Last week saw the UK theatrical release of Austrian actor Karl Markovics' debut ﬁlm Breathing (2011) (read our film of the week review here). The film follows Roman Kogler (Thomas Schubert), a nineteen year old boy who has spent the last five years in a juvenile detention centre, until a job opportunity working in a morgue slowly begins to help Roman find his way back towards the real world. CineVue recently caught up with Markovics in Central London to chat about his ﬁrst excursion into directing and how he came to ﬁnd himself sitting behind the camera after spending so long in front of it.
Patrick Gamble: I'm sure this is a question you're probably tired of hearing so let's get it out of the way. Why did you decide to move from acting to directing?
Karl Markovics: I was thinking about it for a long time but it took me a while to come up with the courage. However, I never thought the stories I was writing were ever strong enough for a play or a screenplay. At the end it was my wife who encouraged me to at least ﬁnish one story and then throw it away - not throw it away before I've ﬁnished with it. I showed Breathing to her and she encouraged me to continue with it.
PG: So for you what were the main differences between the creative process of preparing for a role to perform and directing?
KM: It was a different challenge but there weren't any surprises as it wasn't completely new to me as I was always thinking that one day I would do more than just acting. So when on the movie set I would be watching what the director does, what the director of photography would be doing and everyone else. When I started I began in an avant-garde mime theatre company in Vienna in the early eighties. It was great because as a mime theatre you could travel around Europe with out any restrictions. We did everything from helping with the costumes to unloading the truck so I was used to having to know everything which was going on - I was constantly fascinated with the whole process.