photography: Jelena Janković
photography: Jelena Janković

- What was it about this particular Fassbinder’s work that made you choose it for adaptation?

There’s more than one reason. One of them is that we fell in love with the film. This was, actually, Sebastijan Horvat’s idea, it’s something we had talked about for years, looking for the right moment to do it, but then I saw the film and fell in love with it. That is probably the first reason. Simple! The second one is that the film, in a way, brings up the questions that Sebastijan and I have been addressing from one performance into another, which is the examining of possibility, the type of results and various types of politics on scene. So, it seemed to us that this film, namely the performance that we planned to make according to it, offers an opportunity to proceed in the same direction.


- How difficult was it to adapt this film story to a theatre stage?

I don’t think anything’s difficult if you’re motivated by love. Before this, we did the adaptation of Pasolini’s Teorema, which has a very specific narrative, but we also knew what it was that made us fall in love with the film. Then, somehow, we didn’t have any problems.


- Dramaturgy of your adaptation presents an interesting idea that love never involves only two people, but that there’s always the “third player” who has his own strategies. What is the role of that “third one” in this story?

I have this idea that we always think of love as something very individual. I fell in love with you, you fell in love with me, and the entire world ceases to exist. While, actually, there’s always a context that influences our love. What I find wonderful in this film, and what I think that Fassbinder quite cunningly did, is that he made a story which has two parts. Some see it as a fairy tale because everything is horrible at first, the whole world is against them, and the third player is very visible. Then there is this break when they take a vacation. Before they leave, she tells him: “You’ll see, once we’re back from vacation, everything’s gonna be ok”. And when they do, everything really is ok. Suddenly, everyone’s accepted them, for various reasons. That’s something you never do in romantic films. Romantic films usually end in this moment when they go on vacation, or they end tragically. See, we’re suffering now, and that love is doomed and that’s a tragedy - suddenly a Romeo and a Juliet happen, or it’s Notting Hill, or whatever, a romantic comedy with a happy ending, but they always end right there - when that moment happens. What I love about this film is that it takes it one step further and says: ok, once you’re accepted by society, what is the strategy of the third player, how does he influence you? I came to that thinking about my own relationships that are happening to me right now.


- Is there any hope for love in the society like this?

Wow, well, that’s as you asked me… “Is there a hope for this world?!” The question of love isn’t simple. Love is something that makes the world go round both in a positive and in a negative way. I can love my religion, and so I go and kill people of your religion out of love. I can beat up my wife because I love her. Nasty things are done out of love, so it’s a question what love is. The way we understood Fassbinder is that he supports the thesis that there is romantic love but that there’s also love above it. What that means, that is a question. Someone who is a Christian, who is religious in a positive way, in a Pasolini kind of way, for him, love is huge, much bigger than “you’re mine and if you look at someone else, I’ll beat you up out of love”, no, this love is something that helps me step out of myself, and so on. I think that this ending, their last dance, is at the same time the last moment when they step out of themselves into what they don’t know, into a new world. I think that’s the difference. There are loves that can keep endlessly reconfirming my world, up to the point that it makes me commit crimes, and yet there’s this love that offers an opportunity to step out of that world into something that you don’t know, which makes it scary, and that’s a different kind of love which I find very exciting and I think that’s the only chance that this world has, provided we are brave enough to make that step.