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Oct 19

Dark Hearts Director Rudolf Buitendach On Film & Inspiration

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Frost went along to the world premier of Dark Hearts at the 2012 Raindance Film Festival. We had lots of fun and really enjoyed the film. Here is our interview with the film’s director, Rudolf.

Tell us about Dark Hearts

Dark Hearts is on one level a neo-noir, a film that gives a voice to the dark side – on another it is a film about passion and obsession and the thin line in-between. How some of us will give anything for our art,

Dark Hearts is an impressive first film. Are you happy with the finished film?

I find it very hard to watch anything I’ve done objectively, but thanks.


Dark Hearts reminded me of a film noir. Can you tell us about the general look and feel you were going for?

Yes, as mentioned above I consider it a neo-noir. I based the film’s palette on the rust and decay of Downtown LA’s art district. With the help of Travis Zariwny, a great production designer, Kees Van Oostrum a great DP and Suzanne Barnes, a great costume designer we wanted the ‘mise en scene’ to be portraits in themselves. I think we succeeded quite well in places, despite our modest budget.

Dark Hearts is your first feature film. Was it scary making the leap?

It wasn’t scary at all as I had done quite a few shorts at this point, I just wished I had a bit more time to enjoy losing my ‘feature virginity’

Tells us a bit about you. How did you get into film?

I was studying law when I saw a film that changed my life, Wim Wenders’ Wings Of Desire. I finally knew what I wanted to do with my life and enrolled in film school, I was hooked for life.

What is the hardest thing about directing films?

Everyone with a TV and a Facebook account fancies themselves a critic and no matter how hard you try to be original, someone will always try and rain on your parade

How was the process of financing?

It was very tough and in true indie style we didn’t have an official green light even days before the filming was about to commence. But I was very lucky that I had a brave producer Jack Bowyer who believed in me when push came to shove.

How did you choose the actors?

I had wonderful casting agents Lisa Essary and Heidi Levitt who brought most of the actors to audition and I picked them from there, apart from Lucas Till who came through a brilliant agent Larry Shapiro.

You had quite a short shooting schedule. Do you think that was a help or a hindrance?

It was neither, just a whirlwind.

Who is your inspiration?

I have many, starting with Luis Bunuel, the surrealist painters, the symbolists up to modern filmmakers like Park Chan Wook, Lynch, Gilliam, Cronenberg, Greenaway and Roy Andersson.

The film has an amazing score. Who chose the music?

I did, I’m lucky in that a lot of the artists were my friends. I also had help from a musical supervisor extraordinaire Bruce Lampcov.

What is next for you?

I am in post on my second feature ‘Where The Road Runs Out’ starring Isaach De Bankole, with another 2 scripts ready to roll, any financiers out there?