A man and a woman inhabit the same surreal location though not, apparently, at the same time. Marta Renzi directs this black-and-white meditation on memory and absence, joined by long-time collaborators Charles Caster-Dudzick (camera), as well as Aislinn MacMaster & David Thomson (performers). With a nod to the soundscore for Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker and the location of La Chambre by Joelle Bouvier and Regis Obadia.
Interview: Marta Renzi
ABOUT MARTA RENZI
Marta Renzi has made over 50 dances for her Project Co. and first aired her choreography on public television in 1981. She has received numerous choreographic fellowships, commissions and awards, including a NY Dance and Performance Award and a Dancing in the Streets award as "a fearless explorer." In 2005, she began self-producing dance/videos, which have been presented at festivals in the US, abroad and online.
FULL IntervieW Transcript
Melissa Ramos: Your dance film, TRACES, explores the beautiful, complex and emotional textures of relationships, the link between body and emotion expressed through movement, just like how some feelings might suggest through colour or a piece of music. Could you describe what choreographic expressions and nuances you were exploring?
Nicola Hepp: Well, for TRACES, it's actually a piece that came about starting from a live dance piece. I initially saw piece by Jason Mabana, a Belgian choreographer who choreographed a work called "Last Line" for the Amsterdam University of the Arts, where I teach. And he worked a lot with kind of feelings of urgency and intimacy. There was a lot of duet work in this space, although the piece was actually made for 10 people. And somehow the matter of urgency really, really talked to me in a way. And I felt that it connected to some ideas that I had already for a while about a failing relationship. I wanted to make a film with a man and a woman where the man was going through something and the woman was supporting him. And I had kind of been thinking about this for a while. And then when I saw this piece by Jason, it immediately kind of connected. So I felt like, oh, wow, this would be amazing if he and I could somehow collaborate on making this into a film. So I just asked him if he'd be willing to go ahead and work with me on this. And he literally, because he was not in the Netherlands at the time when I wanted to shoot. So he literally just kind of gave me permission. He gave me the piece in the sense, he gave me the movement material and allowed me to play around with it, and do what I wanted, in fact. And TRACES is there not so much a film of his piece, but it's a film that kind of then initiated from his movement material. Together with this idea that I had with the failing relationship. The two of them, the man and the woman, there is a lot of physical contact. They they have a lot of duet work going on. But a large part of the film is also the two of them standing next to each other and the camera moving in on them. So there was there was kind of those two elements were really what I was working with when I devised the film. And then I knew already that I really wanted to work with a lot of editing. So there's a lot of like almost jump cuts at times. And the editing goes from one movement to a completely other moment in the duet material. So in a way, we kind of rechoreogrphed the movements. So it's not necessarily in order. The edit is not following the choreography as it was, but it's kind of reorganizing it.
Melissa Ramos: Interesting, and the sense of urgency. Was that something that you wanted to carry with from the performance to the film work?
Nicola Hepp: Yes, this this urgency was really kind of what was touching me when the urgency that came out of the piece on stage was really something that kind of spoke to me. And I felt that I wanted to have that as a clear kind of element in the film. I feel that when I make films, they don't necessarily always tell a story in a traditional sense. But there's definitely always some kind of feeling that comes out of watching my films. So, yeah, to kind of convey an emotion, that's really what I want to do when I make my films. And yeah, the urgency was something that together with this kind of. Some kind of sadness or feeling like, oh, it's too late or you know, the two of them. They're still hoping but it's not working. That's there in those to people next to each other. The urgency of having to be yourself or having to come out somehow was really inherent to me.
Melissa Ramos: You talked about how the live performance was the initiator. Have you ever done that before in your past works? And how do you start working on a work that started on stage and then onto moving images? And how do you sort of begin your creative choices and influences?
Nicola Hepp: I have actually worked with kind of transferring a live piece into a film before. With when I made the DOUBLE, for example, that was initially also a dance piece. I'm actually quite open to just kind of I get triggered by something. So if I then look at this piece and I get triggered by, for example, in the piece that initiated traces, which is called LAST NIGHT, it was actually made for 10 people. And those 10 people were standing next to each other for a large portion of the piece. And so that was kind of a visual connection to my own idea of this couple standing next to each other somewhere outside. And so with a lot of sky or a lot of air, so that kind of trigger somehow makes me then go off creatively and think like, oh, wow, this could somehow connect to that. And then it just kind of just starts rolling in a way. And it was similar when I made the piece THE DOUBLE, because it was actually about two dancers that I seen and our young choreographer in the Netherlands that I knew. And I've seen the two of them perform the piece. And I just said to the choreographer, wow, it's amazing how you pick those two dancers and they look so similar. And then later on, like a few days later, I was thinking more about it and I was like, oh, wow. Actually, I want to really make a film with this with these two guys with the choreography of Dalton. So in the end, we ended up also working together with this. And that was also kind of just initiated by a moment of inspiration, let's say, and then just letting it kind of start rolling. So I never when I make work that has been like performance before and I'm never really staying, sticking to how it used to be on stage, but I really take it off in that kind of it can be completely different in terms of what is the choreography, how much of the choreography do I choose? Because, for example, with LAST LINE it was that I think twenty five minute piece and it's actually just the three and a half minute film, the DOUBLE. It was also I think at least an eight-minute dance piece and it's just a one minute film. So obviously I just kind of distill and take out some moments that I really feel could work on film because obviously the timing is also really different when you make a film or if you're looking at live piece. But it's important then that you work with choreographers that are that understand that process, that it's not that I'm going to register your piece and we're going to make a film that's staying exactly how it was. It's actually a new thing, so. But it is using the dance material and somehow capturing the essence of what was in that piece before. So like with TRACES, that urgency was something that I felt that has to be part of the emotion that you get when you look at it. And with THE DOUBLE, it had so much to do with just the likeness of the two dancers and how they were relating to each other during the piece. But in fact, the choreographer of that piece, Dalton Dangelo Jansen a Dutch guy, he didn't name his own piece, THE DOUBLE until after I'd made, I named the film THE DOUBLE. So we kind of back and forth going between us like, wow. I was like saying to him, I'm so impressed with how you work with these two guys and 'how did you find them' they are so similar. And then he after seeing the film and seeing also how I described it, and there is some kind of story in THE DOUBLE because literally they're kind of meeting or one guys meeting the other. And the question is, like I said himself, or is it somebody else? And so Dalton was also like, oh, wow, it's so cool. Now I see even more how much simpler they are. And 'can I also name the piece THE DOUBLE'? So we kind of. Yeah. How do you say that? We kind of lifted each other up in a sense of going further with the concept in a way.
Melissa Ramos: Wow, that's interesting because it moves from live and to into a set of material and then back into live.
Nicola Hepp: Yes, they continue to work together these three guys. So, yeah, it is interesting, but I think it really means that you also have to like you know, the collaborators that you work with, is really important, that everybody's kind of on the same page and that everybody understands that this is what I'd like to do. Do you agree? Or and if you do, then what are what do you want and what do I want? Yeah, that's that's kind of how I approach it. So I just want to make sure that everybody feels OK with what comes out at the end. But also that's that I'm able to kind of put my vision on it and the clearer you can be ahead of time of what you want to do and that it will be different. I think the better, for example, with TRACES, the music that Jason Mabana had used for his live performance piece was a piece of music that I wouldn't be able to put under the film because it was just in terms of rights. And I knew that immediately, even though the music was so beautiful and so perfect and would have been perfect for the film. Also, I said to him immediately, I have to use another piece of music, but I do want to keep it in this similar kind of, well, feeling as what the live music that he used or the music that used for the live piece evoked. So I actually managed to to have a Dutch composer that I've worked with before. He was gracious enough to want to work with me and to kind of experiment a little bit on what to make and in what kind of atmosphere and what kind of feeling. And then we just ended up with this beautiful piece of music that he made for it.
Melissa Ramos: Wow. Yeah. I was going to ask you about the music and the choices and how you chose it, but that's really great. You had someone to want to create it.
Nicola Hepp: Yeah, I'm very lucky with that. I mean, I know a few composers who are just amazing making music for film. This guy Koen van Baal, he's is just fantastic.
Melissa Ramos: How do you discuss the types of rhythms for your work or how you want the sound to be? What are your ways of collaborating?
Nicola Hepp: Well, mostly there are some kind of music that I've been using in rehearsal or that has some kind of connection for me. So for example, with TRACES, obviously, when I was editing before Koen made the music, then I did put the music that was originally in the live dance piece. I put it in the editing program. So to work with in terms of rhythm. But I knew like, OK, we can't have it, we can't have it. So I have to keep repeating myself. Don't get too attached, you know, which is difficult. And then I also found a different piece of music that was also resonating with me in terms of feeling. So yeah, when I then talk to Koen about it's those two pieces of music I sent to him. And I also mentioned another very famous composer. It's actually a composer that did a lot of Hitchcock films. So for example, I think he did North by Northwest. I mentioned him as an inspiration. Like, ah I really love his music and the way he uses strings and then Koen just went off and started relating to the image and trying things out. He quiet quickly had this theme and then it just continued from that. So we just worked while going back and forth. We had a few versions. There were a few versions where he went like, how do you say, there were a few moments where you kind of went an octave higher or lower with the music. And then I responded to that saying I did not or did like what he was sounding. So, yeah, we just go back and forth a lot.
The urgency was something that together with this kind of sadness or feeling like, oh, it's too late or you know, the two of them. They're still hoping but it's not working.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah. In terms of collaborating, I'm interested in what you said before at the beginning. You need to be very clear about how you want the work to be. Have you ever been in a situation where you collaborated with different types of multidisciplinary artists or different types of disciplines and you were working on something that was completely different? It's a complete experiment. How do you work in an environment where you kind of don't know what you're doing? Do you have any thoughts on or reflect on that process?
Nicola Hepp: Yeah, I have. I mean, now, if I'm making a film, then I'm really in the role of the director and the initiator of the project, the filmmaker; seat, so to speak. So then there's also a need for some kind of clarity, like what am I asking you to do and what will the film before? And also because most of the time there's no or very little money involved. So I have to kind of I feel like I have to be clear, like this is the plan. This is what I will do with it. And this is this will probably be the outcome. Because I can't ask all these professional people to just go with me along the ride and not know, like, will we ever get paid. So I feel this needs for a lot of clarity because of that, also because of that situation. But I've also been in a lot of situations where you start working on something and you don't really know where it will go or you don't know what the outcome will be. And I think; I also really are really into that. I mean, I also really like just experimenting together and just seeing like what happens happens and sometimes things will come out later that you don't know at that moment that it will happen. And just to play around together and be open to the moments, I think that's the most important thing is really the people you choose. I think like. Yeah, who do you work with? And in different projects for what reason? Because for some projects it may be really important that you know, that, OK, this person can really deliver something that I need or in other projects. You want to work with somebody because they're just inspiring to you and you kind of hit it off and you can be creative together. So, yeah, I really enjoy doing both, so to speak. I think when I make a film often I have a kind of very clear moment that I feel like, oh, I have to make this. And when I feel that drive then it's also like then it's about collecting the people around me that I can make this with. That's kind of the first step that I see something in my inner eye. It's usually also that I already know who I want to be working with on the screen. So who are the dancers? That's kind of the first thing that I think about. But I also like last year, for example, I have this idea for some kind of image of a man standing. And at a certain point I was looking at this young dancer and I felt like, oh, wow, he could be that person, you know? So then we just went into the studio and we tried some things out and we were actually working with three different ideas. And then at a certain point, we both felt like, OK, well, this is this is fun. This is interesting. But we don't know where it's going at the moment. So we just kind of left it. And now suddenly during these strange covid-19 times, the idea kind of came up to the top of my mind again. And I contacted him and I was like, 'hey, do you think that your girlfriend would be willing to film you?' You know, so actually there was the whole project coming out of something that we did last summer that we at that point didn't know what it would be. And I think if it hadn't been for the situation now, it wouldn't have happened in this way because it was also like a kind of things coming together.
Melissa Ramos: Just speaking to you just the past couple ten minutes, I feel that your curiosity is like one of the major driving things that make you create and that sort of openness and thinking about what if this sort of this and you know, what resonates with you. And I'm just curious about how long have you been making dance films?Because you're a dancer and choreographer, you teach. And how did you start getting into making moving images? What brings you to go back to making more and more?
Nicola Hepp: Yeah, it's interesting because I mean, I've always been interested in film and I always loved looking at films growing up. The first as a classical dancer until about the age of 16. And then I shifted into doing modern, mostly because I felt that I wanted to portray real people somehow. I felt a need for four more realness, in a way, and at that same time, then I saw a film was the first dance film that I saw, and it was a film by the dancers of DV8, it's called Never Again by Bob Bentley. And I was just amazed, like, wow, how can you look at dance through this medium and how can you capture dance and know it was it was one of the first films I think that actually had dance in a desolate building. I mean, now we do see a lot of dance films in desolate buildings, but this was like the first or one of the first ones. And it was just so amazing to me, like how the camera could look at the dance and how you could be completely kind of enraptured in this dance performance. And you were right there. So I immediately felt drawn to to dance on camera or dance on the screen. And a few years later, when I just graduated from the dance departments here in Amsterdam, I was making my own work and I just got more and more curious about how would it be if I had video images together with live performance. So I made a few pieces with live video and sometimes also pre-recorded video, but video images that related to what was happening in the space life. So it was not like a backdrop of moving image that was, for example, like a decor kind of piece. But it was really relating, it was also the dancers that were on the screen, the dancers. They were then shown on the screen and you could see different things on the screen that you could see live, because obviously and the screen, I mean, the image was a lot closer. So I really went into a lot of close ups, for example, or like in some installation work that I've done. What was on the screen was not necessarily the same dancer that you would see live if you if you chose a certain position in space. So it kind of depended on if you were to see the young dancer or the older dancer, but then on the screen you could see the other one. So, yeah, I mean, I was really interested in just combining live image, what you were seeing in the performance with video. And that kind of captured my interest for a long time. And I still sometimes if I make live work, I do come back to that because I find it fascinating how the relationship between those two things work. It's a real kind of back and forth between where are you sending the eye of the audience, so to speak, because they obviously are free to look wherever they want if they're in a theater, but you as and make or sometimes we really want them to see a particular moment that's on the screen or a particular moment that's happening live. So then you have to be aware of what's happening with the other thing if you want them to look there. And yeah, that's interesting. But then a couple of years ago, it actually the thing was that I'd been working with my father for an installation that I made, and for some reason I'd imagined that we would go touring with this piece after I made it. But then I had my second child and it was kind of out of the running for a little while. And then I later realized this piece is actually a bit too heavy for my father to perform and it's a bit too much for him to travel around and do this. He's already in his 80s. He was in his 70s then. But then so I was thinking about like, ah, that's a real shame because I actually really wanted to still do something with him. He's a dancer also. And then around that time, I saw this open call from 60 Seconds Dance, which is a website that promoting 60 seconds dance films. And they were asking for a new round of films. And I kind of saw that open call. And then I immediately had this idea for a dance film with my father. And then I just thought, oh, wow, actually, yeah, why not? Why not make a film? Why doesn't have to be a performance video, but I'll make a dance film. So that's how it started. Then I made ECHO, which is the first film that I made, we filmed it in 2013 and it came out in 2014. And to be honest, when I was working on it, I really felt like, oh, this is actually where all my interests kind of come together and where all my skills also are combined. And this is just me. So this is what I want to do. This is what I want to create. Yeah. Ever since really I've been kind of compelled to create dance films and to put dance onto the screen. Now I'm just fascinated by how that works and how the image can speak to you and how you can reach also a lot of people that maybe don't necessarily go to see a dance performance, but might come across a dance film like just browsing the Internet. Really. Yeah, that's interesting to me.
Melissa Ramos: You said before that you love movement on screen because it translates into almost like a kinesthetic energy and that you want the viewer to, like, almost dance with the image. Could you reflect more on the term, what you mean by kinesthetic energy and by the level it affects us and how it moves us?
Nicola Hepp: So, yeah, I think I mean, I read a little bit about these mirror neurons that we have in our brains that when we look at movement, we actually kind of replicate it in our body, even though we can't see it. But our brains are kind of recognizing the movement that we see. And so there's some kind of recognition process going on, and I find that really beautiful. And I mean, there's something that I've also experienced myself during my training that you could if you look at video, for example, of a dance piece and you needed to learn that you could really just look at it and be kind of dancing internally and you kind of own; you train that quality as a dancer. But it also applies to just everyone. When you look at dance, your inner dancer is kind of dancing inside. And I find that beautiful in any case. But also on dance film, I think you can really kind of augment that in a way with how the camera is approaching a subject. So what you do with a camera can really affect whether or not you feel that kinesthetic energy a bit stronger. So, for example, if you just put the camera, if it's just a static camera and it just captures the whole scene, full body dancers, little puppets moving around at a distance, then it's much more difficult to feel the kinesthetic energy than when you're going closer with the camera and the camera's moving. The camera is almost a dancer itself. I often really feel like when I'm on a set shooting something that there's that's even kind of I could go outside and film this. You know, the dancer and the cameraman are already in a duet in a way. So there's a lot of energy flow going on when you're filming. And then also, of course, in the edit, that's how I approach it also; is the rhythm and the timing of things. When I'm sitting down to edit, then it's it also needs to make me kind of dance and move and I need to kind of feel the the movements. And sometimes I feel like, oh, that's too long. And so, yeah, I don't know, I kind of approach it really intuitively in that sense. But there's definitely a lot of moving going on. And I think that's kind of the kinesthetic energy that I talk about. I want the viewers to kind of feel some kind of drive to move as they watch a dance film that I've made.
It's important then that you work with choreographers that are that understand that process, that it's not that I'm going to register your piece and we're going to make a film that's staying exactly how it was. It's actually a new thing. But it is using the dance material and somehow capturing the essence of what was in that piece ...
Melissa Ramos: What are the other ways do you try to connect the audience with this moving image-body?
Nicola Hepp: Well, I think like I also said before, I don't always necessarily tell a real kind of traditional story with my film, but there is some kind of story there. It's not an abstract one. None of my films have been abstract movement where it's difficult to to see if it's not about kind of seeing shapes or forms. But there is always a kind of human factor so that it's always that we're looking at people and there's something that is going on with them. So that's a story in itself, I guess. And that's something that I yeah. That's just what I feel that I need to tell. So there's something about those people and. Sometimes in the relationship between them and others and sometimes just in themselves. But, yeah, I think that is something that I think catches us as a viewer because it's something we can all connect to. Yeah, human relationships and human emotion is something we're all experiencing, of course.
Melissa Ramos: I'm going to talk about metaphysics in a way. And the word metaphysics comes from the Greek word that come together. That literally means, after or before or among the study of the natural. And some of the topics they look at is like the soul, the mind and the matter, cause and effect, potential, or actuality. I'm just curious, do you think screen dance has a direct connection to the metaphysics notions?
Nicola Hepp: Well, when you put it like that, yes, I do. Actually, I think that screen does can really speak to people and can really say something and something that I also find it difficult to put words on it, because I think you don't know the things that you see when you're looking at a screen dance piece is not necessarily something that you can put words on. So that's maybe why I'm also struggling. But there's something about seeing people move that really speaks to us, I think us as people. I think we understand a lot more of body language than we maybe realize. And so dance movements can really be something that communicates through this image and because you're kind of zooming in on. I mean, not always, but as a filmmaker, you're choosing what you want to show. So you are really going for specific moments maybe or assuming into detail maybe. I mean, what they see is what you want them to see. And in that sense, I think you can really kind of focus your ideas. So, yeah, I do think that this kind of, um. Yeah, it has an effect on you. I think when you're a viewer, at least that's what I really also want. I want people to look at my films and be affected and be touched and feel something. Really.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah. When I watch your films, I feel like my body is saying, like there's this vibration that's happening in the center of my body and I'm just like, wow, it's the feeling I get. And it's like, OK, I can feel the emotion. And I kind of question what's happening from each character. And it makes me wonder what's happening without being told what what's happening, which is what I love about screen dance. It really invites us to observe, but also maybe dance as well. Or feel. I think that's the acknowledgement of the body to feel.
Nicola Hepp: Yes.
Melissa Ramos: Intersting. I'm curious about your sensitivity towards space. Could you reflect on how you generally approach space in your work and what's important for you when you express through space?
Nicola Hepp: In a lot of my work, there's a lot of physical contact and there's a lot of closeness of the characters, and I'm very interested in that. The closeness of people and how close is close and also like the space just around each other.
Melissa Ramos: In a negative space?
Nicola Hepp: Yeah, the negative space. But also, like just before you touch, like what happens just before you touch each other. So that's something that I'm really curious about. And also in teaching dance, for example, I work a lot with that. So, yeah, there's a lot of that space that's going on. But I also find it very interesting, like how do people relate to each other when they're further away? Well, in the times that we are in at the moment, we also keep the two meter or the one and a half meter distance. I feel like there's a lot of choreography going on. And, you know, when you go to buy your groceries, how to manage with each other and I'm sure there'll be a lot of work coming out of that. But yeah, I think the space I'm mostly interested in is really this kind of close space between two people and the negative space that's just around.
Melissa Ramos: Do you use abstract space as well, like in terms of imaginary space in your characters?
Nicola Hepp: Yeah, I do. I mean, I also really want people to kind of have an idea of who they are in this film, like what are they thinking about? Or it's not that I necessarily want people to draw the same conclusions, but I do want the performers to kind of have an idea of. This is this is my state of mind, I'm feeling this, so that's something that they work with a lot when we rehearse and also when we're when we're shooting, obviously.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, can I ask you about pause and stillness and how that is a major component in dance and how do you relate to pause and stillness?
Nicola Hepp: Yeah, OK, so pause and stillness I find very interesting. I don't know if it's my Swedish background. I grew up in Sweden and I moved to Holland for my education. But somehow I feel sometimes that I have a different timing than people here. So I really like slowness and stillness and pause. And I also feel that this there's a lot of that kind of emptiness in parts of my work, which I at some point when I realized that it was less in these surroundings, I felt like, oh, maybe it's something that is also related to my Swedish background, because obviously in Sweden, there's less people even. So there's more space and there's more time and more nature. And you can go out and be completely alone. And here in the Netherlands, when you go out to the forest, you're always going to meet somebody. You just never really alone. And I think that also affects the way you feel and think about pause and emptiness. For me, it's something positive. And, yeah, kind of mindspace that it creates is something that I see as a good thing. Whereas there's at the moment or maybe it's just maybe it's just me thinking this, but I feel like there's a lot of impulses happening and there's new things all the time. And pause and rest in a way is something that I in my work is very present. I kind of tend to. Go back to some more minimal things sometimes when I see other people's work, I am amazed, like, oh wow, this beautiful dance film that they made and I can be really impressed. And then I see that it's like in six different locations. And I'm like, oh, that's also possible because for me, I tend to kind of stay in one place. It kind of tends to be more like a moment in time. And it's just right there, which is also kind of pause, I think. So but it's not that I don't appreciate when other people use different locations, I think sometimes it can work beautifully, but I just find that I myself can never really imagine that so far it hasn't happened, will see (laughs).
Melissa Ramos: With your work in terms of especially TRACES, I'm not sure if you've been told this before, but I feel like I have seen this before somewhere like, you know, when you're passing by and you know, you're being kind and courtesy, not going to stare at someone. You kind of like fleetingly walk past some moment and then that's it. And that's the moment that I have. And I feel like that's sort of your film, that you just capture that space in that moment. There's like a door, but you can't enter it. But you have to walk past, which is quite beautiful, fleeting moment that you capture in that moment. Yeah.
Nicola Hepp: What you said, that this is really nice.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah. I mean, it's yeah. Its another way of seeing things.
Nicola Hepp: Yeah, what I mean a little bit with this moment in time, it's like I mean it could go either way. I think that's kind of a lot of my films is you don't have necessarily the outcome. It's not. The ending is not like set in stone. I think with TRACES, for example, you don't know these two people might stay together and maybe it will work out or maybe they won't. I think that's also in a lot of my films, the ending is ambiguous in that sense. I think that you can continue to think about it and ponder like what will happen or... And I think that's also something that I really appreciate that when people see something in my films that they think that this is the story, it doesn't always have to be the story that I think is there. But what I find is that very often the story that the people tell me is still kind of connected to the general idea or the emotion that's there or. So that's really beautiful to me. When when people actually make their own stories.
And just to play around together and be open to the moments, I think that's the most important thing is really the people you choose. Who do you work with? And in different projects for what reason?
Melissa Ramos: What's something you believe in your early artistic career, but then think differently now?
Nicola Hepp: I think early on in my career, I was very concerned about doing things well, being perfect in a sense, like being good. And I think the older I get, the more open I become in a way to just try things out and just go for it. If yeah, I think if I feel the creative kind of urge to make something, then. Of course you can kind of question it, and if you questions a lot, then there's always a reason not to do it. But I find that I'm more I'm happier if I just make things. I think that's one of the things that I approach differently these days. Yeah.
Melissa Ramos: Besides the arts, where do you look for inspiration?
Nicola Hepp: To my family and my husband and to nature. And to people in general, I think what you said before about me being curious, it's very true. I'm actually really curious about people and things in general. And I always try to put myself in other people's shoes and understand there are reasons for doing certain things. Yeah, that fascinates me, so I'd say people actually.
Melissa Ramos: What about people that interests you? What is it about them?
Nicola Hepp: Well, there's something sad about this, maybe also a little bit, but I do feel a little bit like, you can never really understand somebody else. You never really know what they've been through. What why are they acting like they do at this particular moment in time? Because it's just, it's their whole life. And you haven't been there the whole life. You've only been your own life. And so I feel that there's some kind of loneliness also. And To be honest personally, I also sometimes really feel like I can't really express myself. I struggle for to really explain, like, how do I feel or what do I want or, you know, and it's something very fascinating to me to really try to understand and to do my best to make myself heard and to have people understand me and see. I mean with a lot of people, maybe not with a lot of people, but with some people, I should say you do have this kind of. Yeah. Real connection that you feel like there's just love there between you and, you know, each other. But even there, sometimes you still have moments where you feel one way and the other person feels another way. And you can't just really; you kind of respect each other. But you don't really understand. And that's something that I find very interesting and also sometimes a little bit sad because it can be kind of a lonely. Yes, there's some kind of loneliness there. Or maybe it's just Scandinavian melancholy. (laughs)
I feel that when I make films, they don't necessarily always tell a story in a traditional sense. But there's definitely always some kind of feeling that comes out of watching my films. To kind of convey an emotion, that's really what I want to do when I make my films.
Acknowledgement of Country
Dance Cinema operates on Gadigal country. We acknowledge the Gadigal as the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation & pay our respects to Elders past & present.
Dance Cinema operates on Gadigal country. We acknowledge the Gadigal as the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation & pay our respects to Elders past & present.