Phillip Kaminiak. 

April 2020

Berlin and Mexico City-based filmmaker Phillip Kaminiak, directs and films CASS & LEX, a visual poem that tells a story about the beauty and horror of love. Influences, experiences and redirecting your career directly from his own words. 

My initial inspiration for any of my artistic desire and development was definitely music. I played in bands when I was a teenager. Music meant all to me and I spent all my time playing or listening to music, Music brought me to art, when I was a teenager. I found a photobook by Charles Peterson, "The Grunge photographer“, who has documented all of the origin and development of Seattle’s music scene in the early 90s. His photography, which captured the vibrancy of the zeitgeist of his time, inspired me incredibly to use my own photo camera and try to do the same in my small hometown. This experience started to make look  at the world with different eyes. 

Music brought me to photography, and photography brought me to film. When I decided to skip my music life, I moved to Berlin which was then the Mecca of cinema in Germany. All I loved about music or playing in a band, the common will to make something great together was found in the perfect machinery of a film production. I was fascinated about filmmaking and its dynamics and I became a filmmaker myself. 

"I had my experiences in what it means to be a young human in a big city".

Apart from that, I had my experiences in what it means to be a young human in a big city: casual encounters, once in lifetime experiences, time of your life moments and the biggest inspirations that you can think of, up to this day. The topic of the relationship of a loving couple always fascinated me, still this specific topic seems to be the most reflected one in any narrative form. 

"Music brought me to photography, and photography brought me to film".

After years of work as a cinematographer on feature films, music videos and commercials, one day I felt the urgency to do a personal project. I wanted something to direct and shoot myself. Whithout much planning or thinking, I called my friend Kiani Del Valle, who is a choreographer, and asked her whether she would collaborate on a project like that and choreograph something for me. I can't remember why I thought of Cassandre Clerc, but I asked her whether she and her boyfriend Johannes Lex (Cass&Lex) would like to be part of such an (almost improvised) adventure.

The idea was to make a semi documentary , dance film which reflected their relationship and lead to a dance choreography which symbolizes their feelings about and towards each other. After Kiani Del Valle had worked with both of them on the dance performance, we started to shoot for around ten days (very short and spontaneous days) without a script and super small team only consisting of friends willing to help me out an afternoon here and there. All scenes are improvised and somehow a real life excerpt of their real daily life. What came out is a visual poem that tells a story about the beauty and horror of love.

CASS & LEX. "Visual poem that tells a story about the beauty and horror of love".

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