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An Interview with Maren Krüger

Please tell us about your background. What made you fall in love with cinema? How did you become interested in filmmaking and what did you work on before making Talking Cure?

When I was around 16 years old I started to watch films, which appeared to me then as „crazy“. I remember seeing „Mulholland Drive“ and „Week End“. I was very disturbed after having seen these films. So I started to watch more and more films. And then of course I wanted to become a filmmaker. But in that age you want to become every week something else. At the end I studied philosophy.

Thanks to the German filmmaker Dieter Reifarth I got into filmmaking. He was years ago working on a huge documentary project, HAUS TUGENDHAT. And as it was too much work for him alone I asked if I could help him. So I learned how to edit, lead interviews, manage the post production etc. Everything I know about filmmaking I learned from him. I owe him a lot. He treated me from the beginning as an equal colleague. Even though I had no experience at all.

Before TALKING CURE I worked with Dieter Reifarth on the Essay-Film “Die Tortur”, based on the Essay by Jean Améry.

Which filmmakers influenced you and your filmmaking? Which films have affected you the most?

Robert Bresson, Yasujiro Ozu and Peter Nestler.

What are the themes/issues you try to reflect in your films? What, in your opinion, is the most important quality of a film?

The themes I become interested in change over time. It always depends on what I focus on in a certain period of my life.

If a film does not touch you, make you feel uncomfortable and trigger thoughts, then it is a film not worthy to watch in my opinion.

Your film is quite experimental. Where did the idea for the film come from?

In TALKING CURE we are paraphrasing a psychoanalytic session.

Retrospectively one, mostly unconsciously, invents some reason for what one is doing. So, I think it was my own experience of lying on a couch and the discussions I had with a lot of psychoanalysts around the world during the past 10 years. Especially Lacanian Psychoanalysts. Most of them were utterly serious but some did have a great sense of humor. I believe that you can only get through life with a sort of happiness if you develop a sense of humor, especially about yourself. That is what I would like to achieve: not to take myself and what I do too serious. Which does not mean that it would be meaningless. But may be pointless... like a therapy at the end is. For me „pointlessness“ has a positive connotation. I think it would be terrible if life would have a purpose. As I believe that it is important that therapy does not have an aim. It is an end in itself.

Thanks to the psychoanalyst Dr. Tamara Fischmann and the neurologist Prof. Andreas Meisel I was able to develop the ideas for this short film.

Please tell us about the production and your experiences of making Talking Cure. What are some of the challenges and difficulties you faced?

It was an amazing experience to work together with the talented composer Annesley Black. I have no idea about composition, I just had intuitive ideas about what I wanted. Annesley was tremendesouly open and patient. She managed to translate my humble, vague wishes into this fantastic composition. Without the technical knowledge, creativity and persistence of Lukas and Lutz Garmsen our film would have never been made. Working again together with the wonderful and humoristic german artist Vollrad Kutscher was such a pleasure. It was an eye-opening experience to see how the professional actor Stefan Kurt played together with the crazy performer and artist Michel Klöfkorn.

As with any sort of comedy it is very hard to bring a sense of humor into a film without it becoming silly. I often had doubts if I would be able to get there.

How was the casting process? Your film relies heavily on gestures and movements rather than dialogues. How long did the rehearsal stage take, and what was the process like?

We actually never rehearsed… I had a story board, but at the end we went with the “flow”. Stefan Kurt and Michel Klöfkorn just started to perform and they enjoyed being on the stage.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of independent filmmaking and working with small budgets? Does it liberate the filmmaker or limit his or her freedom?

I would say both and neither…

Tell us about your festival run. Have film festivals provided you with the experience and exposure you needed?

Yes, I am very happy about the exposure of Talking Cure.

What was the reaction of those who watched your film? Was the feedback what you hoped for?

Sometimes yes, other times no. Actually the feedbacks which I did not expect were the most interesting… Both positive and negative ones.

Please tell us about your future project(s). What are you working on?

I am working on another experimental short film which will be a very personal one. The strength to face this rather intimate topic I got thanks to Marco Bazzanella, his wonderful family and my patient partner Ondrej Prochazka. Despite that project my dream is to start a democratic or free school on El Hierro, the smallest of the canary islands. Films can have an influence on people and help to initiate changes but I think to really change this crooked world one needs to totally alter the education system. I would like to see children grow up to self- and critical thinking individuals who do not loose their empathy on the way.


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