KINO-DIARY – THE AMAZED SPECTATOR – MAY 2014
3D ANAGLYPH PICTURES – © Edgar Pêra – Production Bando À Parte
EDGAR PÊRA: Do you always sit in the first row?
OLAF MÖLLER: Only wimps sit somewhere else. A true cinephile is always in the first row.
E.P. : Do you agree with Roland Barthes who said that cinephiles and children always sit in the first row?
OLAF MÖLLER: I agree with anybody who would make a stand for the first row, even if it is Roland Barthes. I don’t mind. (ironic smile)
E.P. : What is your first memory of a film?
OLAF MÖLLER – I think that it must have been The Jungle Book. Or not,I think even before The Jungle Book, I think my first time in a proper movie theater must have been with my dad. We watched a Lucky Luke, animation cartoon and it was most certainly before or after I watched the Pipi Longstocking movies. But I didn’t see those in a proper cinema but in a church hall in our parish. So these are very early memories of films seen in more or less proper cinematic circumstances, excluding Television.
E.P.: Dou you remember what amazed you were when you were a child?
OLAF MÖLLER: Curiously enough, nothing. I mean, I constantly watched films, but I was much more amazed by literature. To a certain degree literature is still my first big love. Cinema only exploded onto me when I was eleven, twelve years old and I got something like a slightly deeper understanding. Before I was really more obsessed with literature than with film. Film was always so natural to me that I never really think about it. It was something that I always got, so to speak. In a strange way I have always understood Japanese and Chinese cinema, and most people needed to learn, so to speak, the particularities of this film cultures. For me this was always something that was very obvious. Later, I had to learn to learn this film-cultures, because they felt so obvious and so natural. It was confusing for me that other people didn’t find normal what they do in Hong Kong movies and how they look at the world.
E.P.: When you were that age, was there any particular movie that amazed you?
OLAF MÖLLER: Well, as a kid I was very much obsessed with this wonderful, somewhat campy horror crime movies based on Edgar Wallace novels, so I was also very much obsessed for Agatha Christie, so I’m very much a crime novel guy. And I liked everything that had to do with crime. So, I would voraciously watch this movies, but I was also totally happy watching american Film Noir, and then, a little later I got completely obsessed with Wuxia – Chinese martial arts movies and Japanese sword fighting movies. So that’s a kind of the died I existed on as a teenager. Weird german violence, Chinese violence, Japanese violence… I needed to get a bit older too also developed a taste for tender fares, so to speak.
E.P.: What attracted you in this violence?
OLAF MÖLLER: I don’t know. I mean, it’s always very dramatic, and if you got starts of violence, you can always be certain that thing to a certain pitch. So violence is very unsubtle. All of this works made for, let’s say, very unsubtle and very precise brusque, very obvious drama, but besides that there was a great potential for subtleties over and undertones. I would say, of course, that was just rationalization, because I wouldn’t have been able to say that as a kid. But I was really intrigued by the, let’s say, the surface intrigue, which was always very clear, and there were always other things happening just below the surface of it. And besides that, I guess, violence is always something for youngsters. If you grow older and you’re still obsessed with violence then I’m afraid there is something wrong.
E.P.: Because when we’re older we are more in touch with death…
OLAF MÖLLER: Yeah, absolutely. And besides, maybe you start liking live and as a youngster you don’t have any relinking about love, and I guess the more you grow older the more you are interested in love, hopefully…
E.P.: When I interviewed my father (it was the first interview I did for this movie) he said when he was a child and he saw a kiss he would turn his face, and not look at the screen. And when I asked him why e said “oh, maybe because I didn’t know yet what love was”.
OLAF MÖLLER: Absolutely. I mean, as a child, what do stories of love mean to you? It’s the same thing with a director like Bergman. It’s so useless to watch Bergman at a young age. In process of thinking think you must have at least thirty years old to basically get anything out of a Bergman movie. It’s something that you really have to literally grow into. I clearly remember a few years ago in a film festival there was a young film student who was complaining about a Bergman movie, The Touch (which admittedly it’s genuinely considered to be a minor work, but that’s definitively a mistake, that’s a major work). And I could always look at her and said “you know, you definitively not have had enough bad sex in your life, you haven’t been shitty to enough people, you really don’t have a fucking clue to what this film is about. Kind of nice for you but bad for film history, so to speak. (She looked really shit faced, and she was very cute, but she even looked cute when she was shit faced.)
(to be continued)
Shot at LICHTBURG FILMPALAST, Oberhausen