Why were you interested in luxury cruises?
The cruises you see in my film are not luxury cruises. We only shot on cruises that are affordable for middle-class people. While back in the old days the destinations and the luxury of a floating hotel room were the main attractions, today’s shipping companies surpass each other with entertainment offers and fancy interior design features. Cruises have become available to the masses. A world designed in each and every detail, where no wish shall be unfulfilled. Everything is digitally recorded and posted, as if the image of the experience was at least as important as the experience itself. It seems to me that on a cruise holiday, all the aspects of our consumer society are assembled. It is a portrait of our society in a confined space, a microcosm where the opposites of our times collide: wealth and poverty, mass and loneliness, nature and artificiality, culture and commerce.
How did you pick out the one during which you wanted to shoot? Did it sometimes land? Where? And how long did the shooting last?
In the movie you can see two different cruises – one in the Mediterranean and one in the Caribbean Sea. Each of the trips was one week long and they had some land excursions. But for my film it was not important where those cruises were going to, but I wanted to focus on the phenomenon of mass tourism on board, an artificial world of constant entertainment.
Was the robot already aboard or did you add it?
Hahaha. No, we didn’t add anything in the pictures. It’s all observation, no interfering, nothing fake. Except one thing: all the sound and the music were made afterwards in the studio by a sound designer and a composer.
Why did you want to show the large-scale picture instead of a close-up shot on a few members during their trip?
It was important for me to show the behaviour of the mass, not the single individual. This represents all of us, our society.
Did you select the entertainment activities you wanted to show or was that all that was offered?
There was much more going on, of course, but I had to make decisions of what to put in the film. In the editing process I had to kill a lot of other darlings…
Would you say that the short film format has given you any particular freedom?
Yes. I love that format, because I could try out things like working without dialogue, editing with large-scale shots, working with impressions rather than a clear storyline. I think this way of editing wouldn’t have been possible making a feature.