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Interview: Ulrich Köhler - In My Room


Interview: Ulrich Köhler – In My Room

Interview: Ulrich Köhler – In My Room

Coming seven years after 2011’s Sleeping Sickness (Schlafkrankheit) and his longest time off between features, after his feverish study of settler psychology in West Africa, Ulrich Köhler premiered In the Room at the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section. A disquieting, wonderfully imagined essay on survivalism, here the filmmaker examines second chances via a man-child during a human apocalypse. Defined by its taciturn characters and ambiguity, this falls somewhere within the utopian subgenre of recent studio efforts Divergent to Elysium, and art-house output of Snowpiercer and Love at First Fight (2014). In My Room deals with the hypothetical and refreshingly makes the argument for an alternative / different society that feels authentically in symbiosis with current returning ways of the past. I had the chance to sit with Kohler and find out how notions of utopia and dystopia intersect, his working method with his actor set, and the role that the landscape plays within the text.

Amir Ganjavie, a Ph.D. in communication and culture, is a Toronto-based writer, cultural citric, festival director, community activist and filmmaker. Fascinated by the issue of alternative and utopian space in modern urban settings and cinema, Amir has published several articles on utopia and two books, one on utopia (Le rôle de la pensée utopique dans l’aménagement des villes de demain) and the other on walkable neighbourhoods (Pour une ville qui marche). He has recently co-edited two special volumes on Iranian cinema for film International and Asian Cinema and edited a Humanities of the Other: An essay collection on the Dardanne Brothers (in Persian). Aside from academia, he writes for MovieMaker, Filmint, Mubi, Senses of Cinema, Offscreen and Brightlight. Amir is very active in the community. He serves as the CEO of CineIran Festival and Phoenix Cultural Centre of Toronto. He is also the founding member of NaMaNa Cinema. He has recently directed/produced a long feature film in Canada, named Pendulum. His top 2 theatrical release for 2017: Ildikó Enyedi's On Body and Soul and Michel Hazanavicius's Redoubtable.

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