In your Press Release, you mention “merciless working environments” as a focus in the 2014 Forum programme. Is that focus intentional?
We don’t set a theme and then select films to fit it. But when we have enough films to choose from, we take care to create a well-rounded programme. And we saw very many films that dealt with the subject of work, since it becomes particularly important in unstable times. Not just the question of whether one has work or not, but also the question of the working conditions one is subject to. The 2014 programme looks into these issues with a multitude of different forms. For instance, Que ta joie demeure (Joy of Man's Desiring) by Denis Côté makes no criticisms of capitalism, but instead is fascinated by the fact that people can live and be creative in the strangest circumstances – by how flexible people are. The sound design of the film is a key element; it’s what conveys the spaces and places in the film, what gives the viewer a sense of them.
Then there are fiction films like Sto spiti (At Home) by Athanasios Karanikolas, which also combines brilliant images, but also conveys a clear social criticism. Sto spiti shows us a Georgian housekeeper who has served a Greek family for decades. When the head of the household goes bankrupt, she gets fired. The loss of her job also means the loss of her entire social environment. The fact that she belongs to a different class was ignored for ages. She sat at the family dinner table, went along with them to visit friends. Without her job, she has no more social affiliation. But it’s the quality of the film that’s decisive, not the fact that somebody has something to say. In Forum, we want to showcase the variety of form, the cinematographic possibilities.
Denis Côté’s film Vic+Flo ont vu un ours (Vic+Flo Saw a Bear) won a Silver Bear in Competition last year. Why did he decide to present his new film in Forum?
Forum has a reputation with many well-known directors for gladly showing their extravagant, artistic works. In between, they take their bigger works to Competition. Claire Denis, for instance, has been a frequent Forum guest because she knows her films fit in our programme and are well-received here. Denis Côtés’ fiction film Que ta joie demeure is one of those fiction-documentary hybrids. It’s very obviously a dramatization, but at the same time, it’s not a narrative film in the traditional sense.