The filmmaking of MAX MICHEL THILLAYE


Credit: Picture by MAX MICHEL THILLAYE from  Short-term

Credit: Picture by MAX MICHEL THILLAYE from Short-term


MAX MICHEL THILLAYE's filmmaking aims to dissect moments by rupturing indoctrinated routines, striving to bare the constructs of existence in society. His films often centres around the themes of adaption but equally the process of ripping free from same structures. It can take the form of an identity search; the breaking point; or even a nostalgia trip down memory lane. The films however, never strive to function as a criticism of society or the constructs they attempt to dissect, but rather stem from an urge to transmit alternative perceptions of reality, thus also questioning the concept itself. This angle follows his own perception of film as a medium and the mode of expression he feels the closest to:

“When you watch films you tend to trust them like you trust reality, thus you can serve the audience whatever version you desire.”

But though the question of reality is central, who’s it is and where it belong essentially does not matter, as what the events that play out are all part of the experienced reality of the character.

Credit: Picture by MAX MICHEL THILLAYE from  Short-term

Credit: Picture by MAX MICHEL THILLAYE from Short-term


The films equally attempts to display the external powers that surround the characters, who can not do anything else than accept and give in to these external forces. They follow as external forces interrupt the attempts of assemblance, and the antipathy felt, when powers beyond ones own control, disrupt the indoctrinated routines.

Credit: Picture by MAX MICHEL THILLAYE from  Lullaby

Credit: Picture by MAX MICHEL THILLAYE from Lullaby


His films are essentially a meditation on the matter of existence and what it means to exist within the various constructs the dissect: His characters attempts to infiltrate various social groupings, while inevitably always ending up being exposed as an imposter; they desperately search for an escape that inevitably leads them to a situation not much difference from what the originally attempted to break loose from.

"My filmmaking stems from this need of creating, not a legacy, but an testament of my ‘right now, just for it to exist there - in case someone would need it somewhen, somehow"  he explains, “It is about transmitting the complete human experience.”

It could be argued that his films are direct reflections of his own thoughts and his own process of untangling them, this would nonetheless be diminishing the full power they inhabit. For rather than seeing his films as an extension of himself, he perceives them as their own subjective selves, existing in their own right, each serving their own version of truth.


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Story by Johanne B. Larsen