Dienstag, 17. Juli 2012

Interview: Adam Rehmeier (THE BUNNY GAME)

Vor wenigen Wochen haben wir mit THE BUNNY GAME einen Film vorgestellt, der durchaus für Aufmerksamkeit gesorgt hat. Nicht nur, dass die Gewalt im Film real ist, auch das Verbot durch die BBFC hat für Gesprächsstoff gesorgt. Nun hatten wir die Gelegenheit mit dem Regisseur und Kopf hinter dem Film, Adam Rehmeier, ein kleines Interview zu führen.

CINEMORPHIN: When did you get the idea of "THE BUNNY GAME" and how? 
Adam: THE BUNNY GAME was collaboration with Rodleen Getsic from the beginning. We had spent several years shooting photos together and recording music, and eventually, the idea was brought up to collaborate on a feature film. Rodleen had a real life abduction story, so at first, we talked about integrating elements of her experience into our film. As time passed, the idea morphed several times into different configurations. We struggled to cast the film for a few years, not finding the right man to play opposite Rodleen. Jeff Renfro came into the picture because he had attacked me several years prior on a film set in Montana. Subliminally, he had been in the back of my head for many years as a possibility for the film, despite the fact that he wasn’t a trained actor. When Rodleen and I went out to meet with him, we both knew he was right for the film.

C: It is a known fact that all the violence in THE BUNNY GAME is real. Was there a point, where Rodleen or you thought that things go too far?
A: There is a certain amount of trust you have to have with your collaborators when you are shooting rough scenes. I don’t think there was ever a point where Rodleen or I thought it had gone too far. Overall, the film is much of a psychological assault than a physical one, though, of course, it has its moments. Rodleen approached the film like an athlete would approach an extreme sport. She has unimaginable strength and power. This film was a cathartic process for her.

C: How was the general feedback?
A: The feedback has been mixed, from critical praise and awards to negative criticism and a banning in the UK. I think that if an audience goes into THE BUNNY GAME expecting entertainment, they will be quite disappointed. This is not a popcorn movie. If an audience goes in with an open mind, I think they will be blown away by the performances and intensity of the film.

C: What was your reaction to the ban in the UK?
A: I was disappointed for a few days, of course, having just lost distribution in the UK through Trinity X. I really wanted to work with them and was excited when they bought the film at Cannes. I find the outright ban a little extreme. Now the BBFC is busy scheduling focus groups in the UK to backup their findings on the film [and other extreme films]. They are offering free counseling to anyone that requires it after the screenings.

C: Why black & white?
A: Black and white strips everything down to the basics, makes it much more primal. There are so many psychological visual cues associated with color that I thought it would detract a bit from the experience.

C: Imagine you are not Adam Rehmeier. Imagine that you have not directed THE BUNNY GAME. What would you think about it?
A: That’s a tough one, since I’ve worked on the film at such a microscopic level. Obviously, parts of the film could be considered stop motion animation. I’m sure if I were just seeing it for the first time, I would be captivated by the performances and pushed to a near panic attack by the edit. I would probably only watch it once.

C: What are your influences?
A: Due to the nature of how we made THE BUNNY GAME, I was truly influenced by the cast and not much else. This was an experiment, so we surrendered to outside influences and really tried to keep the focus on the cinematic world that we were creating during production. We made ourselves vulnerable and shot in some truly horrendous places.

C: Do you have a favorite director? If so, please tell us why.
A: Werner Herzog. He’s a prolific, amazing filmmaker. I am always excited to see his next film, whether narrative or documentary. He has a great work ethic and really cranks them out, at least two a year it seems. I am especially fond of his feature EVEN DWARFS STARTED SMALL as well as his work with Klaus Kinski.

C: What are your favorite movies? If someone asks you about a good movie, which one would you recommend?
A: I’m not sure I actually have a favorite film, but I will gladly recommend a few. Maya Deren’s MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON was very influential to me when I was younger, as well as David Lynch’s ERASERHEAD. If you want something more recent, I’d say check out SNOWTOWN, ENTER THE VOID, and SECUESTRADOS. All three were very strong films.

C: Do you have any upcoming projects?
A: My 2nd feature, JONAS, is nearly completed. I’m looking to start pushing it out to bloggers and film festivals towards the end of the year, once THE BUNNY GAME has been out for a while. JONAS is a radical departure from THE BUNNY GAME, a squeaky-clean character study of a man at the verge of a mental breakdown.

Vielen Dank an Adam Rehmeier für das ausführliche Interview!

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