Anja Kirschner, 2016
149 mins, Format: DCP / HD video
Moderation, set in Egypt, Greece and Italy, revolves around a female horror director (Maya Lubinsky) and a screenwriter (Anna De Filippi), whose latest collaboration is haunted by encounters with its ‘raw material’ and the escalation of conflicting desires.
Faced with the disintegration of their project, the director becomes more and more drawn into conversations with the actors she has cast (Aida El Kashef, Michele Valley and Giovanni Lombardo Radice), which reflect on the way horror traverses the affective and material realities of their lives on and off screen.
Much of the film is shot handheld, combining low-fi special effects with HD camcorder, Skype and mobile phone footage in order to heighten the sense of immediacy and interplay between fictional, factual and genre elements.
In line with certain tendencies in horror cinema from cold-war Europe, Infitah-era Egypt and post-junta Greece, lived experience is neither naturalistically represented nor is it sublimated by recourse to the irrational. Rather, the ‘irrational’ is used to externalise and to de-subjectify what ‘haunts’ the protagonists, in order to reground the possibility of rational agency operating at it’s limits.
Moderation was commissioned by the curator Nadja Argyropoulou for Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative (GR), co-produced by Beirut (EG) and Nomas Foundation (IT) and supported by the Elephant Trust (UK) and the Greek Film Centre (GR).