Alexandra Werlich, Matthijs Rensman in conversation with
The making of any of their films starts without a preconceived script, and is based upon improvisation. The acting works as free association; not words but playing the part of a given character, a doctor for instance. Through improvisation, practiced by all actors, precognitions about certain roles and characters surface and subconscious, implicit views the actors themselves have about certain roles are brought to life. Moreover because the actors (which are children) have limited or no knowledge (or direct experience) of the roles they are playing, their performance is of a highly interpretative level.
Alexandra and Matthijs’ aim is to learn through playing and performing of the actors about such “role cognitions”. Actors of different ages and personalities carry different ideas of role types. These different points of view have “free play” in the film in the form of an associative representation.
The input of the actors is central for the dynamics, the focus points and burlesque. But also central is their going in and out of role in the acting, which is not edited out of the final piece. Jumping into the role and occasional slips of the actors are like a front- and backstage. They are entwined in the final version of the films. This way, actions made in the film get a referential field, and give an insight of how the personal interpretations are connected (for the individual, the actor) between the front stage and backstage.
Such “mistaken” or stereotypical interpretations of our subjects in the films make for great fun. It is through giving our own judgment on those “errors” that we get an insight on our own concepts. Judgments we very often can no longer see because of the banality of it but that can again be revealed by an exogenous view on our truths, norms and conceptions.