When tonight I met Christian Berger chatting about working on the film he received an Academy Award nomination for, it was my director and friend Satu Siegemund, who reminded me to share and drop a line. “Best Cinematography” (given since 1927/28 – which is quite some time – to some quite famous people. Das weiße Band – eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte by Michael Haneke, impressed many people a lot more than me. And so did the Cine Reflect Lighting System invented by Berger, which he used to light The white Ribbon. The shots I liked the most – done in the computer. Strange.
When I shot few years back – not for Haneke but on 35mm – a movie in NY with my own reflect lighting system, I was not using any high-tech microfiber coated reflectors, but the best possible parallel light source: the sun. Out of pure desperation, I totally admit. No money for one single lamp head coz each cent went in to short-ends of film-stock. We used my Arri IIC and BL IV dinosaur and the rushes looked magic. Not only due to the light, but as well thanks to many helping hands like amazing art department by Jean-Claude, who is so obsessed with his job that he calls himself only JC artdesign.
I am not trying to say: nominate me for awards! I simply was not very much impressed.
The white Ribbon. Das weisse Band. Why am I so harsh about the movie? – It does look pretty. Very pretty. After all.
I don’t know.
Is it coz I woke up today watching my father scratching some mould of a slice of cheese even though my fridge is full of cheese? And eating it after scratching it? …the slice of cheese, not the mould, thank God!
Or is it coz afterwards I had to keep him from taking a carrot to the supermarket to try the Julienne grater they have on special there – just to make sure it really makes fine square vegetable sticks…?!
Maybe its coz I watched to many Haneke films with to many bad memories connected to watching them. They make you feel terrible. As simple as that. I knew before and stayed distant. Maybe it’s that.
Picnic at Hanging Rock is weird but makes you feel great – “Miranda, now I know. She’s a Botticelli angel.” – Please. What a killer-line. Haneke is not interested in making us happy.
But maybe it’s not that.
Oh, no, I know: it is coz I found a pair or brand new Geox loafers and a pair of evenly unworn Camper boots in the garbage today and am angry others buy those shoes to throw them out.
Last not least it might be simply coz I missed a friend online and all left to do in this loudly humming rich virtual wild full of empty blurbs and gossip is to look forlorn at his brand-new page I was supposed to check out and tag much much earlier.
Christian Berger is by the way a great guy, fun, lots of fun, to listen to. And for sure a most amazing DP. Thanks to the kameraforum you can enjoy the podcast of his very entertaining talk about making off The white Ribbon here in sweetest Austrian German.