Your new movie Ossarium
- in a few words, what is it about?
It's about a young woman that follows her obsession to an ossuary in a
I think I'm not
totally wrong when I say Ossarium
was pretty much inspired by the location it was filmed at - so do talk
about that location for a bit, and how did you find it even?
Yes, you are right. The location makes the film and I often see the
place itself as my protagonist that has its own story tell.
was made in a very similar way and I came up with the idea
during the shoot. I wanted to explore the location, but not as a
documentary. Of course both movies have elements of documentary but at
the same time they also have a vague narration which I use as a vehicle to
this world I want to show. Generally I am a big admirer of filmmakers like
Werner Herzog or Ulrich Seidl, whose movies cross the line between fiction
and reality so often that it's very unclear what is staged and what not.
In this case it was the Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic. It is one
of the most famous European dark tourism spots. You can't see it in my
movie but there were hundreds of visitors during the short time I was
there. The place itself was used as a film location before for movies like
Dungeons & Dragons (2000) or the very good short The Ossuary
(1970) by surrealist Jan Švankmajer, which is much better than Ossarium
the way. The good thing is that I've seen it only after I had finished Ossarium.
sources of inspiration when dreaming up Ossarium?
I always had the urge to turn the idea of a little
girl that is surrounded by death into a small cinematic universe. So Ossarium
is settled in the same universe and I already have more ideas for
future short films about this topic.
though filmed in completely different corners of the world,
shares a fascination for death and the macabre with your last two movies,
and Addio Uomo -
would you like to elaborate on that?
Ossarium are my little trilogy of death. The
basically the same. A fascination with death and especially how people
handle it. I think it's really fascinating that death in the western world
is a big taboo while it is something completely normal to talk about or to
visit displayed dead bodies in the far east. Even the Czech Republic has a
complete different approach to it than Germany. This is something that I
am really interested in and the idea of making a film there comes from my
childlike curiosity I had when I was there. Here it is really uncommon to
get in contact with dead people while many other parts are way more open
minded about that.
You also have to
talk about your movie's score for a bit?
The score is made
by Stephan Ortlepp, who makes music under the name Musica Non Grata. I have
showed him the raw cut of the movie and I asked him what he had mind about
it and how he would score it. We shared the same thoughts and that's why
he could basically do whatever he wanted. He is already on board for my
How would you
describe your directorial approach to your subject at hand?
Personally I would say that I am very tame considering the sensitive
subject. Of course there
are people who say that the kind of movies I make are exploitive but I
don't see that. My short films though containing dead bodies aren't
shockumentaries or even sensationalist. I wanted to use unconventional or
even gruesome locations to tell positive stories. When I work with non-actors I don't expect something from them that I wouldn't do myself.
talk about Ossarium
single actress, Ans, and what made her perfect for the job?
it was as always easy to work with her. She always helps me when I am in
need. This goes so far that Addio Uomo
wouldn't even have been possible without her organisational skills and her knowledge of the
specific location where we shot. And as an actress she has this mysterious
aura that gives a whole new layer to the story. Clearly I had an idea mind
what I wanted to tell with the story, but during the shoot she has put
much more into it than I expected. Working with non-actors is gambling but
this time I won.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
wish I had more time and some privacy with my actress in the ossuary but I
am okay with the result. There were literally dozens of people around us
the whole time, but on the other hand if we would be the only people I am
not sure if we would be still allowed to shoot something there. The ending
that was shot at „home“ in the forest was much more relaxed and free.
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
far nowhere but I try to make a little DVD release of my death trilogy
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of
The few people that have seen it so far gave me
positive feedback about it. But since I only sent it to very few reviewers
and some friends I think it would be to early too talk about a general
reception of the movie. Noteworthy is that one critic refused to review it
because he thinks that the content is illegal.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
next short film is already in post production. I am not entirely sure if
the version I have in mind will ever be released since it could bring me
into legal trouble. We will see.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Updates about my
work can be found here:
for the interview!