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Hermann Nitsch - The Movie
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Hermann Nitsch The movie a documentary by Daniela Ambrosoli

Roma, November 2009

When and how did you come in contact with Nitsch’s work and why did you decide to make a documentary about it?
After casually meeting his wife Rita I became curious to know more about Nitsch as a person. I started my research on the net. Reading his biography and many other books, watching the videos of his performances and two documentaries made about him by the Austrian TV and listening to his music shocked me to the point that it was imperative for me to dig deeper into Nitsch’s personality by means of shooting a documentary. My experience in the TV business were a great help in the making of this project.

Did you ever take part in any of his performances?
Unluckily I never had the chance since I didn’t know the artist then.

What kind of man did you make out of his perfomances?
A strong man but fragile at the same time. An extraordinary and original artist who has carried out his vision since the age of 19 uncaring of the many obstacles he encountered. His untiring perseverance led him after 40 years to the realisation of his O.M.T. (Theatre of the Orgies and Mysteries). Nitsch is a generous man and he has always been very supportive of our project by opening the doors to his castle and to his soul for us.

How much time did it take you to realize this documentary? Please tell us about the various phases of the work and how you planned out the structure of the movie.
The documentary was made in 16 months, starting in summer 2008 up until the end of 2009. It was shot in Austria at castle Prinzendorf, in Vienna and Graz, in Naples, Verona and Asolo in Italy and in Cluj, Romania.
I wrote the story based first and foremost on Danielle Spera’s biography of Nitsch and on uncountable books on the artist. The movie aims to sincerely portrait Hermann Nitsch’s personality and it’s built around various interviews with the people that have been with him on his artistic and human journey. It started in June 2008 with my first visit to castle Prinzendorf, the artist’s residence. At that time I had the opportunity to meet Beppe Morra, president of the Morra Foundation with his assistant Teresa, Antonella Barina, journalist for the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, well-known art critic Achille Bonito-Oliva and Paola Marino, press agent of the Fondazione Morra.
The first stage of the shooting took place in Naples in August 2008 during the preparation of the Hermann Nitsch Museum. The second stage took place during the official opening of the Museum, in September 2008. The third stage took place in Cluj, Romania, where Nitsch was awarded the Honorary Degree by the University of Arts and Design. The fourth stage took place in October 2008 with a series of interviews with the artist in his castle at Prinzendorf and in his native neighbourhood of Jedlersdorf in Vienna, Austria. The fifth stage took place in May 2009 in Verona where we met with long time friend and collector of Nitsch’s Francesco Conz and in Asolo where we shot at the artist’s house in Monfumo. The sixth stage took place in May/June 2009 at castle Prinzendorf during the Pentecost Party and at the opening of the 56th Paint Action at the Museumszentrum Mistelbach. The seventh and last stage took place in June 2009 at Viennese Actionist Günther Brus’s house in Graz, Austria.

The editing of the documentary was done with great sensibility by Johannes Nakajima between the months of January and November 2009.