MIKE MÜLLER about Andi:
“Andi gets along with everybody and everything. Sometimes that gets him into difficult situations. But he manages those too.”
MICHAEL NEUENSCHWANDER about Tom:
“Tom’s a tough guy, a straight up bad ass. He's only streamlined on his bike. That's how these guys are.“
MARKUS MERZ about Ritzel:
“Ritzel has a screw loose... anyone adopting the motto 'Let's take on the big shots and yuppies on two wheels! We won't let ourselves be neutered' is doomed. But his blunt and direct style and his strength made it really fun to play him.”
ORIANA SCHRAGE about Nina:
“An intact, strong, unpredictable woman, who throws herself at life, with no ifs ands or buts, without safety nets. Non, je ne regrette rien.”
ROELAND WIESNEKKER über Far Frank:
“Fat Frank’s always on top.“
REGULA IMBODEN about Monica:
“Of course it's the women running the place. That's how it’s always been!“
Originally I just wanted to state how much fun it was to make this film.
Of course we were short on money (like usual, but this time it was serious) and managing to shoot a movie in such a short time isn't a walk in the park, even if you do have the comfort of financial backing.
Of course it was nerve-wracking, back-breaking work; of course there were setbacks and dry spells. But people in film tend to get back on their feet, a trait we share with the three heroes in DEAD FUCKING LAST.
We had to be fast and flexible, find unconventional, smart solutions, get our own hands dirty, think beyond department borders. Fearless, but using whatever was there. Following the old punk credo: “Do it yourself, do it now, do it without” and turning an apparent deficit into quality, and working together.
We really made this movie together, in a team of veterans (“Of course, a Solidisco.”) and spring chickens (“What? A soul disco? - Oh, a charity event!”
It was a pleasure to work with great actors who - even coming from totally different backgrounds - grew together into an “ensemble,” which lent a lot to the entertaining plurality of DFL.
I had a fantastic crew infected by the relaxed, yet wide-awake coolness of the Zurich couriers, who supported our movie with words, deeds and (wo)man power.
It was interesting to experience how quickly weird parallels developed between our story and the circumstances we shot it in.
Like the heroes in our movie – though slightly cleverer and way more productive – we were quite a chaotic, dirty bunch; a random group that soon became a close family. Often sharing the grim sense of humor of looming desperation, but always showing the strength, to pull ourselves out of the mess.
A thoroughly collective working style, for better or worse.
Our producers jokingly called it “Method Producing.” A unique feeling, of giving everything and getting back even more from your team. A crazy way of producing energy with people who work quite well together.
The power of the collective made the day. And although there were many parents to the project, to me the movie is a real Feistle: not a highborn thoroughbred, rather a cute little mutt that offers something for everybody. A well-filled little package that combines buddy movie, “male-emancipation drama” and milieu flick, with a pinch of minor-league action and a dash of grotesque social satire.
A mixture that can't be pigeonholed, just like its three heroes: colorful and rich, but still rough, grumpy on occasion, but ultimately in a good mood and full of optimism.
My first feature-length movie for the big screen sometimes crosses conventions, but here too, deficits are qualities at the same time: DFL is edgy like Tom, lovable like Andi, abrasive like Ritzel, rarely evil like Fat Frank, almost always good-looking like Nina, but far from being as clear-minded as Monica.
The movie is a bit fresh and more personal than an optimized, streamlined genre product that just slips through, but I think it radiates charm and is - especially because of its rough edges - an enjoyable and lively piece of cinema.
DFL is a movie for a modern, intelligent audience; interested in taking a look at themselves, excited to come up with their own opinions beyond the beaten path of seeing things. A grown up audience that possesses the right amount of (self-)irony at its disposal – one that has perhaps even experienced enough of life (including its setbacks) to enjoy and comprehend our heroes' hardships.
A young audience, that's open, awake and is curious, interested in a movie that doesn't always follow strict boundaries.
I think that some of the energy that enabled this project as well as was set free by it can be felt in the finished movie. I hope DEAD FUCKING LAST sparks pleasure in a lot of people the way it does in me.
17 May, 2007, 7:00 a.m.:
Kaspar Winkler almost crashes into a pedestrian while riding his bike to work along Zurich’s lake promenade and shortly thereafter has an ingenious idea.
17 May, 2007, 8:15 p.m.: Kaspar Winkler skypes Uwe Luetzen, a screenwriter at the time at a conference/seminar/course in Los Angeles, about his idea for a movie: … maybe a bike courier movie... that's drive.”
Uwe: “Oh! Bike courier! Not bad... more later!”
The first seed was planted for “Dead Fucking Last.”
October 2012: “Dead Fucking Last” celebrates its world premiere at the Hofer Filmtage, the Hof International Film Festival.
In the intermediate five years, the core team – Uwe Luetzen (author), Walter Feistle (director), Cooky Ziesche (dramaturge), Sabine Girsberger and Kaspar Winkler (producers)- worked intensely on the story, screenplay and financing, to turn the idea into a movie. Walter Feistle proved to be a blessing. His extraordinary creativity, paired with a healthy amount of pragmatism, enriched and enhanced the process.
In autumn 2011, DEAD FUCKING LAST could finally be shot with a highly motivated cast and an exceedingly committed crew. The extraordinary dedication of everyone involved compensated for the rather small (in comparison to “normal” Swiss movies) budget of 1.6 million Swiss francs, almost 50% of which was provided by the Zurich Film Foundation.
So making virtue out of necessity, our credo was “Method Producing“: We shot primarily on location, without time-consuming set construction (apart from “central dispatch,” which we built in a former factory in Zurich-Manegg). We used a handheld camera, the new highly light-sensitive Arri Alexa that needs almost no additional lighting, and hardly any technical equipment. Since this was a film about a collective, “Method Producing” also included bringing a collective spirit to filmmaking, a field that is usually very hierarchically organized. We emphasized transparency about finances, decision-making, and team spirit that still enabled goal-oriented work on all levels. The result was not only motivation for and identification with the project that took hold of everyone, but a really special atmosphere that we think can be felt in the film. We’re not only thinking about the actors, who in preparation for their roles did internships at the Zurich-based courier collective Veloblitz, but the real bike couriers who were in the film also shared the heart and soul of their lives with cast and crew, brought life to our “central dispatch” and authenticity to the film.
Within this very lively environment, Walter Feistle – or maybe the collective? - created a film about three friends who fail in these times, remain true to themselves and still find their own places in our world.
There's a small, yellowing note hanging in our office. It reads: “We're brave and dedicated. We do not always choose the safe path. We are not afraid. We are ready to fail and stand up again.”
Kaspar Winkler & Sabine Girsberger
DEAD FUCKING LAST
Courier slang for last place - usually given an amusing consolation prize; also the person coming last in a bike courier race (abbreviated “DFL”).