Anika Decker • Director of Love Thing

– The German director told us about his film, in which Elyas M’Barek plays a famous actor with a secret, inherited from his past, that suddenly threatens his career.

This article is in English.

The new romcom and media satire of the German director Anika Decker, Love Thing, was recently released in German theaters, courtesy of Constantin Film. The film, its third part, set in Berlin, brings together some of Germany’s most recognizable actors, such as Si ElTHEREas M’Barek and Alexandra Maria Lara in two main roles. We met Decker and asked him about his inspiration for the story and his passion for theater.

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Cineeuropa: Asa man YOUR enthusiasm to tell this story from?
Anika Decker:
I’m very interested in how the tabloid press treats people. I don’t criticize the press itself, because I have great respect for good journalism. But the relationship between people in the public eye and the tabloid press fascinated me. I’ve heard real people like the journalist played by actress Alexandra Maria Lara. He’s a cruel man, who won’t stop at anything: he checks the star’s vinegar, checks his trash, calls his friends and has spies in hotels. I am interested in the dynamics behind the business. One wrong move can have many repercussions, and there will be news about it the next day. I think it must feel terrible when you are famous and you are treated badly because of a scandal. Writing the journalist’s character was fun, and it was great that Alexandra accepted the assignment just four hours after I sent her the script. He was so enthusiastic that he immersed himself in it. For the star role, I worked with Elyas M’Barek. We always post and discuss what script scenarios are likely to occur. We realized we weren’t overdoing it. The first scene of the film’s interview was very important: we saw it as a duel situation and really enjoyed shooting it.

In a way, your movie than anot respect for indie theater.
Yes, I have a lot of respect for the independent theater scene. I work in a different domain, in mainstream theater. Over the past few years, I’ve met a lot of actors, I’ve realized how much talent you can find on the theater scene. I’m glad there are a lot of them in the movie, like Linda Poppel, Anna Thalbach and Maren Kroyman. I love the fact that they can slip between the two worlds of theater and cinema. Independent theaters struggle to find their audience, but their achievements have a special atmosphere. I hope we can support them in Germany as much as we can, because it is so important. Without culture, a country is worthless. And in the independent theater scene, it is in its purest form. Here you can see how people really feel.

This isn’t the first movie you’ve made shot in Berlin.
Berlin is the place I know. In the long run, it was very cheap and had a vibrant underground cultural scene. For me, the city feels very creative, even though it will inevitably change. But there are still some niches where people are trying to fulfill their dreams.

What a feminist film or feminist theater, do you think?
Every film or theater production that deals with the subject, I think. I think all the different directions have a right to go together. For this film, I conducted research on feminist actresses, and was particularly interested in clitoral contraception and menstruation. I think it should be resisted.

What is most important considerations for the visual aspect of the film?
I have known my cameraman for a long time. We started talking about the film before the shooting. We wanted to have aesthetics with a color concept reminiscent of the 1970s. We chose a Steadicam to get close to the characters. This is especially important when the protagonist is being chased by the press, as extras must also be placed near the camera. We wanted to recreate the feeling that the audience was watching the character’s life through a keyhole.

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