Exploring the border between fantasy and reality
An interview with Anne Maschlanka, director of Anderthalb
When did you decide to become a filmmaker?
Since ANDERTHALB was a student film, were there any conditions or special requirements?
We could use a budget of 900 Euros and the equipment of our school. After a short documentary and a scenic exercise this was my first real short film project at school. We didn't have any thematic requirement, the film just had to be finished with only three days of shooting and only one location, and the resulting film couldn't be any longer than ten minutes.
What can you tell us about the work on Stefan Höh's screenplay? What was the original idea and when did you get involved in the project?
At the ifs internationale filmschule writers, directors and producers study together for the first year, so we already knew each other and were interested in working together. We discussed stories we wanted to tell that seemed important to us. He told me about the feeling of standing on the ten meter diving platform, and I told him about my great grandmother who has Alzheimer's and once stood on a scaffold on the third floor waiting for a train to arrive. After our meeting Stefan took some time to distil a story out of our talk. We've then worked very closely developing the script. It was great experience.
I couldn't find anything about the actor Axel Eichenberg, although he gives a magnificent performance. How did you find him?
How long did you shoot? And were there any problems with the bath location?
We found the pool of the sports academy in Cologne while researching high diving clubs. We had to go to great lengths in order to shoot there, though, because the pool is pretty much in use all the time. So we had to shoot very short days and worked with very reduced lighting and camera set-ups and stick very strictly to the shooting schedule. DoP Max Hüttermann and producer Su Jin Song were great partners there.
There is some very interesting editing, when your protagonist almost becomes his younger self via flashbacks. Was that something planned before or was that an idea in the editing room?
That was already planned at the script stage. Visualising this diffusion of realities for me was the core image of our depiction of Alzheimer's and dementia. We were always sure, that this was not some effect but a part of the story. In the end it is this confusion of realities that draws him up onto the ten meter diving platform. The transitions in editing were pretty present in my head when we filmed it, in the editing room we only changed the flow in some places – and our editor Lucas Seeberger especially brought a lot of rhythm and fantasy into the images and sounds of the final scene.
What happened after ANDERTHALB and what are your plans for the future?
Not long ago one of my documentaries won second prize at the NRW section in Oberhausen. This project was realized together with Viktoria Gurtovaij as a cooperation between the ifs and the Marubi film school in Albania. I have worked and still work with the core team of ANDERTHALB. Right now I'm filming my graduation thesis, again with Max as the DoP and Lucas editing and doing sound design. Our working title is „Having Krebs“ and we managed to get a co-production from a TV station and state funding. Shooting will take nine days in Cologne, and it's about a young man isolating himself from the world. Only when his internet access crashes he is confronted with the desolate state of his life. Similarly to ANDERTHALB, this film tries to visualize the protagonist's inner life and explore the border between fantasy and reality.