“Should I buy myself a one-bedroom flat in Bracknell or should I make a revenge film in Transylvania?” That’s the question Peter Strickland, a budding auteur filmmaker faced on receiving an inhertance a few years ago. Well of course he made the film, Katalin Varga, which I watched on DVD last night, a year after it was released in the cinemas. The rustic Transylvanian mountains & mists reminded me of Herzog’s ‘mittel-Europa’ films like Heart of Glass and Nosferatu – weird, intense, somewhat magical, yet the occasional intrusion of a mobile phone reminds us that it’s present day. It took him 18 days to film it (hard but rewarding) and, when the money ran out, 2 ½ years in post-production (frustrating & depressing). But finally it got picked up and won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Will Strickland become the next Greenaway or Jarman?
An interesting aside is the film’s soundtrack, by Steve Stapleton (Nurse With Wound) with friends Geoff Cox (film sales agent) and Clive Graham (Morphenogenesis). Not the oddest choice as it might at first seem. NWW music has become progressively less weird/abrasive and more ambient/filmic, and the soundtrack here (new stuff and older extracts) is actually quite subtle and sympathetic. It’s heartening to see this kind of music – avant garde & unknown – used in a feature film.
Coincidentally, I just received a box of recent NWW albums from Colin Potter who, before joining the ‘group’, mixed the Pump album. It will probably take me until the end of the year to listen to them but look forward to the re-acquaintance.