INTERVIEW: Veit Helmer, German Wunderkind, Travels with "Tuvulu"
by Bryan Wendorf
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Bryan Wendorf interviewed “Tuvulu” director Veit Helmer during the 2000 Slamdance Film Festival, the film is now playing in New York and Los Angeles.]
“Tuvulu,” the debut feature from German director Veit Helmer, is a
poetic fable about an agoraphobic who dreams of leaving his father’s
dilapidated public swimming pool, and journeying to a tropical island
paradise. Winner of the Slamdance Jury Prize for best cinematography
(and garnering additional awards at international fests from Flanders to
Hof), the film is told almost entirely through
visuals. Veit Helmer has been directing since he was 14, and his short
films including “The Window Washer” and “Surprise!” have earned him more
than fifty international awards.
“Tuvulu” stars French Next Wave actor Denis Lavant (from Claire Denis’
“Beau Travail” and Leos Carax’s “Lovers on the Bridge”) and old-guard
thespian Philippe Clay (Jean Renoir’s “French Cancan”) and is currently
screening at the Rotterdam Film Festival. Next week, it will go onto the
Berlin Film Festival’s Forum section.