Xaver Böhm and Marko Mandič

    21. 11. 2019

    After the Thursday screening of the German production O, Beautiful Night moderator Toni Cahunek hosted the director Xaver Böhm and actor Marko Mandič. Böhm initially practised the profession of an illustrator and worked his way to film through animation. He is terrified of Death (the main character in the film) and talking about it makes it even worse; it’s not really a topic to be discussed lightly at some party. He thus came to a conclusion that the best way to discuss death was with – Death himself. He therefore talked to Mandič who brought an umbrella to the audition although it was perfectly sunny outside. Cahunek brilliantly summed up the difference that, “the terrible death is the Grim Reaper holding a scythe, and the beautiful destroyer of life is the one carrying an umbrella”. Mandič landed the role because he arrived more than ready to the audition; bringing two essential props with him: a Death Tarot card and a cigarette. Another element that convinced the director was that he spoke German with an accent. He first considered engaging an Austrian for this role because, according to Böhm, Austrian German “sounds ugly”, but then decided on “an eastern” accent because “the Easterners seem less organised to us and, moreover, Death has to look foreign”. 
    As regards the set, they spent six months looking for less populated and previously unfilmed locations, as he did not want to show a typical Berlin, but “an anonymous big city, a city that is bigger than life itself”. He repeatedly stressed that his film was a fairy tale and that the predominant colours, blue and red, did not represent a concrete symbol; he aimed to create “highly saturated colours and as emotionally charged atmosphere as possible”, whilst using all the colours in the spectrum, although the viewers found these two most conspicuous. The director and leading actor also discussed the preparation for the role of the Death, the vanishing German strip clubs and the Korean language in the film and during the shoot.

    Written by Nataša Šušteršič

    Photo Iztok DImc