Does cameraman Busso von Müller have something to do with this completely new formal grammar? What was working with him like?
Christian Frosch: Busso von Müller put his heart and soul into the project. For months before production started we talked
about the screenplay alone, not even touching upon the solution. He was as familiar with the screenplay as I was when we started
discussing esthetic matters. It was an extremely intense collaboration; hes a perfectionist with extremely high expectations,
and he also has an unbelievable ability to work with focus and space. It was a special kind of collaboration which I learned
to love. I consider him a pretty brilliant cameraman.
When I visited the set I had the impression that preparations for shooting were extremely meticulous, though on the other
hand that you give your actors a great deal of freedom.
Christian Frosch: I conduct extremely detailed preliminary discussions about the roles, rehearse before shooting, and even
during shooting. My intention is making sure the first take works, because the actings usually the best in that one.
You have to keep rehearsing until you have the sense that the time is right, otherwise you end up shooting the rehearsals.
I think that now I have a good sense of when everythings ready. In addition the actors were extremely well prepared.
They had a good idea of how they were going to approach their character in the film, the only thing left for me to do was
Did the authentic atmosphere at Alt Erlaa affect production?
Christian Frosch: Yes, I feel a little bit at home there now, even if I have extremely ambivalent feelings about it. I can
understand what the people there like about it, though on the other hand it still overwhelms me in a way, just like at the
beginning. Everything seems completely artificial to me because of the large size. Theres an extreme contradiction between
the inside and outside, these gigantic structures on the one hand and the extremely low ceilings in the apartments, which
are somewhat oppressive, on the other. The contradiction between the claustrophobic atmosphere inside and the huge dimensions
outside is made tangible in the film.
The film plays with the psychothriller genre, were there any models for it?
Christian Frosch: Theres the subgenre of the paranoid thriller, where I really like a few films by Polanski. We also
looked at some completely different things, such as a lot of Bergmann, even though Ive never been much of a Bergmann
fan, Persona was an extremely important film for the schizoid thing. Antonioni, Polanski, Nicholas Roeg, Hitchcock. We just
looked at a lot of different things, and asked ourselves questions. We didnt want to copy trends, but tried to cut contemporary
film out and look at what can be used from the vocabulary of a century of film.
Does the film have a certain timelessness?
Christian Frosch: That was intentional. Stylistically the set design was inspired by the seventies, which constantly broke
away from earlier eras. We thought this futurism of the past was extremely attractive. It now has a certain kind of patina
and a contradictory aspect because it refers to a future that never came about in quite that way, and which is now historical.
Giovanni Scribano contributed an extremely unusual set design, not with the seventies elements which are currently hip, but
more gloomy, unattractive ones.
Interview: Karin Schiefer
© 10/2006 Austrian Film Commission