One day, you are forced to look in the mirror.
.....but who can live with a “maybe”? Surely, I can’t. There is no maybe on stage. On stage, there’s only the entire life.
For the audience, it’s the show. For me, it was always the entire life.
It was a performance to remember and for sure, she was the guiding light of the evening. Once again, she has proved, that her time isn’t over yet.
But then, a glance in her dressing mirror changes everything. Who is the stranger in her dressing room, obviously not being impressed by her?
He’s come to pick her up. But what’s the destination?
5 questions with No Goodbye director, Ludo Vici at the half-way mark.
Saturday, May 13th, 2017
1Hi Ludo! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial seed that inspired you to make No Goodbye? The death and the girl - especially in the fine arts a repeating motif. A motif that combines the two basic aspects of life in one situation. Death and Eros, transience and death wish. Sitting face to face with personalised death, there are no games, no subterfuge, pure existence is laying on the table. A moment of great beauty and dignity. This moment was always fascinating to me and so I decided to do a trilogy about it. NO GOODBYE is the first part. I wanted the main character to be a female artist, a glamorous woman, who dedicated her life to her art, and who is at a point of inflection in her life. She sacrificed the love of her life to her art, she was working hard and now being not a young girl anymore, she is asking her self wether it was worth it. This is an abstract question which normally you can avoid, but not in this case. The initial point to start the project was the closing night of a club here in Munich, where by chance I met Sandra Steffl. She really hit me. I knew at the moment, she´s the one, she is the absolute right person. So I wrote the script for her in the same night and sent it to her and I was more than lucky that she agreed.
2This is a very existential film. What made you decide to go in that direction? Since I was a young man I was always driven by philosophical questions, but not in an intellectual way, but more by this intense awareness that there are these intangible things around and within us, that are beyond any explanation, but which can get observably in artistic work. The intension in this process of creation is not to answer these questions, but to bring them to life through the characters. In this case the assessment of your life and the decisions that you made. Does it really matter to ask yourself, what could have been, if you didn't decide this or that way. Is there any necessity to judge? Why? Isn´t it more truthful and liberating, once you are forced to look in the mirror, to just accept that the way you lived, was the only way that you could have lived. - and just let go.
3What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? I saw 2001-A space Odyssey, when I was about sixteen. I didn´t understand anything, but this enigma came in the form of such a overwhelming visual and auditive energy, that was unforgettable. Later on there were the films of Wong Kar Wai, that have this deep, poetic and touching beauty in their pictures and characters, as well as the work of Takeshi Kitano, or the far more darker version like Park Chan Wook. I am obviously a fan of the asian cinema, but I also admire the combination mysteriousness and genre by David Lynch and the powerful visual storytelling by David Fincher. I spent most of my life at the theatre, where the goal is to create a clear and concrete moment to be witnessed by the audience, whereas the film gives me a better possibility to explore the intersection between reality and imagination.
4The man in black gives the lead a final kiss which has a significant impact in the film. But you chose to be very subtle about the kiss and who the man in black was. Why did you decide to go that route and what is it you like about films that force you to look closer? The final kiss was very important for me, because I didn´t want to portray death as somebody or something that comes and steals her life, something terrifying and evil, but more as somebody or something that invites her, welcomes her to cross the border. So that she can let go all of her doubts and fears, a kind of guardian who can be trusted, whatever is going to happen.
The lady in the wardrobe is in an absolute state of uncertainty and I hoped that in the way he appears, I could maybe evoke a similar feeling within the audience.
In our normal day of life we are busy to function, to fulfill the task of being effective, overwhelmed with lots of information, and surrounded by people, who claim to know how things work, so I like to be invited by a piece of art to sensitize my awareness, to have the opportunity to fantasize and dream. At most, if this piece of art does not say: here, looks close, that´s the truth, but: hey, look there is something…. But don´t get me wrong, I also love good entertainment.
5What's next? Meanwhile we finished our second short film. It is called NUMBER 85. The logline might be: They will torture Eric to get the money back. But he has an excellent plan, because he´s in love, not only with a girl, but first of all with movies.
At the moment I prepare the second part of my trilogy: The death and the girl It is about a woman, who planned for the evening of the return of her husband from a long business trip a romantic dinner in the bar, where they once had their first date. While she waits, her phone rings and a man tells her, that her husband has just got killed in an car accident. Death has entered her life and even before she can recover from this shock, death is literally sitting at her table. She is hoping for a chance and begs him to give her husband back. Death in reply provides a cruel offer. She can have her husband back, but she has to sacrifice the life of one of the other guests. What is one life worth?
If you want, you can find more about our work on our website: www.makingmovies.wtf
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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