Home » “All the Best Movies Have Neighbors” — Original Cin

“All the Best Movies Have Neighbors” — Original Cin

by Stewart Cole

I spoke with Petzold via Zoom, where he appeared accompanied by a translator, which he used sparingly. He began by enthusing about Original-Cin’s “awesome” name, which led to a free riff on the author Heinrich von KleistThe 1810 essay, “On the Marionette Theatre,” in which a character expresses that marionettes are more graceful actors than human beings because they lack affection, a byproduct of the Biblical fall.

Says Petzold: “It’s about the loss of innocence. We must lose the paradise of bad arts or bad movies that try to get to heaven in the same old ways. We have to work, go around the world and find another back entrance. This means we must reflect and work to regain our innocence. There are some directors who will think, “No work, no improv, no rehearsals, just the original.” This is not working.”

Reviews for A fire were overwhelmingly positive, though some dissenting voices questioned what kind of character Leon represents: Another unbearably self-important young white guy, leaving the other characters—a woman, a gay man of color, a bisexual friend—to serve as emotional support to people.

Usually, Petzold’s protagonists are enigmatic, troubled female characters: Nina Hoss in JerichoPaula Beer inside Transit and Fairy, and this is a stanza. I begin by asking Petzold how he perceived Leon and the constellation of freer, more flexible and open-minded young people around him.

“To me,” Petzold says, “the conception and construction of Leon, the central character, is a bit like a 19th-century guy, or someone who thinks he’s 19th-century, and his perception of artists, male artists. , to control the world. And this, too, was for me a little to do with my own biography.

“The other three young people are a bit like my children’s generation. I can watch them and they have no problems with people of color, with sexual identities. They’re bisexual, or it’s not like that’s not a problem for them. I was amazed as a father to see this in their development, and from my own position, as an artist. I have to say that sometimes I get the feeling when I make movies. I am not part of the modern era. I’m an outsider. So, there is a bit of the director, mine, in Leon.”

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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