Friday, June 13, 2014

Sodankylä morning discussion: Pawel Pawlikowski with Olaf Möller

Pawel Pawlikowski, Olaf Möller, 13 June 2014
 The discussion was conducted in English. The School, Sodankylä, Midnight Sun Festival, 13 June 2014

The résumé at The Midnight Sun Film Festival site:

"Friday got its start at Midnight Sun Film Festival with morning discussions with two self-made directors. Film guru Olaf Möller interviewed Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski (born 1957), who turned to fiction from BBC’s documentary department, and the Italian-German Alice Rohrwacher (born 1982), who just won the Cannes Grand Prix with her new film The Wonders."

"After his parents’ divorce, Pawlikowski moved to England with his mother. The experience was a tough one for the 13-year-old boy: the “holiday trip” turned out permanent as his mother had secretly gotten married with an Englishman. Pawlikowski felt rootless and homeless, and after a series of events he moved to London. There he discovered films and music, began studying philology and wrote his dissertation after completing his studies."

"“It was kind of about trying to avoid working on the dissertation, I guess. My friends were members in a film society, so I also got involved. It was there that I first tried my hand at making films of my own”, Pawlikowski says."

"It was around this time that Pawlikowski noticed an ad for a BBC training program. He ended up getting a job at their documentary department. There he presented some of his ideas, which led to dinner discussions, which in turn led to his ideas being approved for projects. Pawlikowski hadn’t spend a single day in film school, but he knew what he wanted. There already existed enough conventional television documentaries."

"Pawlikowski describes his documentaries as collages. He is particularly interested in individuals, and they take centre stage in his documentaries as well as in his fiction films. The documentary Dostoyevsky’s Travels got its start when Pawlikowski was in Russia at Dostoyevsky’s home museum and met the man who ended up becoming the film’s main character."

"“There was a genteel man who looked like Dostoyevsky sitting in a corner at the museum, and the museum curator urged me to approach him. The man turned out to be the only living relative of Dostoyevsky. I found this character so fascinating that I just had to make a documentary about him. I managed to sell it to BBC as a literature documentary, although the main character hadn’t written a single word in his entire life”, Pawlikowski smirks."
(The résumé at The Midnight Sun Film Festival site).

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