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6 May 2005

marco kreuzpaintner

Marco Kreuzpaintner, 28-year-old German director of gay coming-of-age comedy Summer Storm, tells Fridae more about how his hit movie is autobiographical and his new Hollywood project.

æ: ASOL (Age, Sex, Occupation, Location)
Marco: 28, male, director, Berlin, Germany

German director Marco Kreuzpaintner and screenshots of his gay coming-of-age comedy Summer Storm.
æ: What's your "look"?
Marco: Sporty and I try to dress not too pretentious, but special, not too mainstream.

æ: Summer Storm is a coming-of-age story of a 18-year-old boy who realises he might be gay as he finds himself attracted to his best friend who is on the same rowing team. As the director and co-writer, what inspired you and would you say the film is autobiographical in any way?
Marco: The movie is inspired by my own coming out. A lot of details are autobiographical, for example, the name of Tobi's love interest Achim is the name of my best friend whom I felt in love with. I also was in a rowing team. But what makes the movie really autobiographical for me is the feeling I made it with. I tried to tell the story as authentic as possible the way I felt when I was coming-out.

æ: Was there any significance is selecting a rowing competition and boat camp as the backdrop of the film?
Marco: Rowing is a very physical sport. It's the perfect metaphor for the situation Tobi is in - out of sync and so not anymore in the center of the team. That is a shock for him, but then he discovers, that it can be a quality to work in another rhythm.

æ: How did the German audience and others respond to the film?
Marco: They loved the film, especially for the gay and lesbian audience, it was quite a success that a movie like Summer Storm was distributed that big in Europe and that a big straight audience watched it. Gays and straight people could see the movie together and understand the coming-out of Tobi and the difficult time of finding yourself. Gays felt themselves understood by the straight audience.

æ: The film also features an all-queer team of athletic and attractive rowers who set up camp right next to the best friends. Is there an all-gay rowing team in Germany? How does the presence of the team affect the two boys?

Marco: We have a lot of all-queer teams in Germany, so as a rowing team in Berlin. They call themselves queerschlag like in the movie, means queerbeat. I think Tobi and Achim - the two main characters - are affected by the very self-confident way the gay guys act. It seems very normal to them to be gay and that was important for me. That the audience can laugh with the gays and not about them.

æ: What are you currently occupied with?
Marco: My first Hollywood picture called The Girls Next Door, written by Jos Rivera, who wrote The Motocycle Diaries and produced by Roland Emmerich, the director of Independence Day and Day After Tomorrow. It's a movie about sex slavery. Young kids getting kidnapped in Mexico and Russia and sold in the US.

æ: What is your earliest childhood memory?
Marco: My brother and I playing in the sand at a playground not too far away from my parents' house.

æ: What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Marco: That summer storm helped and entertained a lot of young people all over the world.

æ: If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
Marco: Nothing.

æ: How are you misunderstood?
Marco: I believe in a better world. That does not mean, that I am not a fighter.

æ: How do you spend your Sundays?
Marco: With a long stay in a bath tub and I love long walks in the park.

æ: Tell us one of your fantasies?
Marco: I would love to not live in an apartment, but every day in another place of the world. I would not have more then one suitcase, where everything, what's important to me is in it.

æ: What was the most important thing that happened to you in the last 12 months?
Marco: The divorce from my husband and that I met Roland Emmerich as a good new friend.

æ: What do you think is important in a relationship?
Marco: Independence, intelligence, understanding and that both partners are on the same level. If one of the two is stronger - in an emotional, financial or intellectual way, this always turns out as a problem, if both are not smart enough to make themselves the more weak person.

æ: What (or who) turns you on?
Marco: Rufus Wainwright, Johnny Depp, and my boyfriend.

æ: What is your vision for the gay community?
Marco: That gay life is so natural, that we don't need a community anymore. Then we are community with anybody else.

æ: Tell us about a cause that you support?
Marco: I support my friends and the green party in Germany; I want children to be able to grow up in a healthy environment.

æ: Who would your dream date be if you were straight for a day?
Marco: Winona Ryder.

æ: Tell us something even your mother doesn't know.
Marco: I can't - my mother reads all the articles!

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