Dutch-born Menno Meyjes has had a prosperous career working as a screenwriter under the wing of Steven Spielberg, penning the Oscar-nominated "The Color Purple," "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Empire of the Sun." So it's surprising to see Meyjes make his directorial debut with a script on Hitler, always a hot-potato topic. No matter how you portray old Adolf, some group will raise a very vocal protest. Meyjes spoke to The Japan Times about the reaction to his film, and his reasons for making it.

There are various cinematic images of Weimar Germany -- the obvious one being "Cabaret" -- but it seems like you were trying to avoid that.

That's what I've been saying to everyone! It's one of the reasons why "Max" was oddly received, because it doesn't sample from other movies. I know how to do that, but I didn't want to. Even what we were doing with the camera was very anti-what's-happening-now, in terms of moving it all the time, etc.