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GFQ 1_2013

GFQ 1-2013 6 It’s so tempting to give an extensive description of what a cool apartment Philipp Stölzl and family have, with its concrete walls, multi-levels, tons of books and DVDs, train set and fitted kitchen but we have cake to eat and tea to drink, as well as films and filmmaking to discuss. The first thing Stölzl does is trust me with his laptop so I can watch the marketing trailer of THE PHYSICIAN. It’s bright, star- studded, action, adventure, romance, danger, thrills and, no art for art’s sake here, very commercial. It’s big and going to be a big success: audiences into this kind of thing will lap it up. “I never went to film school,” Stölzl says. “I just learned on the job working on music video sets and watching other directors. I guess I would have been wrong in a film school anyway. When I started out most of the film schools in Germany were very ’artistic’ oriented.” In a world where many claims are made, personal smoke and mirrors deployed, Stölzl is open and confident: “I had no great artistic master-plan,” he says. “Luckily I’ve always been offered a lot of projects: it was more about instinctively finding out what sets me on fire, who are the people behind it and do you fit with them. I guess when you come from music videos you have a pretty ’craft-y’ attitude toward creative work – the videos are a broad art format, you have to sell a record after all, you always try to find a broad audience. You need to appeal as well as main- tain standards and do something artistically powerful.” Nailing his colors to the mast, Stölzl says, “I like it when heavy and intelligent themes are told in an entertaining way. It’s great when the mixture works. This German thing about dividing art into entertainment or heavy stuff, is just stupid. I like fun. You can use it to reach someone who is not so into film or opera. Entertainment mustn’t always be stupid.” He admits, “Things sometime flop, but the aim is to entertain. Music videos led me to English-language work and I got to travel the world. Now I love working in the language and it’s big fun to make a cinema film in it.” Stölzl’s filmography “is more European than US but English is a great script language and it’s so good when films have the chance to reach beyond the three German-speaking territories.” Although he has a lot to be proud of, Stölzl does not rewrite his personal history to suit: “I developed a lot of stuff that did not make it into a film. Sometimes it feels like planting a garden, seeing what grows. It could be a tree or nothing.” One of these dead trees was a film called THE TRUTH ABOUT HÄNSEL AND GRETEL. “We worked long and hard on it,” Stölzl says. “I also developed with Jan de Bont, producing a film about a time traveling serial killer in Boston. You spend years sitting on the FILMS ARE LIKE KIDS A portrait of director Philipp Stölzl DIRECTOR PORTRAIT PhilippStölzl(photo©MatthiasBaus) NORTHFACE(photo©DorFilm-West) S.06-07_Philipp_Stoelzl_Layout 1 25.01.13 09:34 Seite 1

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