ROLAND REBER (director, scriptwriter, producer)
What is your main topic of the film?
Like all our movies this film has several levels. A superficial level: a man holds two women captive and is pushed further and further by his publisher till he himself ends up in the dungeon. A second level: The film is about being unconsidered and not thinking about consequences. The women are acting without considering consequences as they simply agree to the experiment without thinking about implications. The writer is unconsidered as he neither has prepared himself nor the experiment: he doesn’t know what “reaching the top” actually means. Only the publisher is not unconsidered, this would be again a level beneath. A deeper level would be: Id, Ego and Super Ego. The freudian model. The writer and the two prisoners are representing one person and the publisher signifies life itself. Life, which keeps on testing them, lets them fail and dissolves concepts. Beneath those there are some more levels but I want the viewers to find out for themselves.
You have a special method of making films. What does your working method looks like?
It is an assumption that I would have a special method. My function is simple: Let it be! Meaning I am leaving it up to the actors, who I see as artists and not as servants, to define their roles. I direct softly, discuss a lot and get involved with the actors (let myself in with the actors), who finally form the bigger part of the film People always talk about a Roland Reber film – actually against my will, which I want to emphasize once again – as in truth it’s always a mutual work: Mira Gittner is doing lots: camera, editing and often she also plays a main character. Antje Nikola Mönning acts and is at the same time my (director’s) assistant. Marina Anna Eich is head of sales & distribution as well as press agent. Everyone of us has several tasks. Additionally there are Patricia Koch, Ute Meisenheimer and Claire Plaut. So it’s a mutual work. The films are wtp-films.
You are making films without government funding. Is there a special reason behind that?
Yes. To take government film funding is like putting yourself in the position of the two women. You are getting money for a specific time and specific projects but you are totally depended on these sadists. Then you add a broadcaster, like the publisher, who drives everyone into misery. In the end there is nothing left from your film except the title and that you are allowed to call yourself filmproduction company. This is a consciously created dependency, in which every young, pimpled, unemployed wanna-be, whos father is sitting in the supervisory board, will be named editor and has the power to decide, completely ignorant of the situation, what’s happening, who will be casted, which scenes are to be deleted and in which festivals to participate. Government Film funding? No thanks.
How did you put the torture scenes into action?
With lots of fun, enjoyment and high spirits. You see, it’s all just a movie. If you have a look at parts of the making-of you will see that it actually wasn’t as cruel as it may look. It was good fun, I enjoyed it.
Why are the women naked during the torture scenes?
He uncovers them. In soul, spirit and body.
What does the title mean?
In every lie lies a bit of truth and in every truth lies a bit of lie. This, I took directly out of life. What actually is truth? What is the top? These are really important questions everyone should ask themselves. Everyday we are informed by broadcasting station, print media and internet: this is the truth, this is what we uncovered, this is what we need to make public. But what is really true, what is fiction, what is manipulation. In every lie lies a bit of truth and in every truth lies a bit of lie.
What’s your next project?
As every year, this will be decided at the Cannes Filmfestival. This is a ritual since we made the film “24/7 The Passion of Life” which actually was the first one to be decided there – purely accidental though. Since then, it’s always in Cannes when we make up our mind about the next project. If I have to guess right now, I think it will be “Big parking No.7”, a film about sex on public parking spaces.