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The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 10 to 17, 2022 under the motto "It all (re)starts here".
Our team of festival ambassadors and reporters brings you the dailies from the Berlin Film Festival and European Film Market and keep an eye on past editions archives. WATCH OUR VIDEO COVERAGE TRAILERS INTERVIEWS AND AMBIANCE   PHOTOS

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Berlinale Interview with "TAURUS" director: Tim Sutton



Berlin 2022

With Director Tim Sutton.


Interview by Emmanuel Itier 

Q: Why the choice of directing this film and what were your intentions with it?

Tim: First, I have always been fascinated with the lives of musicians. Often it means a tortured soul who create stuffs and struggle to exist in the world. You can go back all the way to Mozart and his struggles. It’s about the struggles, the addiction, the family, the fans. The struggle of the creative mind has always been an interest of mine. Losing people to soon who don’t fulfill their full potential is one of the saddest thing I can think of. No one had told the story about that generation of musicians. It starts with Kurt Cobain and Gus Van Sant movie, which I really liked: Last Days. But I thought we needed a movie aobut what’s going on today in 2022. I was interested with Colson Baker, alias rapper Machine Gun Kelly because he is going through some challenges himself today.


Q: Other than talking to Colson, did you do some research and talk to other musicians?


Tim: Well, I had become friend with Colson through a previous movie so I knew a little bit about him and his life. I did some research with Kurt Cobain life or other musicians who had died recently. But when I seat to start writing I often get lost in my own space. The relationship with Colson and his assistant could me be mine with my friends. I don’t do lots of research. What happens is that the script get altered when I start filming and through my conversations with Colson on a daily basis. When I direct, I divorce myself from the writer in me. The director is in charge. Even so the script might say “go to the left” the director might choose to go to the right. The collaboration with Colson was very organic and on-going during the shooting. It allows for the movie to breath and live naturally.


Q: Tell me about the casting and the choice of Colson aka Machine Gun Kelly for your lead?

Tim: I knew Colson and we built a quick trust between us. I knew he would as deep as possible with this story. If I had hired a regular actor and not also a musician, it would have been half of a movie. It’s more interesting and honest to cast a musician who plays a version of himself. The grey area between performance and reality really interests me. Maddie Hasson in the role of “Ilana” his assistant was an important casting decision. She had to have a lot of sparks. It was important that she acted more like a sister than an assistant in order to fight back. Casting Megan Fox was a necessity. At a certain point you need to have that meta feeling that complicates the narrative. And I couldn’t have casted anyone else but her.


Q: Any challenges during the shooting?


Tim: Covid put a stop on us for couple of days of production. We got shut down because of the strict protocol. Shooting in Los Angeles on a small budget was also a challenge. Colson wanted for the music to be authentic and to feel real. You had to show real craft. There is nothing worse than a film where you see the face of the pianist doing one thing and then you cut to “his hands” doing something else. We didn’t want anything like that in our film. It was, therefore, a challenge to make sure that the music lived up to this musician’s expectation. I think we did it very well.



Q: Ultimately what is this film about for you? Any message? Any cautionary tale?


Tim: It’s a deep look about the music industry for sure. And about addiction. But also, and it’s true to my heart, I think it’s about the creative process. And it’s about all the things that get in the way of the creative process. How does an artist just do his or her art? And all the things in modern society that get in the way and keep them from doing that. That’s the movie to me. The simplicity and the beauty of why we get into doing this and the things keeping us from doing the things we want to do.



Q: What does the Berlin film festival mean to you?


Tim: Berlin is one of my favorite film festivals. I was here before the shut down with my movie “Funny Face” in 2019. It’s a really fitting re-birth. Even so there is a strict covid protocol this year, and a limited capacity audience, it’s so important to do a festival where you show films in theatres. And getting the filmmakers here. It’s important to have this communal experience because this is what cinema is all about. These festivals are what keep us from just watching the algorithms; there are the antidote to only watching the Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other platforms. There here to celebrate as much the masters of cinema and the brand new- comers in the business. It’s really crucial for the survival of cinema.



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Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
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