Jan Gassmann's new film 99 Moons is now in post-production
- After 2016’s Europe, She Loves, the Zurich-born director is once again examining romantic relationships in his new movie, which has entered post-production
True to the idea of a form of film which crosses the divide between established genres, Jan Gassmann loves playing with limits, both formally and thematically. With five feature films already under his belt, including three documentaries - Chrigu [+see also:
film profile] (presented in the Berlinale in 2007), Karma Shadub (the winner of the Visions du Réél’s Grand Prize in 2013) and his most recent effort Europe, She Loves [+see also:
interview: Jan Gassmann
film profile] (which scooped the Emerging Swiss Talent Award at the 2016 Zurich Film Festival, as well as the FFF-Förderpreis in Munich’s DOK Fest that same year) – and one collective movie bringing together many of Switzerland’s young and up-and-coming directors (Wonderland [+see also:
interview: Carmen Jaquier and Lionel R…
film profile], which was presented in Locarno in 2015), Jan Gassmann already boasts a top-drawer CV, which is soon to be enriched by yet another gem: 99 Moons.
Produced by Zurich’s Zodiac Pictures together with Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen and SRG SSR, the director’s second fiction feature once again examines love, the irrationality which characterises it and the resulting consequences which likewise set it apart. Whilst Europe, She Loves was intended as a summary (shining a light on four couples) of the defining features of heterosexual relationships in ever-evolving, modern-day Europe, 99 Moons, for its part, homes in on two characters united by feelings bordering on obsession. There’s Bigna (played by Valentina Di Pace), a researcher specialising in tsunamis who’s almost thirty and on the point of relocating to Chile for work reasons, and thirty-three-year-old Frank (Dominik Fellmann), who will shake up her convictions to the point she decides to stay.
Up to this point, it’s not especially ground-breaking, except that the director decides to investigate the motives guiding each of the characters, continuing far beyond what might appear to be a happy ending from an outsider’s perspective. After all-devouring passion comes obsession and, with it, a loss of control to the point of reciprocal violence. Bigna drops everything and runs away to Chile where she marries an older colleague and gives the impression of leading a normal, heterosexual life. Frank must now come to terms with the pain of loss, with the memories of a passion which continues to persecute him and which he just can’t shake off. Like an addict, fully aware of the pain he is causing himself, Frank wavers between the need for another hit and the need to run away in order to save himself. But what if love were nothing more than this, a constant battle between exaltation and self-destruction?
Expected in early 2022, 99 Moons is supported by various young and dynamic professionals involved in countless other film projects from Switzerland (and elsewhere). These include editor Miriam Märk, who previously collaborated with Jan Gassmann on Europe, She Loves, and sound designer Mariurizius Starkle Drux (likewise involved in the project Europe, She Loves and who’s worked with some of the biggest names in young Swiss cinema, such as Michael Koch, Tobias Nölle, Hannes Baumgartner, Lorenz Merz, Lisa Blatter and Eva Vitija).
(Translated from Italian)
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