interview with Roland Reber
interview with Roland Reber
You call the film an anthem on immorality. Why?
I consider moral as a form of pressure of society against the individual. The whole world follows the rules imposed by moral. For me there is nothing more boring than a film pretending to transmit a moral message.
For that reason ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS was made, an immoral work about three angels who leave heaven out of boredom. When other angels bored themselves to death, they swore to live their lust and vice on earth. They are angels with dirty wings.
I am not a friend of black and white explanations- this is good, that is bad – so I tried to develop characters which are nor the one, nor the other, they try to live, but do not even know what that means.
Lucy becomes alive only in orgasm, the other two only on their motorbikes; this is the only thing they have. During the film Lucy tries to get rid of the unfitting suit of life, which amongst others moral has put over her. She tries to get rid of the norm to live like others expect her to live. She starts to look into her mirror and to see and live her dark reflection. Like this she becomes neither better, nor worse, but a bit more authentic.
How has today’s society influenced the characters of your film?
“Where should I have learned to feel? I am part of the generation which lends their feelings” Lucy says towards the end of the film.
When people define themselves merely through poses they copy from the media, authenticity gets lost. For example when you get a new mobile, the message “I love you too” is integrated. It is only being copied. The original falls by the wayside. For me this is a generation of lent feelings, which consequently is no longer able to feel true authentic feelings.
For me the key scene of the film is when Michaela and Lucy talk about love. Lucy only knows lent feelings and calculation, for example she wanted to stay with the son of a doctor because the father had a great house and then calls it “falling in love” because that’s the way one calls it. It is about authenticity. Be keen on a great house, but pure. Live your lust, but pure. And the key sentence for me is “Without Love we are only empty shells in an empty world”.
In what way is border crossing and provocation in your film calculated?
When you show the moment of the orgasm or explicit sex in an open and realistic way, it can be confusing for some viewer. Superficially seen the provocation is an aesthetical one, but the taboo goes deeper. Here it is about aliveness. Lucy lives only in the orgasm elsewhere she only plays life. Had she been a prostitute right from the beginning, no one would have been shocked, she would just have been a whore, but she goes to the brothel
by her own choice, to feel life, to feel herself. At the beginning for Lucy sex is an expression of the game, a useful tool to manipulate others, towards the end an expression of being.
Provocation is not a self-purpose, but it sets free strong feelings in the viewer. In this film there is no “nicely shown” and unrated sex, the sex is shown in a realistic and unpretentious way, pure, that is provocation. Sex is shown as sex and not as so often: the “wild slut”, who fucks wearing a bra and during the wildest sex scenes the blanket is draped in order not to show any genital part or hard nipple. If sex is a part of the story you can also show it. One also shows people while eating. But my aim is not to provoke the viewer. I just want to show the moment, the only moment in which Lucy really is herself and not imitating a bed scene from the media.
You have an own way of filmmaking and producing. The actors are often also involved in, other parts of the filmmaking for example editing, cinematography, script, production etc. You make your films without public funding and always with the same team. How does this working method look like?
Our films are created out of our willpower, but also thanks to spontaneous encounters during the production. In the case of ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS the title was the first thing that came into my mind. From then onwards everything developed in an organic way. For example we met a man during the shootings wearing a Harley Davidson shirt. I asked him if he only had the shirt or was a “true biker”. He affirmed and we decided that he and his biker’s club should appear in the film.
In film industry the trend is towards specialization. Many colleagues think there should be a division of the artistic, technical and administrative positions. I don’t think so. Creativity is not divisible but a holistic process. We are not a company that produces films, but filmmakers. Filmmakers make films. And this is an integral process – an enjoyable one.
So we represent “our” film and not a product of other people. I would never talk of “my movie” but always of “ours”- it is teamwork.
Many actors often see themselves in a fulfilling position. They say “I took part in a movie”. They distance themselves with the argument that they are only actors. With us nobody is “only”.
For me acting starts to become touching when it is personal and authentic. An actor may achieve this more likely if he deals with the role and not being the creature of a god like commander. That is military, I make films. I don’t see myself as a tamer who dictates to the actor which faces he has to make, I expect his own interpretation from a creative artist; otherwise I could play the role myself. I rather see myself as a conductor who coordinates the soloists uniting them to a harmonious orchestra. That is my definition of teamwork, that’s why it is not “my”, but “our” movie.
We make films with a small budget, so that we can produce ourselves and therefore we have always the total authority of what we do. We use our own equipment, and do everything ourselves from the production, the postproduction up to the marketing and distribution. So nobody can interfere and this gives us the freedom to be creative.
interview mit Antje Nikola Mönning
interview mit Antje Nikola Mönning
What is the message of the film for you?
For me it is mainly about honesty, above all towards oneself.
My character LUCY deceived herself and others for all her life. Now the other two hold up a mirror to her, so that she realizes who she is, namely a false, horny, greedy bitch. This insight is not at all judgmental at first. What she will do now, whether she changes or lives what she is remains open, the film is not moral, that’s what I like about it. For me one of the most important sentences of the film is: “Without love we are empty shells in an empty world”.
What is special about the character of Lucy?
Lucy is a person who, in the course of the film, realizes what she is and then first decides to live exactly this. In a majority of the films there is a character, the whore or the stripper or something like that, who regrets in the end and changes her life and gets married. Or flees the terrible pimp, like I did as “Jenny” in the ARD series “Um Himmels willen”. But that a woman consciously decides to work as a whore and is even horny about it, that is what makes Lucy to a very special character for me.
It is her free and conscious decision and in the film it is nor judged nor approved … it is about the pure Being.
Was it difficult for you to shoot the explicit scenes?
No, because first I trust Roland hundred percent as a director and second because I
knew that the sex scenes were supposed to tell a story. That is why it was so important to me that my orgasms were real. Lucy defines herself through sex and the only moments in which she really lives, and not only enacts life, are in the orgasms.
So I wanted these scenes to be as authentic as possible. This is also a key topic of the film: be what YOU are. Therefore as an actress I wanted to BE, not only to act.
I can only smile when I look at the sex scenes in Hollywood or TV productions.
There are women wearing bras and being draped in blankets and always look perfectly made up. But Lucy wants to be in the dirt, because it is alive there. Choreographed sex scenes wouldn’t fit this role, it would destroy the credibility.
Furthermore there were clear agreements with the actors how far they were willing to go. This created a relaxed atmosphere.
Weren’t you afraid about what others would say about you, e.g. colleagues or family and friends?
No, that is what the film is about. Be what you are, no matter what others say about it. Lucy did everything under the guise of a very questionable moral, from which she liberates herself during the film with the help of the two others. I consider the handling of sex in our society as very dishonest. It begins with the fact that most people go to the disco to get sex, but pretend that they want to have fun or dance. Or a dinner with candle light and apparent romanticism is being enacted to achieve to get sex. There someone like Lucy is more honest, she goes directly to the brothel.
From the nun in an ARD series how did you get to shoot ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS with the team of wtp?
I got to know Roland Reber and the team almost three years ago in Cannes.
At that time I just started the shootings to the TV series “Um Himmels Willen”.
When I saw 24/7 THE PASSION OF LIFE and MY DREAM OR LONELINESS NEVER WALKS ALONE and got to know how wtp makes films I wanted to be a part of it by all means. Because Roland Reber is a director who leaves a maximum of freedom to everyone involved at the set and encourages the creativity of everyone.
With wtp, actors are no marionettes who are only allowed to jump back and forth between marks. Everyone can participate actively and is being taken seriously.
That’s why I decided to get completely into the team and to co-produce this film. And evidently after the role of a nun it was tempting to play something completely different.