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  • AutorenbildLars Henriks

New podcast: Mysterium Pictorum!

We have a new podcast format. In English, this time, so it appears on the "Lars Henriks International" channel on the podcasting app of your choosing!

The podcast is called "Mysterium Pictorum" and we watch a random, obscure movie every week and talk about it. The first episode is about "The Color of Pomegranates" by Sergei Parajanov. It's an Armenian arthouse film that challenged us in more than one way.

Listen now:

... or anywhere else, really.

This podcast is special for its background story.

In 2017, Nisan and I were terribly annoyed by Hamburg and Germany in general. Germans hate independent filmmakers and we hate Germans back.

At that point, we were both kind of settled with sort-of-but-not-too-shitty jobs adjacent to acting. Nisan was touring schools every morning with an educational theater play about eating disorders, I was providing audio commentary for live TV shows. We were about to get trapped. In our middle 20's, making comfortable money with jobs similar to what we had planned on doing. That's a dangerous situation into which I have seen countless friends disappear. Of course, those bearable day jobs weren't making us happy, but they were keeping us from pursuing making our own movies with the necessary life-or-death vigor. So we listened to Joey from Friends, when he told Rachel about "The Fear": In order to push yourself to doing everything possible to get your dream job, you should quit your day job, to be really afraid and thus work like crazy.

It is a questionable thing to take life advice from a sitcom character who is portrayed as the doofus, but it kind of worked out for us.

We moved to Spain. Not, that there was anything waiting for us in Spain. We didn't even speak Spanish. I had never been to Spain before. But we wanted to live at the beach, far away from rainy Hamburg. So we did.

To make money, we still had to work in Germany. But the jobs we took were filmmaking jobs. First, we shot the second season of our web series "The Acting Students". Then, Nisan got cast in a big play in Berlin that eventually got an award as Best Show Of The Year in Germany, later, so she was gone for three months, while I was writing our next big project (F60 Kamikaze, the series that later went on to completely wreck us).

Those were weird days in complete isolation for me. Yes, I did it before it was cool. Nisan was gone for three months, and I was sitting in our flat right at the beach, in a tourist district near Malaga. There wasn't really anything besides German and British tourists outside (Germans! Just the kind of people I had tried to get away from!). Restaurants and bars were all geared towards that demographic, so they were incredibly, unbelievably terrible. I spent most of my days in my flat, in the tiny library across the street, at a solitary, hidden spot at the beach or in the streets, befriending a gang of street cats. At the time, I thought I was kind of pathetic, but by now I think back on it as a pretty tight lockdown set up. I miss cats.

One day, when I went exploring the neighborhood again, I stumbled across something interesting. By the beach, at the end of a row of teeerrible beach bars (one of them, called "Safari", had the most racist cartoon of a black cannibal with bones in their hair cooking a white colonizer on their menu. Of course it was a German-owned business.) there was a tunnel going underground. I went inside and found a whole, literal underground compartment of the town. It was huge! Many store fronts, shops, bars, a real labyrinth. It was also completely abandoned. By the looks of it, this had been an area where punk shops and alternative clubs had catered to a much more interesting crowd than was occupying the beach right now. What might have happened? Why have they all gone away? The only place left open was a black metal themed bar, but it looked really boring. Two guys in leather jackets playing pool whilst listening to Mayhem. No fun at all.

The area fascinated me and I went exploring many days in a row - But I never found anything actually interesting. Until one day I came across a USB flash drive. Being bored out of my mind, I ignored the obvious danger of the drive containing a virus or something and plugged it into my laptop that night. It was full of (obviously torrented - Which is legal in Spain) obscure movies. From arthouse to grindhouse. I was excited! This was exactly up my alley!

The next day, I got offered to write and direct the feature film that became "Performaniax", so I never really got around to watching any of those films.

Now, in isolation again, I have decided that it's time to watch all the movies on the drive, one movie a week, together with Nisan and Yarin, a friend from Turkey, and discuss them in this podcast.

I hope you'll have fun listening to it! Send us your feedback or leave a review on iTunes! We'll be THRILLED to hear from you!

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