It’s turning out to be a pretty good year for unexpected international co-productions — check out the MMP ep on the superb Israeli/Australian stop-motion animated film $9.99 if you don’t believe me. Now Germany and Taiwan have joined forces, not for the exquisitely designed yet affordable home entertainment system you might expect, but for German director Monika Treut’s mystery/fantasy/romantic hybrid, GHOSTED.
Over the years, Treut has built a reputation for work that dared to venture into the more esoteric realms of human sexuality. Her SEDUCTION: THE CRUEL WOMAN was based on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs, while GENDERNAUTS was a documentary that focused on people who challenged conventional notions of sexual identity. But with GHOSTED, she backs away from the cutting edge for a more conventional love story — albeit one from a lesbian perspective — about a German artist (Inga Busch), her grief over a lost lover (Ke Huan-Ru), and how an encounter with a Taiwanese journalist (Ting-Ting Hu) may be more than just two people reaching out to each other in the tangible world. Filming on-location in both Hamburg and Taipei, and tapping her knowledge of the international art scene and Taiwanese spirituality, Treut uses the rawness of independent production to create a tale of cross-cultural misunderstandings, tragic loss, and the tentative hope that — maybe, possibly — some loves are strong enough to extend beyond the grave. (She also offers up some beautifully sensuous scenes of women making love, which is never a bad thing.)
Treut took a pause in her globe-hopping to speak to us by phone from Germany. Click the player below to hear the interview: