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Audiovisual Cultures episode 88 – The New Hamburg School of Filmmaking automated transcript of full live recording


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okay welcome to another episode of audiovisual cultures with me paula blair today i have the really great pleasure of being joined from germany by lars henrichs and nissan arakan to talk about the new hamburg school of filmmaking we’re going to talk about your filmmaking collaborations and maybe a bit about your underground film festival um but first nissan and lars could i ask you each to tell us a bit about yourselves give us a bit of an introduction to you okay sure okay um hi my name is nissan arakan i’m originally from turkey i live in germany since i am i was 10 years old so it’s now for 20 years i studied acting and homework with last together um when i was 17 and then i started uh working as an actor here in germany um but i wanted to do more independent unique stuff stuff i would like to watch and i was kind of stuck in in the german film industry as as the turkish muslim roles to play and um the system is for for um actors who who are not exactly white um frustrating and um so i want to do my own stuff i still work as an actress here i mean now during corona it’s almost impossible but i i never stopped working as as an actor because i i need to pay my rent but but at uh the year 2016 i think we we met again so we we knew each other when we were 17 then for a long time we haven’t seen each other and then we we re-met and um he had a similar story he also but he should tell himself he also started as an actor and was frustrated by the industry so and he you should tell yourself your own story but we started to make um independent movies together which are more unique not so mainstream not not so german typical at all and um yeah we were i’m really happy about that uh all right um i’m i’m lars lars hendrix uh i’m an uh yeah actor and filmmaker from uh hamburg uh yeah i met nissan when we were 17 and studied acting uh here in hamburg and i’ve always wanted to become a filmmaker i’ve always wanted to become a director um but i didn’t do that great in school so i was told uh the the the um you you can be an actor but you can’t be a director because for that you would have to go to a university and you would need you would need whatever better grades um and then i went to university to study acting when i was 17. um and after that i started i i directed the play and then i started making short films with uh with other acting students and film students and out of that grew uh yeah some kind of a production collective um i made my first couple of uh no budget feature films uh i think i started in 2013 i had uh i landed a leading role in the australian teenagers sitcom in your dreams it’s on youtube go watch it um and and after that like that that was like a really big set so so i was for for uh two years every day on on this big million euro budget set and i thought all right i can emulate these processes without the money um and we started doing that in 2013 when i made my feature debut why hans wagner hates the stories guy uh whatever um wasn’t that good it’s okay actually it’s okay um and yeah then after i made that i met other hamburg-based independent no budget filmmakers because that was right around the time when um equipment for like consumer grade prices uh would would start to come up that that that was able to uh produce images and sound that were fit for cinemas uh so so for the first time like cinema level film production became achievable for everyone and there were a couple of people who started doing that in in hamburg um namely the director christian grundy and director tommy tommy kessler bad with names even though those are collaborators of quite some years really embarrassing sorry sorry tommy um no but but then we we uh we as three came together and we first founded the obsessive underground film festival in hamburg that focused on these kinds of movies um that would uh untypically for german movies uh be very um they would be mostly genre movies uh not exactly the the way genre usually works like we were all genre bending and experimenting and stuff because we didn’t have monetary restrictions uh we we could just do whatever we wanted because there was no money to be lost because it was all no budget um but yeah it was it was uh like german film usually isn’t uh genre even genre adjacent so so we we did that um did that for a couple years and then uh yeah then we re-met and we made a movie together uh in which for the first time christian grunde who co-founded the festival other director uh was the uh he he was the dop on that movie um and so many other stuff we like he did the costumes with me yeah and uh he um did he organized people who could um like the sound guy and and he organized he made set designs yeah we became like a like like a three people like like a punk band making movies yeah and um yeah and and then we made that and and then nissan uh had the idea to submit it via film freeway uh that’s a that’s an online platform to film festivals all around the world then we got invited then we traveled to all these places and we kept making movies uh actually uh getting some budgets uh getting the movies released for the first time so that’s all nissan’s work and she also uh then um took over organizing the film festivals uh together with me and christian and then people from the us came and and from belgium and from all over europe and it was uh it was great wonderful a comprehensive introduction to both of you and all the things you’ve been working on thank you so much um and there’s a there’s a huge amount there i think for us to start to go and look at in a bit more detail i mean first of all i just want to thank you both so much for doing this with such impeccable english because i have no german so i feel very inadequate right now as a horrible british person who can’t speak any other languages very well and so just thank you on the top for that um it’s uh yeah you’ve been doing a really impressive amount of work and i love the way you describe this as the three of you a bit like a punk band making movies and that was something i really wanted to pick up on i think i feel perhaps um a lot of empathy with that because a lot of podcasters like me it feels very diy and on the hoof and very punk as well and it’s the technology that’s allowing us finally to do that because like yourselves i never would have broken into radio by myself or or filmmaking by myself so this gives me a way of doing it so i’d love really to hear a bit more detail about that if you’re happy to go into that a bit more sure nissan um should we like start with i don’t know leon or well yeah okay so so as i as i said before yeah i think that that diy culture in general is right now at the place where it’s never been before because yeah sound equipment too has come such a long way i mean uh i know of professional film production that gets dubbed via whatsapp voice message which isn’t ideal but people don’t notice because even your phone you have such high grade microphones by now i remember when i actually did have a punk band uh when when we were first starting out and we were 13 in our uh

what you call in our rehearsal room and we wanted to record ourselves and it was a real hassle and we had like these we had to carry these huge computers like a windows 98 tower pc uh to that room and set it all up and then we had one crappy microphone that that that and you couldn’t even really make out what you were listening to when you were listening to it and um i don’t think that’s the thing that uh new bands uh really have to uh fight with uh in in in that’s um in that way because yeah everything is now capable of of really empowering you to to produce good things and um i think because in in film all kinds of uh media sort of comes together like you need you need great sound equipment you need great uh the capacity of great sound production um you need to make a soundtrack so so some music is is in there too then you need a good camera you need good good images so so so all of this sort of comes together um and i think it hasn’t been possible for a long time to make something that can on some level compete uh with uh what you can put out with a lot of money behind it it is i think still you can’t really compete it’s it’s still everything we do is great for the tiny amount of cost but but i i guess you will be able to make out the difference but it’s very very different to what it was like in the 90s it doesn’t look like it’s shot on video um it it looks like it’s shot for for cinema because we shoot in the same kind of format um and yeah i think i think that’s i think we’re living in a really interesting time because uh for filmmaking and and yeah every other type of media it hasn’t been possible before um and i think music as usual has been ahead of the revolution like we’ve seen all these diy acts come up and and really make the big time really quickly uh soundcloud has been a thing uh in in this way and and film is always a little behind because it’s a little bit more complicated but i hope it’s coming uh we’ve been doing it for for almost 10 years now we’ve been looking for people all over the world who would do the feature film thing this way um and i mean in the us there has been the mumblecore wave uh already and um yeah i i think it’s a thing that still is in its infancy but it’s coming and i hope there’s gonna be more uh punk band type uh production uh we’re not a company but what are we collective production collectives coming up yeah um i mean yeah i think diy can be very frustrating um but it’s also very very rewarding when you when you watch something and you know everything on screen was me

so um sorry nissan do you have anything to add there um i’m not sure because you uh you told already all the important stuff and i um i think what i’m also uh proud of is that we started um really little with i mean you did other movies before i don’t want to take credit for that um he started before me but when we um did our first movie together um which was leon must die which you can watch on amazon prime um we just did it uh we we just showed a feature movie in the park sometimes uh we had i think we had like three locations which was um in the flat of the uh actor of the main actor and the park and i think the um what’s keller in the basement in the basement of a friend so and um it was really little but we we were creative and and the movie was ironical and um we last me and christian we did like everything together and um i don’t know it was really great after the film freeway uh tour that um the movie went to vietnam to a festival in vietnam to to the um states and we also went um to um to america in sanford maine and also in in uk we were in the derby film festival and that was really great um so then we did this the uh i y thing again with a little more budget this time we worked for an acting school and um we worked with their um students on a movie together um based on on their uh character wishes um so uh because we you uh last and me we are also from the acting department so we could work with that and we are making films we could work with that so um the second movie we did together um was also on many many festivals and uh was um was um uh sorry how do you say his english is better than it was discovered it was discovered um from uh from a uh release element a blu-ray uh releaser oh yes get released in the u.s yes it’s behind us yes oh wow on blu-ray srs cinema so uh i was really proud of that and really happy about it um the second movie is about about seven girls in the forest um and maybe um cursed forest so it’s it’s kind of fantastical but very very subtle um and it was with uh it was the first time for us that we worked um with an ensemble and those were like seven girls who were like in their twenties early 20s early 20s they were just finishing drama school they were not so easy but it was fun and it was also for us we learned a lot to work with a big group and um then we did the same thing with the acting school with another big group and um then uh we made a really really uh big project which like killed us um almost uh and um it’s not finished yet we we made a series which will be about seven to eight episodes and we’re working on the releasement right now and um what i’m really proud of is that you can see the development from from the first movie we did together um to the series which will uh which we will publish this year this year yes definitely yeah this this series by the way is is another really great example of like the series we did would not be would not ever exist without the the the new kinds of diy techniques that are out there when we first came up with it and pitched it uh all those german production companies would go oh yeah that’s really interesting that sounds cool send us the the the scripts and we sent the scripts and then uh people um would say ah wait uh now we weren’t involved in developing the scripts now we don’t want it anymore then uh we would go to distributors who would say oh yeah right cool uh go shoot it bring us the the the finished uh product um then we had to shoot it by ourselves and we thought we would get help in post-production but when we went back to the same people or to production houses they would say well it’s shot now we got nothing to do with it now so now we’re doing uh all the post-production by ourselves too which we are only capable of doing because of all the projects before that because of all the software available and and hardware available so so we will actually be able to finish it and put it out there but i guess um only 10 15 years ago were we in the same situation that we are in now the project would be dead it would be completely tanked um so uh yeah it’s it’s that’s another thing where we are lucky while having bad luck uh with the timing um yes it’s a tremendous amount of work that you’re all doing by yourselves you’re all having these multiple production roles in front of and behind the camera so often it must be a lot but i mean you must be all skilled to the max by this point as well you must really know your stuff um really um lucky to have christian who is like our technician daddy so like we always ask him how to do this and that and i mean every time when we do something i guess it’s because because you’re so so uh into the production yourself like when i when i when i watch the thing that that we’ve just been doing i see the seams i see everything that’s wrong with it yeah and then when i and then i always think oh wow i can’t i i can’t do anything all of these things we did i i suck at them and then i watch it two years later and i think well there’s nothing really wrong with it that’s fine same same yeah um that’s lovely yeah you become a bit less hard on yourself and you know how difficult it all was um i was wondering as well i mean there’s there’s still a lot for us to to get to but i was wondering that trying to trying to push a new mode of filmmaking in germany must be a really tall order because there’s such a history in german cinema from the very start of you know so german expressionism beca and and this is something that feeds hollywood with all the emigrate directors who go there and it becomes really global and then with new german cinema you’ve got filmmakers like finn venders or rhino verner has fassbender and you know um i suppose anyone who who’s a cinephile will know those names for example um so it must be a really tall order to try and

push a movement or create a movement that is different to those that’s distinctive from those um but it’s true to yourselves and it maybe speaks to new contemporary younger generations i mean is that something you’re trying to do or is it something that you’re wanting to move away from or reacting against how do you feel about that um should i answer you first i first um i answer because uh every time when you answer you already say everything i i wanted to say um honestly with me it’s my first uh aim was when um i was uh doing this in the kind of movies and or events i also joined to obsess for underground festival um first of all i um i wanted to do something i really care about and why i wanted to become an artist because you kind of lose it if you are well i only speak to myself i kind of started to losing it while i was in the industry because it’s not so creative and artsy as you imagine as i imagined it’s it was lots of you know typecasting as i um talked and lots about um small talks networking and waiting for the phone to ring and and when the phone rang then you got the role for a project you did you wouldn’t even watch you know and um so that was the first thing and then i just wanted to fulfill myself so then i i really cared about this project which we made so the first aim i accomplished um and the second aim was to i don’t know to change something here in the industry or to um to and enrich it if if you um if there’s a word like that uh to um which was also for our last series for example great that by then we made all these other projects because um we could use i don’t know how we have like hundreds of different locations for example in the series because we i knew by then so many people who wanted to help us so um i also my second aim was also to um to make like a film a young independent film making family and um to feel like uh fulfilled and to to i don’t know can live from it um but by now um i i don’t know i feel like i i would like to um make continue making this somewhere else because i feel like the way i i want to work doesn’t really work in germany

okay um to the uh the the um yeah yeah to to add to that and to speak to the question of um the difficulty of pushing a new sort of filmmaking movement in germany um i think like i i love german expressionism um i i think there are me too we have a metropolis poster yeah it’s up there just out of frame i have maria pear as well yeah so uh the the the yeah the the silent era expression isn’t really really awesome and it’s so influential and um i don’t know we also sorry to interrupt which we also used in in in our movie leon must die you can see of uh german expression yeah we we do sort of quote uh i think nosferatu um and and metropolis yeah yeah yeah um so uh yeah i i really love that but that was a hundred years ago and uh then the the german people uh willingly ended that um and and completely destroyed all they had in terms of in terms of film culture and uh after that until the the um the new german film in the in the 60s uh there was actually nothing nothing that is worth mentioning at all um now that i’m saying that i’m contradicting myself in my head because there’s a fun little story in between but whatever that’s not important no but um like like no interesting films were being made and then the the new german film came and uh what so these these expressionist films were really big productions like those were major blockbusters um and then the the new german film they started out as kind of independent and then they actually pushed for uh state-sponsored filmmaking um i think most european countries have some kind of model like that in germany that became the only mode available for financing a professional production so while we officially do not have censorship you cannot produce anything that doesn’t get approved off by a board that does not have to uh explain itself they can they they can just say yes or no and that’s it they don’t need to explain why they don’t want uh some things and uh i i mean while while faspina was alive and uh did his thing apparently that worked kind of kind of well then later on there would be institutions like the hamburg film bureau where filmmakers like christoph lindsey who was more recent and and sort of a sort of uh uh sort of interesting avant-garde filmmaker um he would get money uh there so there would be these these these little instances of of institutions where you could get this uh state-sponsored money and make uh make interesting movies with that but right now we are in a situation where it’s actually uh the system is very very stale uh i think internationally uh you always uh um you will you will hear about about like one film every five years and those will be really standout productions but those do not have anything to do with the actual german film industry if you work here um you probably won’t have worked on those films um the things we work on uh are very very different uh it’s it’s all it all has to go through the uh state television and um well there’s uh there’s problems with it and and especially this uh there’s not much creativity in that um in that there are reasons for that uh but but but that goes too far uh but but yeah genre pictures for example do not get produced in germany um and uh many people inside the german film industry get sort of restless and uh frustrated i personally have have worked professionally in german film and tv for about 10 years now and i have not met one person who was happy with what they were producing not one person who said i would personally watch what i uh earn money on um all those people will go around and and that’s why uh those people are available for no and low budget productions because everybody like every camera guy i know wants to make a horror film uh to to sort of do something interesting with the camera for once um so uh

there is the uh we we’re not the only ones in germany who want to do something like that there is a certain restlessness and i mean that’s why there has been this tiny tiny mini movement that we have like we will there are i i don’t know five or six filmmakers or all around northern germany who you could roughly uh count as as part of uh the the new hamburg school and we actually do uh share um pretty striking similarities in style and tone um and so so yeah we obviously we all want to do something genre adjacent and yeah so there is this restlessness but on the other hand um not only all film production is centralized but also every film festival and every cinema needs state funding to to exist so if you have a movie that is not made with state approval you will not get into those uh at all so what uh this whole diy thing enables us to do for the first time in germany actually because also the the new the new german film they were also funded uh from some point on is to be actually independent to have an actual uh independent film movement um yeah and i think that that that’s the that’s the that’s one of the most distinctive things of the stuff we’re doing i guess yeah okay that’s really informative thank you lars um yes it’s uh you we don’t hear about this so much do we have fear beyond an industry or um you know those of us who are receiving say german art films and independent films or what we think of as and i mean no film is independent but they’re called that aren’t they um you know if we’re watching them say here in the uk um we would just assume that that’s what it’s like over there we don’t know all of that enzonites and who’s actually on the ground working on those films and are they making the work they want to make so that’s really an informative opinion to hear for sure um and i’m just thinking as well because um you mentioned you distribution and screening opportunities um so that must be a real point of frustration but then the world is so global now with the these um you know these virtual technologies that you have you do seem to have done really quite well and getting out there and maybe the festivals that you’re getting into seem quite small but that you’re getting to them and you have that reach and you have these global audiences that’s amazing um but i’m really interested as well in those very domesticated screening arrangements that you have i mean it’s very harks back to experimental cinema you know and it makes me think of the new york scene in the 1960s where everybody was watching everything in each other’s attic spaces and things you know it’s um so you’ve got that sort of lineage there as well with um experimental or underground type filmmaking that connects sheets all these other artists so that’s just how they had to do it as well

just um just wanted to add something it’s uh really funny that that you mentioned the new york scene in the 60s because like i think two days ago we were talking about it that that was uh this should have been the time uh we should have lived in new york during the 60s 70s that would be our time well uh i i have to boast for a second uh because because you mentioned it uh there is uh i i i mentioned christoph lindsey before who was a really uh like for me he was a big influence he was this this avant-garde filmmaker who um is revered in germany now that he’s dead and before he was really hated and he was like a fonterrible and a really funny guy and uh he would be making these really experimental avant-garde films and one of his main co-er his main collaborators um was actually he used to be a persecutor um in in hamburg he used to persecute uh nazi war criminals um and then he retired and became an actor in those experimental films he would visit our offseason underground film festival and once he said well this is just like it was back in the 70s yes yes we printed that on on on posters and stuff for a while because i was so proud he also played uh in our projects he uh he played himself in a web series we shot yes yes right and he played a role in in in the comedy i made before yeah yeah cool that sounds really awesome um i was thinking as well um nissan if i could come to you for a moment as well because i was thinking about uh your character in leon mustai and what you were saying about um you know your position as somebody from a turkish background and i mean there’s a history of this in german cinema as well isn’t there with them you know back in the 70s and so on the 60s and 70s with turkish migrant workers who were brought into germany um and fassbender’s films you know try to deal with that quite a bit um and you’re from a very different you turkish german background as i understand and it’s a much more contemporary i suppose version of being a turkish person in germany um if that makes sense and um and it’s you know it’s i don’t know i just think i’m really very interested in you know that frustration you’ve had with being typecast as you were saying and you how you’ve taken that taken this by the horns really and tried to carve out another way of well i can’t maybe can’t get the rules but if i make the rules that are different and i can be any other sort of character yeah um you know and then i was thinking about this character from the future you who’s slightly otherworldly but only very slightly because she is over than she is of you know she’s just she’s just from the future you know and and what happens with her um so i was wondering if you would be happy to to talk us to a bit more of that because it’s really i think it’s a really important issue you know to be fair to you know that um you because i think with a lot of us in you know sort of white western societies we’re doing this too much to people and people are just people you know wherever they’ve come from and whatever their background is you know and it’s um i don’t know it feels very political what you think is it maybe you’re doing it for fun but it i think i feel like it’s a political statement at the same time you know it feels quite powerful to me yeah uh it absolutely is um i i can uh quick uh short um tell my story well um i uh i i there there is a turkish there is a big turkish community in germany um i think the biggest minority community is the turkish community and most of them are gast abbayta which i would translate guest workers they were i mean brought in as workers for i think in the 70s yeah i think just as you said yeah like also in in fast binders movie

i think he was also a guest guest worker yeah but still um and

my story is completely different i was born in istanbul in a big city very very big western city and i i didn’t know about minorities i mean in istanbul in turkey there are minorities which are the kurdish people armenian people and um i i i didn’t know anything about um oppression i mean i was a child and the turkish people are in turkey the people who oppress so like my status in turkey is i’m a white person there so of course my parents my family is very leftist so of course i i know i learned what’s wrong and what’s right in their world but i i i didn’t know as a child what what it is um to be oppressed even though i knew it was wrong what the turkish people are doing because my father said so so my mom is a translator and um it’s it’s a very stupid story but it is how it was my mom is a translator and she translates the book by philip roth maybe you’ve heard of him and in the book the main character is a jewish gay boy i think and he’s an atheist also and he’s um in his teenage years so it’s also he has sexual thoughts um and she just translated it and so she had she was um she had issues because she translated this book in in turkish from english to turkish and um i mean she was not about to go to jail but because we were like from upper class i say now with uh um

she could have a lawyer to get herself out but she had like really problems and i didn’t understood as a child but um it was like not really serious but i think it um it made her really angry that she said she thought herself she doesn’t want to live in this country anymore and she doesn’t want me to grew up in a country where you get um problems with the um police and not police with the law for translating a book because about because uh you write a you translate a story of of a boy who is gay and who’s jewish um so i think it was also about principles i think it uh so she she just did it she took me and we um came we fled out of these political reasons to germany and i i don’t know how she did it because like when i was little i was so angry at her because i had this huge culture shock and this huge racism i i didn’t um maybe i was too spoiled i i didn’t expect that because i i don’t want to say that it’s different in turkey it’s different for in my shoes in turkey but in turkey people are being oppressed too but um for me it was i couldn’t handle it and i was really angry at her for a really long time during puberty because maybe i also i was a teenager and i need to i needed to be angry um but now i’m i’m gonna be 30 in a month and now i i don’t know how she did it like all by herself um fleeing to a country she doesn’t even know the language and she doesn’t have any help um and she did it and she accomplished it and i wanted to do art movies theater even back when i was a little child in turkey i this enter all those interests um i don’t know it’s developed when i was six seven so it was always the plan i always watched movies um with my dad i went to the theater with my dad with my mom and i i went to a child acting school in istanbul so it was always the plan but when i um moved to germany um first i had to learn new language um second we were like because we were um immigrants we were refugees we couldn’t choose where we want to live so i was from this big city and um suddenly we were in a small town in a village um where the racism and stuff is way worse than in a big city i think maybe it wouldn’t be that bad if we would i don’t know go immediately to berlin or hamburg i don’t know but um that was really uh i just now i can laugh about all those stuff but i just wasn’t expecting it i just had this culture shock and um and my mom was also she accomplished it that we were legal here and then she went like um on a depression because she was like all by herself and uh had to learn language and i don’t know it was harder than maybe we expected or maybe we didn’t expect anything we just wanted to flee so i had as a teenager so many problems living in this village

but it was the plan so when i was 17 i said to my mom um i mean she said that to me for years we have to leave this um this village so uh i um i went to the acting school and with her together we moved to hamburg and then things started to get better for me also um so i was happy about being finally in a bigger city and finally with more people who are maybe more interested in art or creative stuff um but and i think i i um for that i was i think with 1819 i had my first role and i started working really young and um and on my own and i’m also proud of that and like the first years i thought okay um it’s not that great uh to play the headscarf lady again and i mean the thing is those roles are very cliche written and very um discriminated without knowing they they think they they the writers are mostly 60 plus uh white men who german men who who don’t um even i don’t know i i think if you write a story about immigrants then you should um be an immigrant you should you can’t tell yeah i mean i i couldn’t tell uh the story of i don’t know of of someone who suffers something i i i couldn’t understand or it doesn’t even have to uh be about suffering it’s you know so um first i thought okay i’m young i’m in the beginning and um i will have to play those roles and then i will get something better and um something i i i feel more fulfilled about and then i was working working working in this business and i thought okay but i don’t watch anything i like so uh there are of course um maybe two three movies or uh one two three german stuff i i like but it’s very rare and um and i thought okay if i can’t find something as an audience i i i love as an audience um which was made now not 100 years ago and then maybe this is it i’m stuck in this turkish muslim roles because i don’t see any non-white actors playing roles without being commented on that they are um non-white uh so yeah that’s that’s the that’s the whole story and and then we did together all these unique stuff and they must die um you’re right since you uh mentioned this i’m my role in leon must die during shooting the scenes i remember we always um came with stuff like there’s the scene when when she drinks beer for the first time leon gives her beer and she doesn’t know what it is because you don’t have that in the future and i don’t know if it was on purpose but there were so many tiny little stuff we came up on set um i i know that feeling i mean of course in turkey you have beer or anything you also have in germany but what i know is what happens a lot because 10 years is is a big part of your development most people in my age who were immigrants they were born here or they came here with three or four when you’re 10 you are almost a teenager you are you know some of your pop culture and blah and i have this all the time where like my friends talk about something relevant um 20 years ago and they all laugh and i don’t know what they’re talking about because the first 10 years of my life i watched turkish tv i read and of course we all know american pop culture british pop culture because in europe we all know english-speaking stuff but the german stuff i don’t know i don’t know the songs i don’t understand the uh the tv uh child tv series so uh this is maybe what i have with aqua and in common that we are from a different world and some stuff we will not get oh thank you for that fascinating um large do you have anything to add to any of that any thoughts or um i mean i could i could only uh add my um my own thoughts on the um uh the the the kind of racist type casting that goes on on german television but i mean you you you mentioned that like there’s there would be anecdotes to tell like just the other day uh we we heard about this uh film that was about uh like a a turkish woman growing up in in in germany and then going to turkey for the first time and and uh in in turkey that would be like this this desert village because we all know turks live in uh uncultivated desert villages and uh that leading role was played by german actress and it’s just like all of that is just so so wrong and such in such stupid ways that i think come on guys it’s 2021 where have you been these past at least 20 years like uh if if you haven’t paid attention to fastbinder who i think did a great job of uh empathizing with those stories and and and and uh telling an aspect of that that he could understand um like if if if you haven’t seen what he what he was doing like at least all the worlds has been discussing this for for um yeah 10 to 20 years now so why um are we so far behind um but i mean that would just add to frustrations we’re happy we’re doing something else i think yeah that’s it well yeah let’s focus on that then i mean would you like to to talk through how how do you start a film project like leon mustai you know how do you get together and figure out those characters and who they’re going to be and because leon has his own complexities as well in that film for example you know and then um the group of young women in the in the other film i’m worried about getting um you know the titles a bit mangled pronunciation but um you know the the the backgrounds that they’re all they’re all coming from you know because they’re doing community service in the forest and that sort of thing you know where where do these characters come from and how do you all work together to create them um i’m i’m i’m gonna um yeah i’m gonna go first yeah okay i’m gonna go first because because i mostly write the uh scripts uh i um i work very closely with uh the actors uh for all of them um when we were developing leon i think nissan and i had just started hanging out again and um i don’t know i i was thinking about how to do a lo-fi science fiction science fiction project i was still having i was still dreaming about getting into cinemas and making something that that that would sort of translate to to a wider audience so i was thinking about how how can i use genre to do that uh and um so so that was that was on my mind and then i think we just had a really long uh about death because that’s um that’s the fun guy i am and i basically just took that conversation which was really long and turned it into a script so um there would be these two characters in its center which i think aqua is nissan and leon is not me but um there would be a lot of this stuff in there that we that we had discussed um and uh so so that that’s how that sort of came about so so so i in that sense worked with with nissan to um to to to to come up with it all and then uh for bear kittens um and later perfomaniacs actually uh we started working with this acting school like nissan said and um that was uh i i was um i was a uh i was a teacher there um and uh i got sort of bored with with teaching acting and not doing anything so um i started developing characters with the with the students um and i had originally planned this was nissan’s idea too um to make short films with them so they could use that for the demo reels uh and and in case of the bad kittens group we quickly realized all right this is this is not a short film um this is this is possibly a feature and uh yeah i mean they they came up with their characters uh they would i had different um different different uh exercises to to to improvise and to come up with with uh characters into intuitively plus uh with characters that would fit them and would be what they would need in a demo reel too um and then would i i would have them improvise with each other and come up with scenes and then slowly we would all see all right this is a possible setting like all the characters you came up with would probably do community service at some point they’re all pretty anti-social um and and then we would we would put the characters in situations together and see how do these interact and then we would think all right you two make an interesting comedic duo so let’s think about that and i think we had half a year uh that it was really looks luxurious in in uh in yes we had half a year of just playing around and then i would go and and have seen all this stuff they would have come up with themselves and then i would just write the script according to that and um it was more compressed with with the next thing we did with that school with pepfo maniacs but it’s really similar too then we made a a web series together uh also called the acting students we worked a lot with that school to fund our projects um uh where we would have uh them improvise all their or their dialogue on on set and then i would just go okay now that thing you said was funny do that again um so yeah from from this very close work with uh the actors on uh on their characters and dialogue i think um i mean i like that and i like the results yeah me too thank you brilliant stuff um yeah so i mean i’ve only managed to see trailers of a lot of the films i haven’t managed to see them entirely but yes it comes across that you yeah i don’t know there’s just um i think i i quite like that there’s a lot of emphasis on on the female characters and they don’t feel like necessarily that the stereotypes you know they’re they are quite rounded and that there’s personalities coming through um and it seems that you have you talk about gen uh about genre and it seems that the films have genre mash up so they’re very clearly they’re this and they’re this and there’s uh you know i don’t know if it’s a clash if that’s the right word but they they match quite maybe i don’t know violently or it just depends but there’s there’s something very clearly right this is a comedy and it’s sci-fi you know or this is a dance film and it might go into horror as well you know and um and i mean those aren’t necessarily you know that that exists in the world but you know there’s something a little bit just a different direction that you’re going in so i think i suppose if people um we’ll put up the links with show notes and things and on our socials and just send people to go and watch them for themselves and see what they think um you know are those are those interactions with genre are those very conscious um or you know you what you you tell me what you’re doing with those

because you write the script okay um yes and no uh i but by now it’s all very conscious um but i used to start from a point where i thought i’m gonna write uh mostly a horror movie now um and it’s gonna be really really creepy but then uh i am most interested i think in in characters and uh characters interacting and um i always find a lot of humor in that and i like when the characters are funny so then a straight horror film becomes sort of a difficulty um like when we when we made uh performaniacs i think uh watching it now it’s it’s hard to believe that i did set out to make a scary horror film and then i was on set and i that there was a moment where i realized i’m on set of a horror film and i’m just rearranging the actresses so uh their interaction will be more funny what am i doing here um because i don’t know um like like most most genre conventions sort of um uh sort of push you to emphasize on on plot more than on character um and i love plots but i i think i love character more and i like to to go with the um with whatever comes from the characters and so uh from there um i always tend to leave the genre boundaries somewhat yeah

i suppose with you nissan for you it’s more playing those characters and bringing them to life and how does that feel for you i mean i know we spoke quite a bit earlier but um you know are you achieving that difference that you want to achieve do you think with the characters um you mean the difference between me and the characters

so that uh different from the sorts of rules you would get in a more industrial setting yeah for example when we made the series the big project we talked about

first the plan was i’m gonna play one of the main roles and i’m not gonna do anything else but then we did everything so i was playing one of the main roles and i was also organizing like everything behind the set and i thought okay i’m not going to be able to act i’m not going to be able to be good at it and i was kind of frustrated but um because i was also production production-wise so into this project i knew like the script by heart i i knew everything i knew the lines of everyone and myself and i knew because we were also going through the script so many times we changed so many stuff we showed it to so many different people and we um listened to so many different people and uh i think during that process i understood the story and the character i hope so well do because of all my production work that i i was the role for these two years i i feel like i was also um once we finished this the series i um i was it was we both uh went into like black hall for a couple months and um and i was thinking about it that uh i i was a little bit like the role during this two years because uh i i was um i don’t know maybe i i was a little bit childish during this two years because she was way younger than me and like she was this punky teenager and i feel like i acted like a angry punky teenager during the years because i was so mad at everything uh during production so i think it happened uh without being on purpose but um like the uh the german industry jobs i get um it depends uh most of the time as we said they don’t want creativity you you get the script like a week ago and um sometimes it can also happen that that that they changed the script like two days ago you just have to learn it really fast and i’m really sorry but most of the time those scripts are really shallow and i don’t even think i don’t even mean it personal i don’t even think that the writers are so bad or whatever i just think that everyone has to work on a system and there are uh rules and also as an actor i think on a more creative stage or film project i’m better than on these projects i don’t want to attack anyone personally but those scripts are very shallow and there’s nothing in it to you know um so i i give my best on those projects too because i i like to um i always like playing i don’t care even if i think this is [ __ ] i like i i have my fun um it doesn’t frustrate me that much like the networking the uh everything around that but there is a huge difference if uh if i play a role which i uh believe in it and if i play a role because i i have fun and i need some money and uh oh i i’m being the turkish gangster daughter oh i’m going to be the suffering headscarf girl uh it’s fun but it’s you know it doesn’t mean like everything so yeah okay great um well gosh you’re you’re both working so hard on everything um is there anything else that you would really like to use this opportunity to talk about or to put out into the world um is there anything you want us to know about about what you’re doing um yeah i think uh i mean there’s so much uh stuff the movies we are of course happy if uh people go and watch it they’re all on amazon prime uh the first three leon must die bergtons and perfomaniacs also we made another another future during lockdown with three actors and christiane and we will release it this year and i think it’s gonna be really good uh but like our main main heart project is the series f60 kamikaze is the name it cost our um three years of our lives it’s it’s still costing it um many many many people helped us like without being paid because we didn’t have money for the project me and glass had like credits for uh took credits for this project so we can make it happen we are in deep depth and there are like i don’t know i think 100 people behind f60 kamikaz so it’s not only about us there are so many people uh who who deserves it and um there were so many doors which were closed shut right into our face we tried like everything to um to find a place for this project and as we told before we are working right now on it to to publish it as soon as we can but we also want it to be great um so just i don’t know people who listen to this should google f60 kamikaze immediately and once it’s published go watch it i think uh it’s i think it’s gonna be really really good yeah yeah uh i i we always have so many things going on so it’s always hard to to to point people to to all of them um i have recently quit social media and started my own website it’s http://www.lasthenrix in oneword.de and uh everything we do basically is is collected there there’s uh the movies and um i i write there daily because i’m a nerd um and also we’ve just started uh a podcast in english uh just a couple weeks ago it’s called mysterium pictorium and it’s on the last henrik’s podcast international because i’m a narcissist um where i collect all the all the uh english language podcast projects we ever do uh last hendrix podcast international it’s on all the all the platforms uh platforms and we have uh we have this yeah english language podcast where once a week we watch a movie um i once found a hard drive uh containing 300 weird obscure mostly arthouse movies and we’re going through that hard drive watching uh one movie per week and then talking about it yeah we plucked a lot here yeah i want to do a mashup of our podcasts doing something like that that would be fun yeah definitely definitely can we can send you the list of films uh coming up and if you like any one of them just just tell us and then we’ll uh yeah we’ll we’ll do a cooperative episode i’d love that yeah we’d love that too awesome to you right right now i’d love to do that sounds great

oh thank you both so much that’s great it’s great to have your website as well lars and i’ll make sure that’s in our show notes and i’ll send people that way and i’ll make sure i send the links because um apart from anything you need the support and filmmakers like you really need the support so everybody go and watch these films they’re they’re really not expensive on amazon as well that you know if you’ve got prime i guess and you’ll be able to access them easily enough too um well so i think in the unless there’s anything else um lars henrik’s and nissan arakan i can’t thank you enough this has been such a fun r talking to you and i’ve learned loads and it’s been so lovely to meet you just thank you both so much for being so generous with your time and your ideas thank you so much for having us likewise thank you so much for your time and everything yeah yeah and really good luck with all your projects thank you thank you and i’m really looking forward to our collaboration on yeah victorium yeah let’s say it yeah

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