DIRECTED by: Michael Panduro
A man wakes up, he goes to work, he eats in, he does a bit of home surgery, he drives to the woods.
What was a unique challenge you faced in making this film?
Making a film without dialogue or music poses a challenge with regards to keeping it interesting. So I was very focused on keeping the script and editing pretty tight in order to hopefully keep the audience’s attention. To keep them guessing, while at the same time balancing a slow pace with a gradual increase in tension. That was probably the biggest and most interesting challenge of this film. How to make an intentionally dull film that was still interesting to watch.
Where did the inspiration for this film come from?
The film is loosely based on a short story by Hans Christian Andersen, which he basically just translated from a German folk tale by Gottschalk. It was a story which emanated with a sense of despair and hopelessness that resonated with me. The story is about a knight who visits his dead lover at a lake each night – something that I found both romantic and extremely tragic. And from there the idea evolved into “What if he’s still doing this 50 years later? His life would really suck.” And from there it evolved into a story about the various patterns of irrational behavior, we as human beings have a tendency to get stuck in.
Who are your top influences?
It varies a lot, but I find a lot of inspiration in the works of Shinya Tsukamoto, David Cronenberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, Sidney Lumet and Fabrice Du Welz. And Park Chan-Wook’s Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance stands as an inspirational landmark for me in many ways.
What do you hope people take away from this film?
The film is an exaggerated tale of a man caught in his own bad habits. For me it’s a film built more on association than traditional cause and effect, and thus for me it branches from personal habits into some of the global ways we as humans are acting irrationally. I guess everybody has some pattern of behavior, that they rationally know is unhealthy. If this film sparks some sort of reflection of self or of society, then that would be awesome.
What’s your personal takeaway from this production?
I learned a lot from this production and got to work with some amazing people. I guess my biggest take away is the fact that it’s done pretty well on the festival circuit, which indicates to me that I just may be doing something right.