WIELAND SPECK IN CONVERSATION WITH MAIKE MIA HÖHNE: ABOUT HIS WORK AT BERLINALE AND AS A FILMMAKER

Wieland Speck. Former Director of Panorama for more than 25 years. Besides being very smart, progressive, queer programmer, he has been working as a filmmaker since the early 80ies. His films stand out. The very own language in form and style, content and vision go far beyond the so called normal. The way he created films, the way he programmed films: with a very good feeling for the up & coming, the avantgarde that always changed our perception of the world.

A few questions by Maike Mia Höhne:

Wieland Speck Portrait
Wieland Speck

MMH: What was the starting point for your movie DAS GERÄUSCH RASCHER ERLÖSUNG and how did you proceed in making it – if you still remember. Did you have a budget, did you write a script? How did you work with the actors while also being the DOP of the film?

WS: I shared for a couple of consecutive years my bed with my dictaphone to catch my dreams. that’s how the script was achieved. You can train yourself to actually wake up und hit that button. old technique, but it worked. For this film, the one before (my first 16mm) and some scenes in those that followed.

The budget was money from several jobs per day, call center, cocktail bar, stage-hand. the 16mm bolex handwind was given to me by one of the producers. The producers except for me gave material, time, skills, but no money.

Since I did the camera I could describe very precisely to the actors what I need to see them doing. I saw that as a plus and the actors felt safe.

Das Geräusch der raschen Erlösung
‚Das Geräusch der raschen Erlösung‘ by Wieland Speck

MMH: Why did you submit to Berlinale and how did you get to know, you were selected in times of no internet?

WS: My first film was not submitted – I was just lucky. The projectionist of the selection committee was our old projectionist of the cinema I ran in the late 70ies. When I came back in early 1981 to berlin from san francisco where I had produced it he just showed it to them, unasked. It was eleven at night when I received a call and a woman asked me „who is making films like that!?“. It was Ula Stoeckl, Germany’s no1 feminist filmmaker who was at the committee. The festival showed the film even though it was too late to get into the catalogue. Two years later they were interested in my second film… from then on I became a festival worker myself and could not offer films to the Berlinale anymore, I opened in the festivals of Hof or Saarbrücken.

MMH: Your films are very special storytelling wise – not following too many rules. What interested you most in making your own films?

WS: Well, when I made my first long film my actors got words to speak. That changed a lot. Originally and deep inside me, my figures don’t speak. They are, like in dreams, not much talking there usually. But I think music. Editing and music are accompanying me when framing. The short film of course has this advantage the poem has over the novel: you can make the receptionist fly high and everything is possible, the rationale is on pause. Or nothing happens at all. It’s an invitation, not an overwhelming.

MMH: How did it feel when you understood that making Panorama would also mean to leave filmmaking – at least for a longer while – behind you? Or the other way round: why did you decide to stay at the festival instead of investing more into your own films?

WS: Everbody said you can’t do both, I said I can. This sort of worked for 20 years. Then I had to make the decision. I never received the true support of a producer. The festival work was successful. In the meantime I watched 1000 films to find one program of 50, year after year. And I found films that spoke for me. Through me. Of me if you will, enough to make me feel it is good as it is. For now.

MMH: Did you ever feel jealous about the others, who kept on making films?

WS: Yes, sometimes, when a film was especially close to my soul perhaps – or used an idea I had written in one of my scripts in my bottom drawer and now I saw it realized by another. Fortunately I’m not very jealous, actually rather try to avoid jealous people – not a good energy for me. I can be happy for others.

MMH: Instead of this single persona career you decided for a – I would say – very feminine position: multiplication the multiple voice of (not only, but often) queer cinema. What were moments you remember most of all the years and why.

WS: Funny that you would pose the question that way: I do see myself as quite undiveded when it comes to male or female. I despise gender roles but definitely want to have all qualities possible, for myself and for others. Emancipation for me is the dissolve of gender roles. Only HOW one person behaves speaks to me. The less gender role I feel the better. Diversity, in that sense, does not mean every color, all seven genders (hey, some native folks of north america are so much smarter than our binary trap), a person of this speciality or that – it means every individual has all of these possibilities and we learn to take each other as each person decides to appear. I’m afraid the enhanced talk of diversity these days shows that it is waning. that we have to oppose. Lustfully.

Wieland
Wieland Speck

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