One of the things I love about film festivals is the chance to speak with filmmakers. The international Film Festival Rotterdam, for example, is famous for its low threshold between audience and guests. Most of the time there are no press conferences and no roundtables: interviews are done one-on-one, and filmmakers are encouraged to introduce their own films and do a question-and-answer session afterwards.
These Q&A sessions can turn into the stuff of legends sometimes. Hell, after having seen him on stage a couple of times I'd pay good money for just having Ben Wheatley discuss film with an audience. And it's not rare to see the discussions continue into the lobby, or the pub next door.
But sometimes people ask staggeringly stupid questions as well, of course. Director Gustav Möller was in Rotterdam this year, presenting his excellent thriller The Guilty
. He had just won an audience award at the Sundance Festival and he was about to win another one in Rotterdam. The huge Pathé 1 venue held over a thousand people, and the Q&A went fine. That's Gustav (in grey) in the middle of the picture above, still answering questions and receiving congratulations from the enthusiastic audience well after the Q&A had officially finished.
is about a night at the emergency desk of a police station in Denmark, and how one response operator goes way beyond his boundaries to try and solve a case (Peter Martin wrote a great review
about the film).
What makes The Guilty
special is that you only get to see the response operator, and you hear the calls he gets. In the Q&A, Gustav Möller explained that when he heard a real 9-1-1-call, he noticed how vividly he imagined what happened on the other side of the line. And that it would be cool to make a film about that, with everyone in the audience imagining their own (different) versions of the truth, and how you could manipulate that, put people on the wrong foot on purpose.
The next question from the audience, and I kid you not, was: "Why are there no exterior shots in your film, why don't we ever get to see what happens at the other side of the line?"
...Deathly silence from everyone in the venue, people looking at each other going "Huh?!"... until Gustav patiently explained (AGAIN) that that was, kinda, like, the whole point of the film?
Anyways. What's the funniest thing you've ever seen, heard, or otherwise encountered during a Q&A session?
Chime in, in the comments below, and HAVE YOUR SAY!!!
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