFE. I already have the title and the shooting period, which will be in July 2008. And the rest will also come into my mind.
INTERVIEW WITH WOLFGANG SEIDENBERG (Role: MAN)
Why did the script appeal to you?
Already when I first read it, I had the feeling: I know that, this is related to me. And the way the story is told is extraordinary, because it is not packed in common storytelling patterns, but in an associative style which allows everything. And how on earth do you play that? How do I dream myself?
How was the work with Roland Reber and the team of wtp with its special working method?
The wtp-team assured me ever again that for this project there was a script only because I was to act in it and was used to this. After 12 years of TV work this is certainly true. The complete creative freedom that marvelously exists there, is not easy to cope with Roland Reber realizes his directing credo consequently: not to dictate anything but to guide the work through talking and creating the „right“ atmosphere. In the final product really each participant can find himself and I rarely experienced such a harmonious production.
What is special about the role of the MAN? Are there parallels to your own life?
As I said: many thing seemed familiar to me (or at least I read it this way): the ongoing crisis of a man in his mid forties between all the requirements of life, the own demands and finding of identity. The thoughts about escape and the longing for a new beginning. The realization, that you take yourself everywhere you go and mix up a new beginning with an escape. And the character is annoying, like I annoy myself sometimes. At first one thinks: the poor man, how everybody is harassing him. Little later you would like to shout: if you don’t like it open your mouth! Change something, stop playing the victim and wallowing in self-pity. This is the viewer reaction I would wish. One can see that the MAN has tried to do self therapy: one recognizes logotherapy, psychoanalysis or family constellations, whereby the experiences from these therapies rather increased the chaos, didn’t sort the garbage of memories, but only shifted it. The identity suffocates under this mass of impressions.
For you, which is the key subject of the film?
Loneliness. Perhaps more precisely the self-isolation of the human being in the age of media. Because the crisis of the MAN isn’t merely weakness of character, in the flood of pictures of his life, he lost the picture of himself.
Is there an anecdote of the shootings?
During the nightly shooting at the pond for the sequence at the end of the film, the unpleasant experience how loud frogs can be in their pairing time.
Was there a difficult scene for you?
I don’t smoke anymore since 2 years, and then this! So the MAN rarely ends up smoking because he interrupts himself before lighting the cigarette. And then the ongoing question: where did I have the cigarette in which moment during the last take?
Do you have a favorite scene?
The harmonious togetherness with GODOT on an inflatable island in the sea of shit in the canalization.
How do you interpret the end of the film?
How I interpret the end of the film should remain my secret at first. But I’ll tell everybody who reveals his version.
Your counterpart GODOT is not explained in the film. What is GODOT for you?
At first the dialogue partner who leads the MAN through the night and nearer to himself with insistent follies. During the work I saw her as a sort of Fay, a woman who has something unreal, that’s why he can open up to her. He can’t talk to women otherwise – not really with men either. Well… The interpretation of this character is also something I look forward to in the discussions with the audience.
Did this role enrich you personally?
As I already admitted that I know many of the behaviors of the MAN, the work on the role was also a work on what sometimes makes me despair of me. Although I don’t want to misunderstand my profession as a therapy, therefore you need distance. I can laugh about him, shake my head about the clumsy man in his turtleneck. Not only when I meet Mira, I often think: NO EMPTY PHRASES! And certainly a work far away from the usual production constraints. The enthusiasm, which was present in this team, carries me somehow.
INTERVIEW WITH MIRA GITTNER (Role: GODOT│editor)
Which is the key subject of the film for you?
MG: Everything can be reduced to one single question, that’s why it reappears constantly in the film: Why? I often ask myself why do people do this or that, why do I do this or that or also the big Why related to life. In the reflection one might sometimes find an answer –but every answer raises a new why, it is an eternal cycle around a tiny little word which you can’t escape. This is the MAN`s situation in that night.
What is special for you about the character of GODOT?
MG: GODOT is the only character who has a name in the film. All the others have or are mere descriptions: the MAN, the WIFE, the FRIEND, the MOTHER, the TALKMASTER etc. Only in the fairy tale they get a name. Names which the child gives them, for example the fantasy name „Rumpelstilkin“, who is then being instructed / programmed how it has to be called: Rumpelstiltskin, with -ts-. Gone is the fantasy and the BOY becomes a MAN.
GODOT detached herself from the human role play („no empty phrases“), became authentic and lives the freedom of someone who became insignificant. Ignored or not understood by any fashion or trend, GODOT has given up to follow anything else than her own lonely way.
How was the preparation for this role? Are there parallels to your own life?
MG: When I have to play a role like GODOT, I have to find the approach first. With GODOT the approach was there from the start. I subscribe to the words GODOT says, I liked to scrabble in garbage dumps as a child and I also believe that what comes out of people in the bottom is more honest than what comes out in front.
So in contrast to my preparation for the role of the Dominatrix in 24/7 THE PASSION OF LIFE, where I stood in 3 nights in an S&M Studio to assist to get a relation to this, the preparation for MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE were reduced to the learning of the complete dialogues and the choice of an overall under which I could wear many pullovers, because of the cold temperatures.
In your opinion, what is the meaning of the character of GODOT? The MAN asks at the end of the film: „GODOT, who are you really? “
MG: „Think about it. “ –GODOT would say. I don’t think about the meaning of a role beforehand, this would mean to force the role into a preconceived corset and it would remain technical. I hope I left GODOT enough room so that each viewer can have his own thoughts. To some people this may seem incomplete, but if the viewer wants a complete character described in every detail, he should look at a fashion catalogue.
Perhaps there is no meaning of the role, of life or no meaning at all. Perhaps the quest for a meaning is a survival mechanism, to give our life importance, because we are afraid of the insignificance. Perhaps we found the meaning in the moment, where we stop searching for it.
You don’t only play a main part, but were also responsible for the artwork and did the editing. What is your procedure for the editing? And how did the partly unconventional pictures develop?
MG: For me the best time begins with the editing. I can run free creatively during 3 months approximately. With the last shooting day Roland gives over the raw material to me with all artistical freedom and I try to unite it to a choreography of picture, word and music. And then I simply start, the ideas come and go and I am surprised every time about the accomplished film resulting.
In MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE on one hand there are the scenes in the night, between MAN and GODOT, they just had to be put together. On the other hand there are the thoughts of the MAN and I thought the distorted pictures with the stage or the screen in an empty space were an appropriate picture for the projections that we make in our life.
There will certainly be some people who have their difficulties with the fragmentation of the picture, particularly with the multiple screens or the virtual spaces that sometimes remind of expressionism or paintings. But I think one should always try new ways of expression if they suit the story. The perception in life is not reduced to a square, which a passive audience stares at in a dark room either. For MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE the viewer has to enlarge his viewing patterns, has to get into something unusual, has to turn into an active, rather than a passive viewer. I think there is enough passive entertainment and who is curious about something different, will enjoy this film a lot.
What was the special challenge for you in this film?
That there was a script beforehand this time – for us a totally new experience – and that I, being someone sleeping a lot, had to be awake all night and being cold quickly, I had to sit still in a sofa for hours at 5 °C.
INTERVIEW MIT MARINA ANNA EICH (Role: WIFE│Production and Distribution)
Why did you like playing the role of the WIFE? Are there parallels to your own life?
In the last film 24 / 7 THE PASSION OF LIFE I played the role of the naive hotelier’s daughter Eve who begins to explore her sexuality trying to get closer to herself. A role which was often very revealing. It was very important to me to play a completely different character in the next film, to show that I know more than one way of acting. There was the LOVER or the WIFE to choose. I didn’t have to think long. The WIFE represents the cliché of a deserted wife: disappointed, lonely, frustrated, withdrawn and sad. She misses the deeper communication and the sexual attention of her husband. The role let me slip into a character different to me. What is nice about our working method is to participate in creating the role. Whether it is costume or make-up, every actor suggest how he sees his role and how he wants to play it. As the clothes of the WIFE are rather conservative and high-necked, some of my clothes were used, that otherwise wouldn’t have left the cellar again.
How did the production of MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE differ from the other wtp productions?
From the proceeding up to the completion of the film everything was different this time. Our former productions were characterized by the fact that there was no finished script at the beginning, only a basic story. Day by day the story was developed, scenes were written, changed, completed. This is a long creative process. This time there was a finished script of MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE. Another difference was the fact, that there was a big part of in-studio production. As we had set ourselves a time limit, we had to work with a shooting schedule this time. The idea to turn the former theater play into a film arose at the end of February. Until mid of May the shooting had to be accomplished as we were pressed for time. So we had about four weeks to cast the other roles and organize all the preparation: fix the shooting schedule, find a studio, find different shooting locations and get the shooting permit for them, get requisites, make-up artists, a technical crew and equipment etc. The outdoor shooting required a greater technical effort. With a lot of enthusiasm, daily work and little sleep we managed to get everything required. 24 shooting days without any day off were scheduled. Obviously this is exhausting, but this denseness was important and is reflected in the film. Including the 3 months of editing the entire production time, from the preparation to the completed film was only 5 months.
You are not only actress, but also producer and line producer and responsible for the distribution and public relations. How do you cope with these multiple tasks?
Distribution and public relation work starts when the shootings are finished. Obviously it was very stressful to prepare for the role in the quite short time of 8 weeks, to play it, and at the same time to be responsible for the locations, the logistic disposition of the crew and the whole shooting schedule, as well as for the well being of the other actors. But as one can see it worked out marvelously without harming the atmosphere on the set. I can’t tell myself how this works. Sleep definitely came off shortly. But this was not so bad. I think you should do the things you do with your whole heart and dedication and full of joy. Then more than you might initially have presumed is possible. Another positive aspect is certainly the film team, which consisted of only few very capable people so that a calm, quick and effective shooting was possible. In any case I can honestly say that the preparation and shooting period for MY DREAM or LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE was very intense, pleasant and funny. I was absolutely sad when this time was over.
Do you have a favorite scene?
When FRIEND and WIFE meet under the tree, he walks away and leaves her behind alone on the red sofa, in order to rehearse a joke in front of a mirror but then breaks out in tears. This is added by the wonderful music by Wolfram. This is a very touching scene, which reflects the real loneliness of the characters.
Were there difficult scenes?
The shooting at the garbage dump initially appeared difficult: when we arrived to set up the equipment there was a huge truck parking exactly where our frame was supposed to be. It was not easy to reach the responsible persons on a Sunday evening. The truck had to be driven away so that we wouldn’t have to postpone the shooting day. After having searched the local pubs with the „concierge“ of the garbage dump I was told by phone, that the driver of the truck went home to Chemnitz for the weekend and would return to take the truck only on Monday. I came back one hour later to the location. Meanwhile luckily another solution was found: a living room was built up in another frame, with utensils, which were found on the garbage dump. In the end, not taking into account the strained nerves, this alternative was a better picture and a special note for this scene. How do you say: nothing is so bad, that it’s not good for anything.
For you, which is the message of the film?
The film is a journey to one’s self. For me GODOT symbolizes the unconscious of the MAN. The MAN lives through the most important aspects of his life again and turns into an observer, with a look from the outside, detached from society. In my opinion the film shows the last minutes of the MAN before his death. But in the end, like for most of our films, it is up to the viewer how he interprets the film. There are several alternatives.
Did the role enrich you personally?
One draws out one thing or the other for the own private life from every role. In this film it was rather the way how the film was made that enriched me personally: to make a wonderful film with few people, little resources in a very short time. The multi- functional tasks that I took over this time challenged and enriched me. You can do more than you might initially believe.