7/1/08

Meeting Marcel Schlutt

The plane started to land. I looked at Berlin by the window. I recognized the German organization, colors, energy. I have missed it so much. Tears came in my eyes. Even this ugly antenna tower on Alexanderplatz made me shiver, it's so German. I smiled. I scrutinized every details.

I arrived in Berlin. I have not slept yet. I was lost. I could not understand anything. Everything had changed. I kept on walking, crisscrossing the town, going into buildings, discovering the station, the Hauptbahnhof, following the river Spree, walking along the line that recalls the demarcation of the wall, going into the Reichstag, watching Berlin from the roof, going to Galeries Lafayette to see the proposal of Jean Nouvel, getting lost in the desolate neighborhoods of the former east Berlin. There is work in progress everywhere. Usually, work in a city is unbearable, there that is exciting. You wonder what they are going to build up, what kind of audacity, of surprising idea they are going to make up. This is thrilling.

I absorbed all the energy of this city. I was hungry.

I stopped in Kreuzberg. I got a break. It was impossible not to stop. The sun, the blossoming lime-trees, which spread their smell throughout the city... Life is sweet in Berlin. Exciting, dynamic and yet so gentle.

I took the road. I had many things to do, people to meet... I walked along the canal; I looked at all those people lazing on the grass. I smiled.

I spent the 2nd day riding a bike. Then in the evening, I met Marcel Schlutt in Prenzlauer Berg. He was already there. He saw me arriving. A frank smile ate his face. "Guten Abend".

I sat down. I was about to tell my project for one hour, I visualized this time before me, I took a good breath ... but he had already heard it from a friend, I did not have much to say that he was already up to work with me.

I looked at him. He was moving as he seemed to be on the film by Bruce LaBruce. Simple, sweet, smiling. I listened to his English, fluent, barely hesitant, with a colloquial vocabulary. He was comfortable with his body, his sexuality, without being focused on it. That was good. I don't want to trap or force an actor for my film and I don't want to face moral issues which were raised more than 40 years ago.

Then I looked how he dealt with stuff: I saw he was very careful about what he said. He chose among everything he had to say what could awaken my desire and what could make him sound trustworthy. This was subtle enough not to be too obvious. He was rather trying to convince me to choose him for the film, than speaking that much about him. We spoke like that for several hours. I was tired. I did not say many things. I listened. Sometimes, I couldn't listen anymore, I happened to space out. At other times, we laughed, we had fun.

He's a straight to the point guy. I think that's how he deals with stuff, tenacious, confident enough, simple. He does not pay much attention to his fears. And I guess he never complains.

We both had things to do. It was late. Time went really fast. We left it at that point: "See you soon".

I ended my trip to Berlin. I did a few things. Went there, saw that person, etc... I looked at the program of the Schaubühne, but I don't like much the work of the choreographer which was scheduled at this time. I discovered a new trendy club. I didn't stick around a long time. I walked in the streets of Berlin. I looked at the avenues where the Communist elite used to live. It amused me how much the communist and the american architectures have in common.

I arrived in a square I finally recognized. All my memories of Berlin came back at last. I was moved and excited.

I came back to the hotel. I remembered that the Germans always provide a Bible somewhere in the hotel rooms. I sought. I found needles and thread to sew, a moisturizer for the body, chocolate bars, candies under the pillow, a bottle of water, the key of the bike the hotel lent me, a tissue to clean the shoes, but no bible ... Had the Germans changed to that extent? I opened the drawer in the bedside table: it was there, in all languages. I guess there are people who read a passage before falling asleep, this works like fairy tales, it is the same. I smiled.

And then I took the plane to leave.

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