It took Rainer Sarnet more than a decade to put his dream project into motion. Before the end of the year though, „Rehepapp“ will finally begin shooting. What a relief it must be for the 42 year old filmmaker and Fassbinder-admirer, who is best known for his Dostoyevsky adaption of „The Idiot“ (2011). Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by fantasy and children book author Andrus Kivirähk, this Estonian / Dutch / Polish co-production was first heard of in 2005, but only to vanish in oblivion – or pre-production hell, if you will. Now the film is back on track with Dieter Laser starring as „The Baron“, a German manor lord.
As the actor told us exclusively, shooting will take place later next month in Estonia. Laser, who is internationally best known for portraying two notorious villains in „The Human Centipede“-trilogy, joined the film about a year ago and is „now very glad that this precious project finally can be realized.“ Officially described as „a mixture of magic, black humour and romantic love“, the independent feature is said to combine Estonian pagan and European Christian mythologies. Sarnet, just like Laser, has his roots in theatre and directed plays by the likes of Stanislaw Przybyszewski, Maxim Gorky and Elfriede Jelinek.
The story of „Jesus’ Blood and Red Currants“ (international working title) sounds like the lovechild of Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton: Werewolves, spirits and the plague are haunting a pagan Estonian village where surviving the cold, dark winter is the biggest problem. Assisted by the Kratts, soulless creatures made of wood and metal, people steal from everyone: their German manor lord, spirits, the devil and even from Christ himself. But there is also the young farm girl Liina whose longing for the village boy Hans turns her into a werewolf who is ready to die in the name of love.
Early test shootings provide with a first impression of what the finished film might look like.
[Update Feb 2016: See first stills of Dieter Laser on set here]
[Images: Homeless Bob Production / Screencapture]