Regissör: Valeska Grisebach
Valeska Grisebach, born in 1968 in Germany. She studied directing at the Viennese Film Academy under Peter Patzak, Wolfgang Glück and Michael Haneke. Her graduation film Be My Star received the Critics’ Award at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as the Grand Jury Award at the Turin Film Festival. Her second feature film, Longing, premiered in 2006 in the Berlinale Competition. The film received several awards, including the Special Jury Award in Buenos Aires and the Grand Prix Asturias at the Gijón International Film Festival.
I was looking for the iconography, the pin-up nature of Western heroes in the everyday world, and I very quickly ended up with the idea of men on a construction site. The physiques, the clothes, the tools on the belts... At first, it was a really superficial starting point: What kind of man can I picture on a horse? I talked to lots of men and women from a huge range of backgrounds about duels and the “Western situation” in everyday life, but I stuck with my initial idea. I was interested in the old-fashioned masculinity that’s celebrated on the construction site, this closed universe of men, with its own rules. A world in which women are absent but – in the fantasies of the men – ever-present. I was impressed by their humor and wit, which is so full of creativity. It’s a totally distinct kind of prose and, when you’re trading barbs with someone, the aim is to always go one step further. I was touched by the tenderness and intimacy that – whatever the crudeness – links the men to each other.
Nonetheless, the choice of setting is really a superficial, formal decision. It’s not about pinning anything on anyone, the setting could also be elsewhere.