Marc Susini

    21. 11. 2019

    On Thursday, 21 November, Liberté divided the audience that was walking out of the auditorium in large numbers, some possibly driven by conservative bias and some – as was suggested during the post-screening Q&A ¬– because they expected even more, considering the juicy synopsis of Sadean debauchery, – much more depravity and cruel Sadean imaginativeness. Actor Marc Susini who played Count de Tesis in the film joined us after the screening. The audience that remained in the hall was at a loss to understand why so many people were leaving the theatre throughout the film’s somewhat prolonged duration (132 minutes). In conversation with the moderator Toni Cahunek, Susini explained that he did not know why people were leaving the cinema before the end; the film is indeed slightly disagreeable, unpalatable – intentionally so –, and people were walking out of the screening at Cannes, too. He went on to explain that they had been shooting in a warm Portuguese forest and having fun in the process. The were not only filming during the night, also in the daytime, and these takes were supposed to be politically more explicit. However, the director sought to shoot mainly nocturnal scenes, as night-time was more appropriate for that kind of goings-on. The director Albert Serra was totally uncompromising when it came to the actors, not wishing to discuss the roles with them, but – in the Sadean manner – expecting they follow his instructions to the letter instead. Moreover, he even refused to let them read the script! 
    The viewers then puzzled over the question whether the lack of structure and monotony of scenes were disadvantageous to the film; the opinions were rather mixed. The actor also worked on the director’s penultimate film La mort de Louis XIV, which did not involve classical script-based work (a similar strategy was implemented by the director of The Bra, a dialogue-free film). As concerns his acting technique, Susini tends to follow his inner monologue. When asked about the director Serra’s intentions, Susini explained that he was passionate about history and derived inspiration from it, whilst not staying faithful to historical veracity. We couldn’t help but ask what role de Sade played in the film. Susini explained that Liberté was de Sade’s play, which premiered with a German cast, and provided inspiration for the eponymous film, but only its first part. He was unable to say to what extent, given that the actors were in the dark about the script.

    Written by Nataša Šušteršič

    Photo Iztok Dimc