Forum head Christoph Terhechte hopes to sweep away the cliché that his section is too serious and no fun. In 2007, once again, the Forum shows that cinema is most fun when it doesn't let itself be restricted by the demands of the mainstream. We talked to Terhechte about the joy of seriousness, the thrill of the imbalanced and how a film programme can combat prejudices.
This year the Forum consciously presented its programme as “imbalanced”, one that sought out contrast and contradiction. Why isn’t balance necessarily a virtue for a film programme?
In film programmes balance is often defined geographically. But if you try to do justice to every country, you run the risk that none of the films are related to one another. Our programme isn’t about proportional representation, with quotas for specific regions, for documentaries and features, for films about women or by men. We create a programme in which the individual films fit well with one another and in which a net is constructed through thematic and formal connections. For me, the art of programming is successful when this net remains intact when you touch it and doesn’t fall apart. Of course, this concept also includes a positive concept of balancing out, and, therefore, an equilibrium. You can compare it to cooking. You don’t just throw together what are supposedly the best ingredients and hope that something good comes out of it.
That also means that the Forum “has an agenda” and doesn’t just hide behind the statement “We show what is offered to us. If you don’t like it, go and complain elsewhere.”
That’s right. After the programme press conference, journalists often come to us and ask: “Why don’t you have anything from my country?” And we say: “Last year we had four films from your country and they fit perfectly into our programme, but beyond that there are no guarantees.” We stay open in our programming work, through which continuity and renewal is expressed more spontaneously. The Surrealists talked about 'écriture automatique': “If you switch off consciousness, the true picture emerges.” Of course, it’s not exactly like that, we do actually think about it a lot while making the programme. But we want to pick up on the influences that are in the world and do justice to them – without placing a filter in front. That’s very important for me.