Almost three years after she started filming it, Mia Hansen-Løve’s seventh movie, Bergman Island, lastly arrives in Cannes to mark the Parisian director’s Competitors debut. Filmed on location in Sweden, and starring Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth, it takes place on the island of Fårö, the place the Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman lived and labored till his dying in 2007. Surprisingly, it’s been some time since Hansen-Løve was on the Croisette, having appeared in Administrators’ Fortnight along with her first function All is Forgiven (2007) and Un Sure Regard with 2009’s Father of My Youngsters. “I really feel very privileged to be again,” she says.
DEADLINE: What’s Bergman Island about?
MIA HANSEN-LØVE: It’s about a few filmmakers who journey to Fårö, the island the place Bergman lived within the 20 final years of his life. They’re going to remain all summer time whereas they every write their scripts. So, it’s about them, and it’s in regards to the summer time they’re going to spend on this island.
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DEADLINE: How did the thought come to you?
HANSEN-LØVE: I believe the very first thing, for me, was the will to put in writing a movie about a few filmmakers after which, by way of the portrait of them, to do a movie about creation and about inspiration, and the way it works for a pair who each write. That was the primary impulse for this movie, however what actually gave it life was the concept that got here in a while: to set the movie on the island of Fårö.
DEADLINE: Why was Fårö so vital?
HANSEN-LØVE: Fårö is type of a mythic place for lots of administrators, and never solely followers of Bergman—few administrators have a connection to a spot that’s as robust as Bergman’s with Fårö. Fårö has been a part of my creativeness for an extended, very long time, however then, possibly 10 years in the past, I heard a few basis that had been created after Bergman’s dying, on the island, the place the homes that had belonged to him have been being made accessible as locations the place you would go as an artist— no matter your area is—with the intention to work. And, as I mentioned, Fårö was already kind of a fantasy for me. And once I heard of this place, I instantly felt the will not solely to go there and write there however principally to set the story I had in thoughts there.
DEADLINE: Is Bergman a lot of an affect for you?
HANSEN-LØVE: I wouldn’t say he’s an affect, however I’m an important admirer. I like immensely his work, and his movies matter to me rather a lot, they usually have been companions for me since I ever began making movies. A few of his movies I maintain watching and watching once more, and I by no means get uninterested in them. However it’s not solely in regards to the movies, it’s about his biography: his life and his means of working. It’s the entire thing that fascinates me about Bergman.
However it doesn’t imply that his movies have an affect on my movies. What I imply is, there are loads of administrators who I like, and I by no means attempt to imitate them in any means or put references of their movies in my movies. Even in Bergman Island. I do know it’d sound paradoxical, however despite the fact that there’s a lot about Bergman in my movie—clearly—I don’t suppose my movie tries to be in any means a movie that you would say is a heritor of Bergman’s fashion or means of writing.
DEADLINE: The set-up for the movie suggests a blurring of reality and fiction, which appears to be a quite common theme of your movies…
HANSEN-LØVE: Sure. I believe I’ve to admit that fascinates me: the best way if you make a really private movie, in some unspecified time in the future you’ll be able to expertise some type of vertigo, the place the traces between actuality and fiction—but in addition between previous and current, what’s seen and what’s invisible—generally tend to fade.
I spotted, after writing a few movies, that a part of the pleasure that I’ve in making movies a part of why it’s my vocation—has to do with this confusion. And I believe what’s new about this movie, in comparison with my earlier movies, is that on this case I attempt to take care of that instantly, as a result of it’s a movie about administrators. So, I actually tried to confront that and learn how inspiration works for me, and why, and the which means it has in my life.
DEADLINE: Why did you make it in English?
HANSEN-LØVE: I believe the principle purpose—or I might say necessity—for me to do it in English has to do with the truth that the movie is so private. I imply, all my movies are private, but it surely’s the primary movie the place I take care of a personality who truly does the identical factor in life as I do. And directing this movie in English, with English-speaking actors, was a means for me to show myself into fiction, to not be locked into one thing that would appear virtually like documentary. I needed this movie to be complete fiction, so I couldn’t see myself making this movie with a few French administrators as a result of it could have sounded virtually obscene, too near me by some means. So, to me, English was the door to fiction.
DEADLINE: How did you select your forged?
HANSEN-LØVE: Vicky Krieps I had seen in Phantom Thread. That’s the one movie the place I had seen her, however she impressed me a lot. I believed she was actually extraordinary in that movie. However it wasn’t solely that—with the intention to play a director, it is advisable have sure qualities that I don’t suppose all actors, even nice actors, have. It’s fairly particular, I believe. You want a sure authority, it is advisable be credible as any person who has a sure mental life, by some means. So, to begin with, I simply needed to movie her as a result of I believed she was extremely luminous and had this uncommon, very uncommon, robust presence, but in addition, I might see her as a director. I might consider in that.
DEADLINE: And Tim Roth?
HANSEN-LØVE: Tim arrived in a while. At first, I might solely consider an American actor for that half. We shot over two years, so for the primary yr Tim wasn’t a part of the forged. We didn’t know who was going to be in that half, which was a bit awkward, but in addition attention-grabbing. And whereas I used to be ready to shoot the second a part of the movie, I considered Tim. I had seen him in lots of movies in fact, however to me he’ll all the time be the actor in Alan Clarke’s movie Made in Britain. I used to be excited about his fragility, which sounds stunning. However, to me, there’s something about that in his presence. Though he performs loads of powerful guys in very masculine forms of movies, I might see one thing else in him that was somewhat bit reverse to that.
DEADLINE: Why did Bergman Island take two years to movie?
HANSEN-LØVE: Nicely, we have been presupposed to shoot the entire movie in 2018, with Greta Gerwig, and really shortly earlier than we shot she needed to drop out, as a result of she was going to direct Little Girls. It occurred actually shortly, and we have been already there with my group, so we determined to shoot part of the movie that we might movie with out her, so as to not lose the opposite actors. However then I wanted additional time to rethink the movie with out her, in order that’s why we needed to minimize the shoot into two elements. It truly turned out to be a really completely satisfied expertise, as a result of I loved being in Fårö a lot that I used to be fairly completely satisfied to have the ability to return there the subsequent yr.
DEADLINE: Your filmmaking has been described as a cinema of freedom. Would you agree?
HANSEN-LØVE: My filmmaking? Nicely, I don’t know precisely what they meant, however I take that as a praise.