Anja Kirschner, 2016
149 mins, Format: DCP / HD video
Moderation, set in Egypt, Greece and Italy, revolves around a female horror director and a screenwriter, 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, who 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 de-subjectify what haunts the protagonists, and to drive 'rational' agency to its 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).
66th Berlinale, Forum Expanded (world premiere)
Lenbachhaus in cooperation with DOK.fest, Munich
60th BFI London Film Festival, Experimenta
57th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Fast Forward
Glasgow Film Festival 2017, Crossing the Line