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An Austrian Moon in Rome

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Andrea Maria Dusl • Director

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- Blue Moon opens the Festival ‘New Cinema Austria’, in the capital till October, 17. A first Italian occasion for the Viennese Director to speak about her feature

Andrea Maria Dusl • Director

Rome will host the “New Austrian Cinema” review from 14 to 17 October under Andrea Maria Dusl’s Blue moon when 11 Austrian films, eight of which have never been seen before in Italy, will be screened.
Blue Moon is the Viennese director’s first feature film, and it received the same warm reception at this year’s Locarno Festival that it did at home. Falling somewhere between a road movie and a romantic comedy, Dusl’s film mixes genres and the countries visited by the protagonist as he travels from Austria to Odessa in the Ukraine via Slovacchia.
Dusl’s frequent travels through former Eastern Bloc countries (after the Fall of the Berlin Wall) inspired this story. Initially she thought it would be a series of short films, snapshots of a part of the world that has returned to the light after long years of lacerating closure. “It was very positive and enthusiastic for me to explore a world that is so close but so very different. A world that we still know very little about,” said Dusl at today’s presentation of this film in Rome. That is how Blue Moon became a complete story that reflects its director’s point of view through the protagonist’s actions.

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This film is both a romantic story and a search and discovery.
I was thinking about an Odyssey to discover a continent and also about the condition of mutual dependence that exists between the East and the West. Blue Moon can be interpreted on various levels and the love story between Jana and Johnny is a metaphor for the profoudn relations between East and West. This is a story of fear and desire, courage and weakness, status quo and change.

Is it a true story?
Not just one, but many true stories that I collected during my numerous foreign trips to Eastern Europe. I mixed them up into a single story during one extenuating writing session. For example, the story of the protagonist being forced by a gang of lowlifes to give them all his money to buy a brick instead of stealing it, really happened.

It took you almost twelve years to make this film...
Because I first thought that this would be a series of short films. They were to have been screened in theatres prior to the main film. I made 6 2-minute films and the project was to have been called Around the world in eight days. I wanted to tell eight stories, but as time went by I realised that I had to take a different approach to my earlier plans. That is how Blue Moon came to be made. It took me as much time again to find a producer with the guts to board the project.

A road movie that crosses Eastern Europe cannot have been easy. What problems did you come across during the production process?
Making a film is in itself as difficult as swimming through wet cement. Reality is often so very different from the initial idea. Directing a film is probably the most personal form and most complicated form of creativity ever invented by man. And certainly the most expensive.
Having said that, I tried to make it easier on myself by shooting all the scenes sequentially. That enabled the actors to be more spontaneous. As far as everything else is concerned, I can only compare the process to a circus: the same show repeated over and over again but never in the same place. In the end, each show is different from the last.

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