Kathrin Resetarits • Actress
Shooting Star 2006 - Austria
Although it is somewhat ironic that Kathrin Resetarits should be distinguished as an actress while she is first and foremost a director, the contradiction is easily resolved: she is devoted to cinematic creation in general. As the cigarette she holds on her official Shooting Star picture reveals, she is uncompromising and genuine. Besides her own work (such as the award-winning short film Ägypten and Strangers), deep and experimental yet thoroughly written, she was often involved in Barbara Albert's projects —notably in Free Radicals (2003) and Fallen oder schweben (2006)— and was much noticed as Martha, the most wayward character in Jörg Kalt's Crash Test Dummies.
Cineuropa: As a director, when did you feel the need to act?
Kathrin Resetarits: The desire to become an actress came first. When I was a child, it seemed more obvious because I loved creating characters —like my father Lukas, who runs his own shows as a comedian. Later, I became more interested in writing and admired certain authors a lot, especially Cassavetes and Bresson. It could seem strange to mention these two together, but I reckon both of them understand exactly what filmmaking is about. So I went to the Film Academy of Vienna in order to become a director and started working as such. Later, my colleagues asked if I would play in their films, so now I am both a filmmaker and an actress.
How do these two aspects of your career complement each other, or conflict?
Well, at first, they tended to conflict but eventually, they became complementary. As a director, now I understand what kind of difficulties acting can entail —such as having to concentrate in a loud and technical environment— and conversely. Strangely, my needs change according to my role. When I am acting, I like it when the camera moves a lot, or rather, follows my moves so I can forget it. On the contrary, as a director, I like it still because I am very fond of images.
When I am on the set to act, I try to keep myself from interfering with the director's work unless he or she asks me to participate. This being said, Jörg Kalt —for instance¬— gave me a lot of freedom. He and Barbara are also my friends and artistic partners so we do talk a lot and I can totally make suggestions.
Your films and the ones you appear in are deeply existential and have a 'docu-fiction' quality. Is this representative of a new trend in Austrian cinema?
Definitely. Austria is such a small country that it has no interest in producing mainstream stuff —nor the means to do so anyway. It is more interesting to be different, avoid clichés and find new ways of making films. Thus, our films tend to draw less from our experience of what has already been put on the screen than from primary experiences. The idea is to look on our lives in a non-cinematic way, tell stories inspired by personal experiences.
What kind of roles have you not played yet and would love to play?
I still have so much to do I would not know what to choose but I know what I have to offer, what I can do or not so I tend to decide when it comes. I generally fall for a project or follow a person I know I can rely on. For instance, when Jörg Kalt asked me to be a crash test dummy, I said yes because the role changed from the very "normal" people I usually play for Barbara. I liked my character because she is strange, not pretty nor sociable but marginal, which allowed me to act out something we all have within ourselves.
What are your projects for 2006?
Right now, I am editing Ich bin ich, an essay film halfway between fiction and documentary for which I filmed two pairs of children-twins to deal with the notion of identity. I am also preparing my father's new show. Both should be ready by March. In the Summer, I might write another screenplay.
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