(as Art Installation )
Sally Potter / USA
These words “financial crisis” haunted the Berlinale this year and were reflected upon at almost every press conference. The money crunch has affected actors, directors and producers in many different ways. There are fewer films made, fewer roles available and some films forced to stop shooting for the moment. But amidst all these concerns, there is one director who sees this as an opportunity: Sally Potter. Her idea was like a cake recipe: write script, look for best cast, use minimal amount of equipment that could travel to the actors if need be and still tell a story that would be interesting to the audience. The producer said, “Part of the process of this film had to do with filmmakers trying to break the code and work on their own terms, to set up the structure so that the financing doesn’t get in the way of the art form.”
It is interesting to know that Sally Potter has never had funding for any of her films and it always works out in the end. She used each of the actors for exactly two days and paid everyone the same amount no matter who they were, e.g., Jude Law, Judi Dench, (photo
) and Steve Buscemi. The actors and actresses never met each other during the shooting but came together at the Berlinale to see the finished product. It is “recession” film making at its best. The film is a series of interviews from different characters separated by a few sentences written on the screen by an unseen cameraman named Michelangelo who is actually Sally Potter. She used only a blue screen behind the characters so that she could emphasize their faces. Personally, I thought that this film felt like an art performance piece and should be shown at a contemporary art museum, but Potter is thinking ahead again, and might put it on the internet. She definitely had the most original film idea in the competition category.