Your new movie Der
Aids-Tempel Wat Phrabatnampu - in a few words, what is it about?
movie is about a unique temple compound located in Thailand which has
gained international attention while being very controversial at the same
did you first find Wat Phrabatnampu even, and what drew you to its story?
to its reputation I already knew about the temple before I started
shooting Mondo Siam. It was one of the places I really wanted to visit. It
is located in Lopburi which was a true blessing for me because it had so
many sights. There was not only the temple compound, but there was also
Phra Prang Sam Yot – the monkey temple, which I used for the movie Lopburi.
tend not to do too much research actually because it might change my view
about a location. The discovery process is very important to the
experience and this is what I want to share with the audience. The same
way I have a voyeuristic lust I also have an exhibitionist lust. The
temple itself kind of reflected that by explicitly displaying the dead –
victims of aids. This was interesting to me so that's why I made the
of the footage in Der
Aids-Tempel Wat Phrabatnampu has previously already appeared in
your short Mondo Siam
- so what inspired you to give the temple some more coverage?
approached this from a low budget filmmaking standpoint for several
Mondo Siam was made exactly as I wanted it (with the resources I had) – an
experience, a mondo film, a documentary, which basically doesn't answer
any questions, but for the purpose of appeasing the lust of sensationalism
and to awaken the curiosity of the viewer to do his own research. A movie
has the power not to leave the viewer even if there are unanswered
approach for the new short was a bit different. I wanted to make the movie
a little bit more accessible to a mainstream audience. The overall
material was also just too important not to go further into detail
especially since my movies are predominantly only available in the US at
the moment. It was a way to basically make a light version of the Mondo Siam
episode. What might be interesting is that this version is not a
recut of the Mondo Siam
episode but I edited from scratch on purpose.
This kinda had experimental reasons for me. I wanted to see if I could use
the material differently from the way I originally shot it. Would I have
evolved as an editor? Would it become a different story discovered in the
editing process? Is there even a way to edit it differently? Another idea
behind it was also to look how it would end up if I would try a more
mainstream approach on that theme. How would Mondo Siam
look if it would
be a regular mondo documentary instead of a non-verbal movie? So as
mentioned before it was mainly for experimental reasons and also because I
just had the feeling I wasn't done with it yet.
But I have to say that I
tend to have multiple projects in the making in different phases at any
time and at this particular time I worked on another movie which was a
pain in the ass for me and I desperately looked for excuses not to work on
it. Because of it I made the three shorts Der
Aids-Tempel Wat Phrabatnampu, Wat Sorapong and Überfall.
most if not all of your previous documentaries did not have any narration,
you chose to use a voice-over in Der
Aids-Tempel Wat Phrabatnampu - so what led to that decision, and
what can yout ell us about the movie's voice-over as such?
already said I wanted to take a more mainstream approach while not
disguising myself as something that I am not. I am not a teacher and I
don't want to be seen like this. The narration is very rudimentary and
superficial. Maybe even clinical. My movies are based on feelings and I
can express myself better in pictures than in words.
would you describe the look and feel of your movie?
wanted it to have a very natural look, which wasn't too complicated to create
because the only equipment I had was a broken tripod. I think it's
important to turn your weaknesses into your strengths. Technically there wasn't
much to do to improve the look so I only could use it thematically
throughout Mondo Siam
and the short. I try to find and display beauty
in ugliness and the ugly in beauty. This is something that follows me
through many of my movies.
can you tell us about shooting at Wat Phrabatnampu?
is generally very open to filming, and there were few locations where it
was forbidden (Siriraj Medical Museum for example). At Wat Phrabatnampu I
was actively urged to shoot.
$64-question of course, where can Der
Aids-Tempel Wat Phrabatnampu be seen?
can be watched on my YouTube channel for free:
– it will probably end up as bonus material on a physical release too. The
more explicit, unnarrated version is available at
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Der
Aids-Tempel Wat Phrabatnampu?
weren't too many voices about it yet, except a very, very great article in
interview form which goes very in depth:
only). If there is noteworthy resonance about the movie then I will maybe
release my other temple film Wat Sorapong starring Sorapong Chatree (known
from many Godfrey Ho movies [Godfrey
Ho bio - click here]) on YouTube too.
projects you'd like to share?
still have to edit my semi documentary movie Warum läuft Herr W. Amok?,
which is a long interview with actor Jörg Wischnauski, who starred in a
couple of my movies. We speak about all the movies he made and how
basically none of them have been released yet, and in the end the
situation gets out of hand. It will contain clips of a couple of yet
unreleased projects by Marian Dora or myself e.g. Obsession. A
of mine which will unfortunately stay a festival film due to a rights
next week I will start work on another documentary short. It will be the
portrait of an older Thai widow who barely speaks any German and has
almost no social contacts. The focus will be on the woman but it will also
be a portrait of the town she lives in. I
also have vague ideas about a new fictional feature film.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
My feature length documentary Michael, Sammler will be released as
Murderabilia Memoir in the US soon.
Your/your movie's website,
social media, whatever else?
Anything else you're dying
to mention that I have merely forgotten to ask?
am working of German releases of my movies on DVD. Hopefully it won't take
too long until the first results. It only takes so long because I see
myself as a filmmaker and not as a a publisher.
for the interview!