Monday, August 12, 2019

8:30 PM 10:00 PM

As an audience member, I couldn’t help but feel as though I was just a fly on the wall watching the nights events unfold. You have a unique style that feels effortless, as though we are living with the characters in real time. What have you found successful in ensuring the pacing of your stories?

One of the movies that has always struck me the most is Roma Città Aperta—SPOILER ALERT—in one scene, a group of fascists are duped by a little boy and a priest who are trying to protect the boy’s mother. Shortly after, however, she is shot. I’m impressed by how they created a well-paced emotional rollercoaster: at first we’re laughing because of the young boy’s wit; the cinéaste then takes advantage of the audience dropping our guard to hit them when we least want it. We shot the bar scene with this in mind, and from the audiences reaction, I think we accomplished that particular goal.

I never knew what was going to happen next and I was immediately invested with the characters despite how little was shared about them; can you share with us what the writing process for this film was like? Did you always plan to have the ending you chose?

Somehow the image of a truck driver thinking he killed an animal and not a young man in costume was there from the beginning. But the original script focused on the truck driver and featured the perchten and krampusse only as side characters. Because time and money weren’t completely on our side, we decided to keep it short and focus on the group of young people. The two brothers are based on my uncles. The tragic accident in the bar is based on an event that I myself observed in a bar, in which a woman was accidentally struck in the face by a broken beer bottle during a brawl and is now scarred for life.

The costumes and production design of the piece feels like an introduction to a full studio production. Who do you turn to for art direction and costumes when creating your films? How did you secure such phenomenal masks and costume pieces for your story?

That’s very nice to hear! This is the result of a great team effort. The art director and costume designer are friends and were on board from the beginning, even before the script was written. I like to work as an ensemble. The demon costumes were provided by the group of krampusse who allowed us to film them during real festivities. We were allowed to borrow the costumes (Hand carved masks, bells, whips and real fur) for one condition: that we returned them in time for the next round of festivities. Now that’s support!

I quickly became invested in the characters on screen and was left at the edge of my seat wanting more. Do you have any future plans to expand this world you have created?

Great! We definitely want to pick up the story with the truck driver who, in a twist of fate, works for the man whose sons have just had the tragic bar fight.

What do you look for when watching films? What do you hope to achieve in your story telling process?

There is a saying in German: “Voreingenommenheit ist Feind der Kunst.” Bias is the enemy of Art. I’m not looking for something specific, I think of watching a film like meeting someone. I’m curious. I like to hear what that person has to tell, I also don’t mind if I heard that story already, maybe that person tells it in a unique way. 

I like dark movies. It’s like having a bad dream but bad dreams can be good! For example, if I have a nightmare about losing my family, when I wake up I feel fantastic that it was just a dream. I hug everyone. But a good dream can become horrible:  if you dream that the ex you’re still in love with but who left you wants you back... you wake up and reality becomes the nightmare. Dreams are a lesson on the relativity of my perspective. I want my films can prompt questions like that too.

2019Kirk Gostkowski