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IN HIS OWN WORDS | Tom Tykwer Shares a Scene From "Three"

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire September 15, 2011 at 1:28AM

Below director Tom Tykwer ("Run, Lola, Run") shares an exclusive scene from his sexy romantic drama "Three." Strand Releasing is opening the Berlin-set film this Friday, September 16 in limited release.
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Below director Tom Tykwer ("Run, Lola, Run") shares an exclusive scene from his sexy romantic drama "Three." Strand Releasing is opening the Berlin-set film this Friday, September 16 in limited release.

"Three" portrays a woman and two men entangled in a passion triangle that inspires them to expand their concepts of relationships and rethink common rules of partnership.

This particular sequence (which is a centerpiece of the film) represents our attempt to examine the synchronicity of life’s contradictions. Hanna and Simon get married just as their desires have found a surprisingly different new object in Adam, a man they encounter separately at the same time – and with whom they both fall in love.


As they are a certain kind of western-postmodern-middle-class people at that junction between "young" and "old," they are at home in a daily life patchwork of media, work, sex and cultural activity, and it’s all intertwined. We shot a lot of footage around these topics to create a multi-layered sequence that circles around concepts of partnership and "togetherness" while integrating the contradictions of our desires versus our wishes. We wanted contemporary social theory to be part of the puzzle as much as the impact of longing, the power of flesh. We tried to be always on the move with the camera and create a vibrant, constant flow of events that expresses today’s people’s ability to integrate many layers of experience in one period of our lifetime. Modern media has taught us how to switch our minds and hearts quickly from one subject (or object) to another, and we were looking for an adequate narrative shape here.

Working with the actors on this required a lot of upfront conversation as many of the snippets we see in this montage imply a before and after, a progression into a discussion, a situation or a sexual encounter - all of which we never filmed. We only filmed these fragments, naturally longer, more extensive ones, but always being aware that what we want to capture is not related to psychological accuracy but rather a representation of that particular sense of living in a randomly fragmented collection of moments.

In the editing, the challenge was to have the audience go with that flow, enjoy all the overlaps, and at the same time still be able to focus on information or thoughts that the characters share with us. The moving multi-split-screen method helped to enhance the impression of people being at ease with the synchronicity of diverse experience. The music for this sequence was composed at an early stage and helped us to find the right rhythm and shape for it.

This article is related to: Interviews, Video: In Their Own Words, Three (Drei)