On a new episode of the Film at Lincoln Center podcast, we’re excited to present a conversation with director Christian Petzold about his new film, Afire, now playing in our theaters courtesy of Janus and Sideshow Films.

Set against the backdrop of a seaside town threatened by encroaching wildfires, Christian Petzold’s latest is a breezy, often funny, yet emotionally layered melodrama of creative and romantic insecurities along the German Riviera. The film centers around Leon (Thomas Schubert), a disgruntled novelist struggling to finish his manuscript while traveling with his photographer friend (Langston Uibel) to a vacation home near the Baltic Sea, where they’re met by an unexpected third house guest, Nadja (Paula Beer; UndineTransit), whose presence distracts Leon as much as it cringingly exposes his self-obsessed bubble. Full of sunkissed tints and nocturnal blues, Afire finds the director operating with a deceptively light touch, but what starts as a hangout comedy gradually opens up into something entirely more surprising and psychologically complex. Winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival. A Sideshow and Janus Films release.

This conversation was moderated by Film Comment Co-Deputy Editor, Devika Girish.

Watch and listen below.