Maria Schrader: "I wanted to create images that we are not used to seeing"

Maria Schrader: “I wanted to create images that we are not used to seeing”

Born in 1965, director of Stefan Zweig, farewell Europe (2016), and the series Unorthodox (2020), for Netflix, Maria Schrader lives in Berlin and is currently finishing, in New York, the post-production of She Said (Universal Pictures), a fiction retracing the investigation of the two journalists of the New York Times Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) in the sexual assault and rape case involving producer Harvey Weinstein. His second feature film, I’m Your Man, which hits theaters on Wednesday June 22, examines the possibility of a love affair between a woman (Maren Eggert) and an android robot (Dan Stevens). During a video interview, she tells us about the genesis of this film (co-written with Emma Braslavsky), which won actress Maren Eggert the Silver Bear for her performance at the Berlinale.

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How did the idea come about for a romantic comedy between a woman and an android?

I had heard of Emma Braslavsky’s short film, the story of a male robot who falls in love, but in a futuristic universe, with machines and creatures seeking revenge, becoming menacing for humanity. With Emma, ​​we took the basis of this scenario, but we adapted it with an android who is satisfied with his “existence”, capable of developing empathy, self-criticism, a certain self-control, etc. .

While writing the film, we were also confronted with theoretical questions to which we did not yet have an answer. I met scientists, I went to labs in Berlin, where researchers are developing artificial intelligence. All these experts have told me: creatures like Tom will exist one day, but we don’t know when.

The female character rejects the idea of ​​being in a relationship with a being programmed to serve her…

Indeed, she is hardly thrilled at the idea of ​​possessing Tom, unlike another character in the film, this old man who is very satisfied with his young android. It was important to me that the artificial, perfect creature here be a man and not a woman, as is often the case, as in the legend of Pygmalion (the sculptor falling in love with his creature), but also in blade runner (1982), by Ridley Scott, Ex-Machina (2015), by Alex Garland, etc. It is not simply a question of reversing the roles, but of asking the question of possession, ancestral in our patriarchal culture. I wanted to create images that we are not too used to seeing. I’m Your Man is not just a movie about robots.

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