The minute he was born one summer night Jan already knew: this world is crazy. His grandmother had just countered his father’s excited call about her newborn grandchild with another matter: “Did you hear, the Pope just died!” Suddenly there were so many questions: Why did he die? Why do I live? What the hell is a pope? Should I become a pope? Less than two months later the next pope has died and Jan stopped considering that last question. Instead he began watching movies. Okay, not really the next day, but a few years later. Disney’s “The sword in the stone” became his favorite and soon he started collecting films. After 10 years of daily reading of the TV program and torturing his father with the question: “Is this one worth seeing?” the VHS-desk was full with Hollywood adventure movies from the fifties, Billy Wilder comedies from the sixties, war and agent movies from the seventies and some … stuff from the late eighties he cannot recall now.
Jan knew, there were no more good films to watch and thought of reconsidering the pope thing, but the present one still looked quite healthy. Being a little bit sad he thought about stopping to talk - but he feared nobody would notice, because in fact he hadn’t talked so much till now. So he grabbed a pencil and took up drawing. First gently and precise. Untill his art teacher Miss Goldberg told him: “I can’t see anything, let it all out, man!”. He started using acrylic colors and bigger canvasses. Some day there was a first exhibition in a doctor’s office, who repaired Jan’s knee after he had practiced a little bit too hard for his first marathon run. Then there were some nice people hanging his paintings on their walls. Jan finally forgot about the pope and bought himself some oil colors.
Aside from painting Jan got fascinated with another world: the films of Bergman, Kubrick, Antonioni, Tarkovsky and Lynch. Jan didn’t understand much, but that was exactly what excited him. While studying communication design for the next five years Jan tried to do both: painting and filming. He just couldn’t make up his mind. And suddenly there was an award: for filming airplanes like insects and insects like airplanes (“neighboors”, 2004). Jan took it and thanked Alfred Schnittke and Pink Floyd who had been kind enough to write the soundtrack. Jan’s diploma movie (“7”, 2005) could have become a real blockbuster. It had everything: a bomb, a few terrorists, an alcoholic philosopher, sports, even a priest. Nobody could explain, why it didn’t work. Some say, it shouldn’t have taken place in a public toilet.
Over the following years Jan tried to collect money to remake “7” by feeding mighty film producers in Berlin cookies and Latte Macchiato, by forcing poor polish extras to look like Germans shortly after World War II and by tearing the Berlin Wall down twice. Absolutely happy after the second try he was told that they plan to rebuilt it and tear it down till somebody will die watching it on TV. That must have been why Jan decided to leave Berlin — at least for the two following years of studying film directing at Hamburg Media School. That what happened there cannot be explained. But Jan came out alive. Having made many mistakes. And having gained much experience. Having met fantastic people. And strange ones. But not strange enough. For that reason he moved back to Berlin.
At the moment Jan is thinking about new movies, painting … or going fishing.