The Film that Breathes: On The Dark Side of the Sun and The Book of Vision

Carlo Hintermann in Interview with Alex Lichtenfels and Ilya Noé


  • Carlo Hintermann Independent Filmmaker
  • Ilya Noé Performance Studies, UC Davis
  • Alex Lichtenfels University of Salford


Alex Lichtenfels and Ilya Noé interviewed Carlo Hintermann in Rome at the end of September 2018, as he was finishing the filming of The Book of Vision and preparing to complete the CG material and start the editing. Carlo Hintermann is a director, producer, and scriptwriter of documentaries and films. He has collaborated for many years with colleagues Daniele Villa, Luciano Baracaroli, and Gerardo Panichi on writing books about filmmakers and on producing and making films through their company Citrullo. Hintermann is the son of a well-known Italian actor, also Carlo Hintermann (1923–1988), and he refers several times to the impact growing up in a theatre environment has had on his work. The interviews are extensive. In the first part, they have been edited to focus on Hintermann’s filmmaking philosophy and the elements of collaboration, approach, and attitude, and establishing a language for each film through image and rhythm. The second part of this edited interview turns to Hintermann’s work with actors and the camera in the documentary The Dark Side of the Sun, and the feature film The Book of Vision.

Author Biographies

Carlo Hintermann, Independent Filmmaker

Carlo Hintermann graduated in film directing at the New York Film Academy and made his first short films starting in 1996. One of these works, Les deux cent mille mille dramatiques, was selected for the Venice Biennale, 1999. A writer on film as well as a producer, he co-edited books on Otar Iosseliani, David Lynch and Takeshi Kitano, with collaborators Luciano Barcaroli, Gerardo Panichi and Daniele Villa. In 2001 they formed the film company Citrullo, and chose to make a documentary about Terrence Malick since his films served as a prism through which they could view American cinema. They met Malick in Milan in 2001 at a screening of the restored copy of Badland and, in 2002, the film Rosy-Fingered Dawn: A Film on Terrence Malick, that they directed, was presented at the Venice Film Festival. They went on to collaborate on a number of films, and co-wrote Terrence Malik: Rehearsing the Unexpected (2016). In 2011 Hintermann co-directed with Lorenzo Ceccotti The Dark Side of the Sun and his current project, co-produced with Gerardo Panichi, is The Book of Visions, starring Charles Dance and executive produced by Terence Malick.

Ilya Noé, Performance Studies, UC Davis

Ilya Noé is a visual/performance artist-researcher, eager collaborator, sporadic teacher, and occasional curator. Born and mostly assembled in Mexico City, she now lives and works in Berlin where she is one of the founders of the city’s Association for Performance Art, as she writes on performance practice, collaboration, and mycorrhyzal ecologies in association with the Performance Studies program at the University of California Davis. Noé represented her country in Venice’s OPEN2000, became a UNESCO-Aschberg Laureate and was recipient of one of Mexico’s National Young Art Awards. A special guest at both the European Landscape Biennial in Barcelona and the International Biennial of Cerveira, she has made installations for many galleries and exhibitions, most recently the Biennale of Shanghai. Her work is represented in public collections on all sides of the Pacific and the Atlantic.

Alex Lichtenfels, University of Salford

Alex Lichtenfels is a filmmaker and theorist who is a senior lecturer in film production at the University of Salford. He has several years’ experience in the film and television industries, working primarily as a freelance producer and director in corporate and advertising venues. He is also an independent filmmaker with the Primary Films collaborative, producing or directing numerous short films as well as several longer projects. Through his work, he investigates emerging filmmaking practices, driven by research into technological changes and how methods used in other artforms might be applied to filmmaking. He is concerned with how these practices might allow for new types of films that engage audiences in nonstandard ways. He is currently pursuing research projects on remodelling the organization of film production based on anarchist political principles, and the links between film and antihumanist ethics.






Devised Filmmaking Practices