The dynamic filmmaker Mihály Schwechtje shares his award-winning film on Daazo. The critically acclaimed work, entitled Cold Grove tells the story of two young boys are struggling every day to earn enough. For living they collect garbage from the country road what they try to resell. But there is someone, the Pilot Hat man who does the same and can live from it better. In this misery, the only way to survive is avoiding mistakes and staying disciplined. Togetherness keeps the boys alive. The younger guy, Robi is a dreamer, he has an instable personality. His unreliability drifts them in a fatal situation.
What was the biggest difficulty while writing/directing Cold Grove?
A shooting with children is always complicated. I have auditioned two kids who had no previous experience at all in acting. That’s why a special preparation was necessary for the actors. Than, the technical part was also difficult. We were shooting with a super 8 camera. It’s very complicated, because there is no control monitor, and the handy camera is note made for looking into the camera, so I was practically blind. When You work with a super 8 camera, the focus is a real issue during one sequence. The material is really sensitive, lightening is very complicated at late night shootings. At the same time it was cold, wintertime, a lot of exteriors… so a lot of difficulties. There is one sequence when Roland had to fall into the cold stream. By chance he has been playing water‐polo, so he was used to cold water because of the winter training programs.
What do you hope the audience take from it?
This short was made when the first homeless people started living in the woods of Budapest’s suburbs. They have practically constructed small villages from useless things, boards, carton papers. This phenomenon was for the first time shown in my film, and now it’s again in the news, because the local authorities ordered to build off and destroy these dumps. This is brutal and is intolerable. This environment makes at the first image clear, that this is not an entertaining film. I hoped that the audience will be touched by the dramatic side of this life situation, which is presented in the film.
Your channel introduces your work for lovers of short film. Talk a little bit about some of your previous films.
Films you can watch on my channel are my works from the years of my studies. One of them I made before entering the University of Film (Buffet with two windows). There are three ones I made outside of the school at different film studios: (The Apple, Cold Grove, Praline) and there are two final‐exam films. (Vortex, Powdered Sugar) Powdered Sugar was my diploma work.
From following your channel, it’s clear you’re cold blooded. What would you say is your signature as a director?
I am more or less linked by a personal story to all of my films. In fact, these films describe different ambiances. They talk about things which made me busy at those times, or the reflect about things which happened to me. It was a period with a lot of chance, because I could make a film every year, once I did even two. But every single author film make sense if the audience is also touched by these thoughts. If it is only a film about my life and remains a private story it is a problem. It’s not me who has to be important for the audience. I have to make the stories which are important for me to be important for the public as well.
What’s your favorite trend in the short film world right now?
For me trends are only marketing and distribution categories. As a spectator I only care about films which can have an effect on me. The good films will remain in people’s memory even without the hype or the trend which were attached to them.They should be important as singular works.
What do you think makes a video go viral? Do you have any favourite?
Unfortunately I have a lot of bad experiences with it. The most of the time, videos which go viral match a sick humour or show sexual content, cute babies or puppies.The worst type of these, when you are supposed to laugh on other’s miserable life events. But from the last month there is one Hungarian video which goes against all of these things, and it’s pleasant. It’s smart, made with a good taste. The video refers to this annoying superficiality I have just mentioned. And it could cross over the whole world during one week. This is Boglárka Csemer’s Parfume song and its video made by the duo of Bálint Nagy and Nándor Lőrincz.
What is one tool you can’t live without?
The electronic cherry stone remover.
What inspires you outside of film? Have you been influenced by specific artists?
There are a lot of inspiring people who make beautiful works I like a lot, but it’s pretty hard to say who had directly inspired my films. Recently,I am really interested in the fact that cinema is much more conservative as other artistic branches. There were a lot of tries from avantgarde to realistic documentary, but these things have never ended in something irreversible. Cinema has always went back to safe narrative structures and patterns. Just look at the contemporary photography or visual paintings. They compose their works in a real liberty, not like we do in cinema. Like Edward Hopper, who is not even representing the most modern art. He leaves such a huge headroom over the persons which would be a crucial outrage in film. Yet, with this visual tool he can really express a powerful image of loneliness… Or there is John Cage or earlier Béla Bartók. After them it was not possible anymore to compose those previous musics. But for example after Godard everything went back to the same routine. People easily acclaim boring conservative films like The King’s speech and treat them as they were new attractions. Although the actors were photographed in a very conservative way in that film. Cinema can not mean those simple images with the actors on it. So briefly I got my inspiration from those who create autonomous artworks, who find their formats because it is coming from their content.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am fortunately involved in several projects. I am working on a fictional documentary feature which will be about teenagers of nowadays. About their offline and online life, about repression and aggression. In the same time I also write a feature, by coincidence the protagonists are also teenagers, but the story and the way it is told are very different. It’s a genre movie mixed up with real life moments.