Q&A: LARS HENRIK GASS

The Getaway Sam Peckinpah

As a way of introducing you to some amazing people working in the fields of artist moving image, experimental film and alternative cinema, we have concocted a short questionnaire. Today we speak to Lars Henrik Gass, director of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.

1. Who are you and what do you do?

I am running the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen since 1997. I consider this more as a state than a profession.

2. What was the first film you remember seeing as a child?

Difficult to say. One of the first was a Western on television.

3. What was the last film you watched and what did you think of it?

The Remains of the Day on TV. Although I don’t like this kind of cinema, I was surprised that the film is much better made than I remembered. It’s reactionary anyway.

4. How did you become interested in working with cinema/moving image?

My father was a part-time film critic and told me about films and film festivals, such as Italo-westerns.

5. Tell us about a film that has had a profound effect on you?

The Getaway is one of the smartest and least sentimental films about the relationship between man and woman, even though it seems relatively conventional in its narrative structure compared to other films by Peckinpah – probably because of a concession to commercial expectations and the star Steve McQueen. But here the relationship between man and woman becomes conceivable, forgiveness through love, love through relationship, relationship through work, by overcoming the patriarchal way of thinking.

6. Favourite books about cinema/moving-image/filmmaking?

Jean Louis Schefer: L’homme ordinaire du cinema.

7. What would be your dream double-bill, two films you’d love to see together on the big screen?

All early films by Werner Schroeter in a row.

8. Which filmmaker/artist are you most obsessed with, the one whose work you return to again and again?

Carl Theodor Dreyer.

9. What are you currently working on/what projects do you have coming up?

65th festival edition.

Find out more about the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen: www.kurzfilmtage.de