Interview about KRISANA
Tammy Stone: How did you arrive at Fallen and how do you view your latest film in relation to your previous films?
Fred Kelemen: FALLEN (KRISANA) had been shoot during my three months
stay in Riga / Latvia last year, where I was leading a work shop at the
Latvian Culture Academy.
T. S. : Matiss is an interesting character in that he's both a man alone and without purpose, but also determined to set a course of action for himself in the film, to reach out to another human being; he very much has a trajectory. Would it be fair to say he's a character audiences can relate to more than those in your previous films (I'm especially thinking about Nightfall)? What is your attitude towards him?
F. K. : I don’t know if the audiences can relate more to the main
male character in my new film FALLEN (KRISANA) than to those in my other
films. He is a simple person, working in an archive eight hours a day.
And suddenly something unexpected happens and asks of him to take a position.
The way the characters are created is the same as in my previous films.
I always follow the characters because I talk about humans.
T. S. : As a filmmaker, you've adopted an intensely observational mode of filmmaking that involves, for the audience, a marked distance from the characters and their environments. Thematically, Fallen deals with observation/distance as well. Can you describe the various modes of distance at work here?
F. K. : It was always very important for me to create distance between the audience and the characters of my films. I don’t want the audience to identify with the characters. The audience should observe and understand the characters and follow their way with disgust or compassion or what feelings ever are provoked. But it should not forget that the characters of the films are humans distinguished of them. No one is identical with another one. We are all different. And our difference is our great chance to enrich ourselves with the adventure to get close to some one, to experience a different way of thinking and living, to get in contact with the other world the other person is and to overcome the difference, which so often is a source of hate and violence, with love.
T. S. : There is a sense of "anywhereness" in this film, yet you create your own subjective, almost abstract universe through the black-and-white cinematography and use of music/sound. Can you describe what your vision was for the landscape/soundscape in Fallen?
F. K. : The vision for the landscape/soundscape was to use reality, real locations, real sounds to create with them an archetypical world. Reduced to the essential elements it focuses on the real which so often lies hidden behind the ornaments of design and narration.
T. S. : There is a raw, brutal authenticity in your films that is rare in contemporary cinema. Does the bleakness/senselessness that you so evocatively convey equate with "truth" to you?
F. K. : I do not see any bleakness/senselessness in films. There is just
an absence of appeasement and palliation of life. Things are not as we
want them to be. And we do not have the courage to look straight into
the face of reality and to change them. We prefer to dream the world imprisoned
in our own illusions. But there are moments when we have to wake up, when
something shocks us and our dream-world gets a crack through which we
can see reality. These moments make us sad. But these are moments of truth.
This kind of despair is somehow the result of our own ideas about reality.
Maybe we expect too many unrealistic things to happen, we want too much
happiness without pain, we dream too much of being pampered throughout
our whole life. If you have the strength to look at what is really happening,
then the possibility of being disappointed is not so big. If we were to
see what is going on around, we would not be so desperate. But we are
always disappointed because we don't want to see what is really going
on, and we hope a lot, we hope things will be different. But they are
not. And then the sadness and despair come for sure. And that's why there
is no solution. The only solution would be to stop the dreaming. I mean
dreaming in the negative way of having illusions, of building constructions
of life instead of living. We even have illusions about ourselves. But
we do not know ourselves. We are permanently with us but permanently miss
us. We do not know who we are. We do not know who our partner is, our
friend, our child. And so there is simply a conflict between what we hope
and what is really going on.