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Dominik Moll • Cannes 2005

"I like to create strange worlds"

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- Still amazed that his film Lemming was chosen to open the Cannes Film Festival, the French filmmaker Dominik Moll is keeping his cool on the Croisette

Dominik Moll • Cannes 2005

Still amazed that his film Lemming [+see also:
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was chosen to open the Cannes Film Festival and kick-off the official competition, an honour that is usually reserved for films with a huge commercial potential, the French filmmaker Dominik Moll is keeping his cool on the Croisette. A reserved composed character who mixes the precise with the indirect, in tune with the cinema of sound, an auteur who poses more questions than he has answers.

Your film evokes the devastation that arrives in the life of couple too much in control, but you are a filmmaker very much in control. Isn t there a paradox here?
Dominik Moll: what pleases me in making films is that lots of things escape me. It's at once frustrating and enriching. From the moment of writing the script, intuitive elements impose themselves even though their meaning doesn't become apparent till much later. For instance, just yesterday, I noticed that the lemming and the flying webcam work in opposition. The behaviour of the first has no sense yet the second symbolises what can be controlled with a remote control. There is even a scene where the webcam is crushed in a trap followed immediately by a scene where the lemming we thought was dead comes back to life. Therefore I am far from able to control everything even though there is an overall coherence. Not to mention time limitations on set where we wanted to dedicate more time to a particular scene or the vagaries of the weather.

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Why do you like the obscure side of life so much ?
i>Lemming is obviously a sombre film but I find that there is lots of underlying humour. The atmosphere leans towards darkness, but it it's not a pessimistic film. For my part, I am optimistic. What I love to do in cinema is to create strange worlds.

Why does a film which is full of darkness and suspense end with a calm and peaceful morning?
That final sunny Saturday morning scene is like closing parentheses. We rediscover the idyll, the ideal couple at the start of the film is opening, even though we feel that the story has left its imprint. I chose this ending to accentuate the nightmarish quality of what came before.

You didn't win anything in 2000 with Harry..., do you hope for more from the competition this year?
The Cannes adventure with Harry... taught me the importance of the impact of a competition screening on the Press, on international sales. To get a prize, that is the icing on the cake. I am not here in a spirit of competition because I am very happy just to be here.

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