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Three friends are talking about sex and love. The conversation starts on fears
associated with sexuality, then deals with shame and violence and
concludes by sketching a sort of utopia. On another level
images loosely follow the conversation
and its meanders.


„Talking means talking about one’s own sexuality. Talking about sexuality means already being
in the middle of sexuality. It is not the same as talking sports or office.”

Marguerite Duras, Das tägliche Leben

Motivation
Investigation
Shooting
Team
Cutting
Dubbing / Music

Motivation

I knew from the start that I wanted to take the chance to make a very personal film. I wanted to dare an inward look and minimize the external input, e.g. by limiting the duration. Hence I chose to partially shoot on Beta, in order to focus my energy solely on the content instead of trying to get enough funds to be able to only use film. Besides I hoped that a lot of rushes would give me more freedom for experiments. A personal, non-commercial film does not mean to me that I don’t have to think of “the spectator”. I feel an honest need to communicate and try to express myself in a form intelligible to me and others. I believe that others are interested in that which interests me. Finding a subject took a long time and many detours. At first I wanted to make an associative film about “The Egg”. In researching on the subject I noticed that the field of sexuality intrigued me most in it. Thus it came that I elected it as a subject-matter, although or because I regarded myself as someone very afraid of sexuality. My two closest friends said the same about themselves, so I decided to film with them.

Investigation

I called on those two friends and held preliminary talks that were meant to remove their apprehension. In the first interviews my female friend was hemming and hawing and our conversation was partially unintelligible to outsiders. This led me to assume that the three of us had to get involved into the conversation and that I could not just play the role of the interviewer but that I had to participate on an equal footing, that is as a friend. Moreover I intended to experiment with body pictures as a way of attaining a broader level. I wanted pictures from the life of my friends to render their persons more graspable.

Shooting

We began with shooting the first round of talks, which was already very rich and exciting. Then we shot respectively two weeks in Denmark with Armgard and two other in Amsterdam with Max. It is during these weeks that my camera woman and I quite spontaneously made those body pictures. We set out and focused on the landscapes and objects we came across. We rejected the idea of doing some of the shooting in the studio.

The teamwork was a great experience to me for shooting that long together and the diverse experiences brought us very near.

Team

The respective functions gave rise to difficulties inside of the team at the beginning. Thomas Schlottmann often did not have the heart as a sound engineer to make suggestions on an equal footing lest he might influence me too much. Bernadette Paassen sometimes felt left in the lurch by me.
One obstacle I met was that I sometimes showed too many of my uncertainties and saw them in a too negative light.
Sometimes we acted too much as a team towards the performers and too little as individual persons. That difficulty was chiefly Thomas’ and Armgard’s, who knew each other before the shooting.
Armgard
At the beginning I was still experimenting with semi-improvised scenes until I understood that it could not work because Armgard did many things only to please me and which were not her. Another attempt we made was to follow her around the clock with the camera so that she should get used to it. Not until later did we understand that that would not do it either. We had first to realize that the presence of a camera does make a difference. It matters to be conscious of being filmed or of taking a break.
I was never sure if I had to explain everything to Armgard. I already had much to do with my being both actor and crew.
While in Denmark I asked too much of her as I wanted her to be filmed doing things she was not ready to do yet like getting more intimate with her friend.
These problems were hard to surmount as Armgard and I are bound by very personal, emotional ties.
As the Denmark shooting had not gone on very well we did some more rushes in Berlin, which went fine for everyone.
Max
Max was pretty easy to handle. At first we discussed elaborately how much he would be able to open up in front of the camera. He only managed it up to a certain point in the first round of talks, but during the shooting in Amsterdam he was perfectly at ease.
Max liked being shot, saw in that medium a chance of experiencing something and was able to set limits between what deserved to be filmed and what didn’t. He did not wish to be integrated in the team in the same way as Armgard (who is a director as well).

Cut

I tried to do much of the cutting myself between the diverse shooting sequences as well as after completion of the shooting. Some sequences or scenes were a success but I was unable to develop a productive concept for the whole picture on my own. I was lacking the necessary distance. I found the teamwork with Dörte Völz-Mammarella most enriching and exciting. I had difficulty parting with a great lot of good material, the real scenes with my friends. I would probably not have managed it on my own but I recognized that there was no concept allowing to make use of those. They contrasted with the abstract pictures and the topics as too realistic and seemed incongruous or mundane. We decided to refrain from portraying personalities and to make a universal film.

Dubbing / Music

We chiefly had to find the sound level or music that fits the pictures in between the conversations. I was unable to get along with the first musician I’d hired as he had a different idea of the movie from mine so that I had to discard all of his sound track. I experimented with sounds together with Christoph Engelke, my sound mixer, as well as with canned music and samples I had recorded myself with various musicians as a theme a picture or independently from any picture. As time went by I noticed how sensitive these images really are. After a month of experimentation we realized that we were better aware of what we wanted but incapable of carrying it out, which meant that we had to look for a composer once again. This time I succeeded in persuading Ulrich Reuter, a musician I was well acquainted with, to use our recordings to design a sound track for the entire movie, which I still think fulfils its function well enough.

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