Our film critic from U-R-FKD magazine flew to lake Geneva in Switizerland to interview legendary film producer, writer, actor and director Werner Fassbinder about his soon to be released film "The Fly". They met at his mansion overlooking the lake. Werner lounged on a deck chair by the pool and stared at the sky. He spoke slowly as is his wont and with great gravitas. Here is a transcript.
Q: So what is the fly about?
F: It is about a fly.
Q: A fly?
F: It is based on Kafka's great novel but I have added some things to it.
Q: Such as?
F: I make it clear that the fly had a better sex life when he was a fly than when he became a human.
Q: That takes some getting when you consider his consort in the film is Jessica Alba.
F: But you did not meet Missus Fly? In the film Missus Fly is sexier. We modeled her on Dolly Parton. (Yawning). I hate the idea that two humans can find salvation in each other.
Q: I see.
F: The film is a very spiritual film, perhaps the most spiritual film I have ever made. Would you like a cracker?
Q: No... I....
F: With cheese? This humble little biscuit, you know, makes the strangest sound when you break it. And you know it can never be mended again. And with cheese you have a duality of seduction between soft and hard that brings to your attention ideas that you never had before. I keep them under my pillow. I prefer Irish cheeses...
F: No cheeses... because I can detect the troubled past of that country in their cheeses. You may have noticed that this little cracker features largely in my film. In the opening scene the fly who later becomes a famous Jewish lawyer in Hollywood is dining on a fragment of a cracker.
Q: Yes, Brad does a wonderful job with that. What inspired you to make it?
F: I was on a train in Australia and a fly flew into my cabin as I embarked on the machine; and seven hours later, in all that heat and humidity, it was still buzzing around my head. I tried it shirk it off... but it kept coming back again and again; until I could bear it no longer. It became for me, in that time, a symbol of attachment. All my life, it seems I have been pursued by this very fly with its gleaming wings. Its level of persistence had a spiritual dimension to it and I could hear my entire life in its endless, futile buzzing. We struck up what I consider to be a romantic relationship. It seemed to me in those hours, that the fly actually knew who I was and could read my deepest thoughts. Also, I saw clearly that motion is what the fly is all about. Even when not flying it cannot stay still. So, I understood immediately that Franz Kafka must have had the same experience as myself that gave rise to his masterpiece. Are you sure you won't have a cracker?
Q: And I thought you had just been inspired here at you pool one boring day... when a fly unexpectedly landed on your cracker. You mentioned the spiritual element....
F: Yes, when death comes the fly is there. The fly never leaves us. It has a connection with death. Where there is shit there are flies.
Q: Which brings us to the unexpected ending of the film.
F: Yes. The dreadful accident. As the president of the United States is driving his golfing cart, steering with his left hand and eating a cracker with his right... a fly lands on his nose and, distracted, whether by the swimming pool in the distance or the fly we must leave the audience to consider as he is fixated on both... he kills himself by crashing into a tree and breaking his neck. Thus, the little fly becomes an agent in the destiny of the human race.
Q: We are talking genius here aren't we Werner? They say it will win the Palme D'Or at next years Cannes Film Festival.
F: Well, that remains to be seen. We will have to see what the Freemasons make of it. The beetle, as you know, is their insect. Ask anyone in Hollywood.... or Liverpool.