Nearly 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 Competition 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 demise in 2007. Surprisingly, it’s been some time since Hansen-Løve was on the Croisette, having appeared in Directors’ Fortnight along with her first function All is Forgiven (2007) and Un Certain Regard with 2009’s Father of My Children. “I feel very privileged to be back,” 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 season whereas they every write their scripts. So, it’s about them, and it’s in regards to the summer season they’re going to spend on this island.
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DEADLINE: How did the thought come to you?
HANSEN-LØVE: I feel the very first thing, for me, was the need to write down a movie about a few filmmakers after which, by 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 got here afterward: to set the movie on the island of Fårö.
DEADLINE: Why was Fårö so essential?
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 sturdy as Bergman’s with Fårö. Fårö has been a part of my creativeness for a protracted, very long time, however then, perhaps 10 years in the past, I heard a few basis that had been created after Bergman’s demise, on the island, the place the homes that had belonged to him have been being made obtainable as locations the place you can go as an artist— no matter your subject is—to be able 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 need not solely to go there and write there however largely 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 amazing admirer. I love immensely his work, and his movies matter to me quite a bit, and so they have been companions for me since I ever began making movies. Some of his movies I preserve watching and watching once more, and I by no means get uninterested in them. But it’s not solely in regards to the movies, it’s about his biography: his life and his approach of working. It’s the entire thing that fascinates me about Bergman.
But it doesn’t imply that his movies have an affect on my movies. What I imply is, there are numerous administrators who I love, and I by no means attempt to imitate them in any approach 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 approach a movie that you can say is a heritor of Bergman’s model or approach 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: Yes. I feel I’ve to admit that fascinates me: the way in which if you make a really private movie, in some unspecified time in the future you possibly can expertise some type of vertigo, the place the strains between actuality and fiction—but in addition between previous and current, what’s seen and what’s invisible—generally tend to fade.
I noticed, 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 feel what’s new about this movie, in comparison with my earlier movies, is that on this case I attempt to take care of that immediately, 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 feel the primary motive—or I’d 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, nevertheless it’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 approach 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 in some way. 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. But it wasn’t solely that—to be able to play a director, it’s worthwhile to have sure qualities that I don’t suppose all actors, even nice actors, have. It’s fairly particular, I feel. You want a sure authority, it’s worthwhile to be credible as someone who has a sure mental life, in some way. 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, sturdy presence, but in addition, I may see her as a director. I may imagine in that.
DEADLINE: And Tim Roth?
HANSEN-LØVE: Tim arrived afterward. At first, I may 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 after all, however to me he’ll at all times be the actor in Alan Clarke’s movie Made in Britain. I used to be excited by his fragility, which sounds stunning. But, to me, there’s something about that in his presence. Although he performs numerous powerful guys in very masculine forms of movies, I may see one thing else in him that was a bit bit reverse to that.
DEADLINE: Why did Bergman Island take two years to movie?
HANSEN-LØVE: Well, we have been imagined 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 Women. It occurred actually rapidly, and we have been already there with my group, so we determined to shoot part of the movie that we may movie with out her, so as to not lose the opposite actors. But 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 joyful expertise, as a result of I loved being in Fårö a lot that I used to be fairly joyful 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? Well, I don’t know precisely what they meant, however I take that as a praise.