Jirka ZettNachmittag
an Angela Schanelec Film

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AFTERNOON by Angela Schanelec

from: Anton Chekhov, On Theatre “The hero can either marry or shoot himself. There is no other way out.” 

The main characters of Chekhov’s The Seagull, today, here, on three lovely, terrible summer afternoons.                            

Director’s Statement
Afternoon was written in reference to The Seagull. There was the play, or what the play meant to me, what it became in my memory. The mother, the son, the older brother. The girl. The lover. The house, the lake and the summer. In Chekhov more than two years pass, but I felt that to be able grasp it at all I needed to give myself a framework: a single afternoon, hence the title. In the end it went quickly, three days in summer, the end of a family. I mainly thought about the relationship
between mother and son, here a variety or deviancy of love that runs at cross purposes into nothingness and personal ruin. And the unutterable sense of guilt that arises from it. The girl, Konstantin’s girlfriend, was at first more of a sideline figure, but she became more and more important, because it is apparently impossible to do without hope. I just let her speak, and it was curious to watch her talking herself out and to
see the effect this had.  I believe that in our society people come about
through others. We come about through the mirror of the Other, and depending on who this is we become beautiful or ugly. We rely on this Other, we depend on his gaze, her hand.