Festival de Cannes
54e Quinzaine des Réalisateurs 2022
May 25, 2022
Udo Kier dies his way through film history. He screams, falls, lies, is cut into pieces, shot or commits suicide. Again and again his empty gaze, again and again his rigid body. In 54 years as an actor, Udo Kier played in more than 170 feature films, 120 series episodes and 50 short films. More than 70 times Udo Kier tried to give an expression to dying and death. In Staging Death, these representations of death merge into a montage of the most diverse shots, film formats, special effects and sound designs.
Hello Jan, it’s great to get to talk with you, how have you been keeping after everything that’s been happening?
Have you been able to remain positive and creative at least?
Congratulations on having your World Premiere of Staging Death at the Quinzaine des réalisateurs, what does it mean to you to be able to share this unique film at the festival?
What it means will be seen retrospectively.
How important are platforms like Quinzaine des réalisateurs in championing and supporting independent filmmakers and the short film format?
I don't know yet. It's my first time there.
Can you tell me a little bit about how Staging Death came about, what is it about Udo Kier and his cinematic deaths that interested you as a filmmaker?
It was a spontaneous idea after watching a lot of Udo Kier Films.
Is there any one death of Udo’s on film that had a profound impression on you?
When working on a film like this how flexible do you allow yourself with the subject and the message you want to share?
I didn't think about a possible message.
When making a film that also uses found footage what are some of the likely challenges you might face?
Where did you passion for filmmaking come from?
If I would know exactly, I wouldn't do films anymore.
"I like to work with directors where you feel they make the movies not for the audience, but make them for themselves. They don't care if it's a success financially. That's what I like."
What does your work say about you?
Don't know. I think other people should answer that.
How much has your approach to your films changed since you started out?
Big question. I really don't think so much about this. I just keep on making films.
Are there any themes you are hoping to exploring in future films?
Do you have any tips or advice you like to impart on aspiring filmmakers?
And finally, what would you hope audiences will take away from watching Staging Death?