NEWS: AUGUST 2020
reported last month, OUT STEALING
HORSES (Ut og stjaele hester), is set to be released in
American theaters and VOD tomorrow. The film will be
available for streaming at the
Loft Cinema web site. Once you purchase an "e-ticket",
you will be sent a link and password to view the film. The Loft
Cinema will be splitting the revenue with the film's distributor
50/50. You can watch the movie for 72 hours after you receive a
link via email and it can be viewed on your mobile phone,
computer and other streaming devices.
Stellan remarked that the
film is very close to Per Petterson's novel in tone. He saw a
couple of scripts before his friend Moland took it on and was
not impressed. He says, "If you try to make a film out of a book
and concentrate on what actually happens in the book, then
you’re lost when it’s something as poetic as this. You have to
have something that captures the atmosphere, the poetry, the
nature, and Hans Petter’s script did that. I’d been waiting for
him to do a project like this. The four films we’ve done before
have been totally different from this one, and from each other,
but none have had the possibility for this much poetry. Hans
Petter looks tough, he looks like Clint Eastwood, but he’s a
real softie. He’s a poet inside... He also grew up in those
forests, working. He knows how it smells and how it feels."
why does director Hans Petter Moland continue his collaboration
with Stellan? Here he describes his friend - "He carries a
soulfulness that he doesn’t flaunt. He can play a reserved
character and remain very interesting. That’s his gift as a
human being and as an actor. He doesn’t rely on dialogue. Then,
when we work, we enjoy making ourselves as brave as we can to
make the movie as good as possible. He’s a generous and fine
human being, wonderful with his colleagues and crew. It makes
the working part easier. Stellan hasn’t much in common with his
character Trond, as he’s a city slicker and the only times he
gets close to nature is perhaps when he works with me! But he’s
keenly interested in portraying people who are different than
himself and does that with great skills."
In the film, Stellan's
character Trond reads Dickens and in an interview with Salon
magazine, he was asked about his reading habits. He answered, "I
read Dickens when I was a kid, but I read a lot. I read more
than I watch movies. There's so much to catch up with I don't
think I'll read everything I want to before I die. I've read a
lot of nonfiction during the coronavirus quarantine while
isolated. I read Victor Klemperer's 'I Will Bear Witness'. It's
a diary that is not written in hindsight. As a Jew in Germany,
he does not know from one day to the next what will happen — but
we do. Sitting around, locked up, it's good to read something
that does not make you feel sorry for yourself."
Many of Stellan's
characters, especially in Norwegian dramas, feature men who are
troubled and often isolated. He tells Salon that he himself does
not brood nor does he dwell in the past. He explains, "I'm
pretty cheerful. I'm interested in people in general and
whatever problems they have or don't have. If you're not doing a
popcorn movie with shallow characters, then you want to find
something that the characters are very often not deliberately
expressing and tell that in the way you move. It makes the
audience fill in the blanks."
Our Swede also discusses
father/son relationships - "I had a fantastic father, who lived
to 77, but he was incredibly flawed. He was absurd in many ways,
but he always treated me like an equal, so I never had to tear
him down from a pedestal or have the disappointment in puberty
when you realize your dad is just a man. He never hid his
weaknesses, so I could love him for who he was all his life. I
have seven sons, and I have a different relationship with each
one. I tried to repeat my father's way of showing weakness in
front of them and not being a know-it-all or interfere too much
in their lives, and make them trust me as a friend."
had come across this painting by Anthony Martin before but never
saw the original photo so I present both of them here.
hope by now many of you have seen
THE PAINTED BIRD. It's available via streaming on
Amazon. During its screenings at festivals in Venice and Toronto
last year, spectators who could not tolerate some of the cruel
scenes went scrambling for the exits. I have to admit it is a
very difficult film to watch, but such a worthy one. The almost
three-hour black and white film is a parable about the
dehumanizing horror of war. The little boy, played by Petr
Kotlár, hardly has any dialogue but his anguish is continually
reflected in his face with his eyes mirroring his troubled soul.
What a performance he gives!
Stellan commented on the
casting of Petr Kotlár - I give credit to Vaclav for
finding him. Originally he was going
to use his older brother but he got too old.
I often work with amateurs and they’re often better than
professionals because they can’t help being true. In a scene
with an amateur you’re exposed immediately with your tricks.
That’s why I believe you have to be a really talented
amateur to be a really good actor — and that is always my aim."
The scene with German
actor Udo Kier and his cats totally freaked me out. And I
warn you that there's some earthy sex scenes. However, I deeply
appreciated the film and I understand why Stellan wanted to
participate in this production. The acting was flawless and the
stark cinematography was haunting.
Though some people walked
out at the Venice Film Festival, Stellan responded with, "I
would say about 15 people walked out. Most of them came back
when they had peed. It was an eight-to-ten-minute
standing ovation afterwards, so I wouldn’t say it was a mixed
reception. It was a fantastic
reception and the reviews were great...
Regarding the reaction to violence, we all have different
capabilities for distancing ourselves to the power of cinematic
story. I have a brother who cannot see any films where you feel
sorry for someone – for anybody – which means that 95% of all
the films in the world he cannot see because he gets so
emotionally upset. I understand that he should walk out of the
cinema and he should actually not see this film because you get
upset and you do feel sorry for people."
In another interview
Stellan explained, "I think you should be entitled to
walk out, as you should be entitled to turn your head away if
you see a street fight. But to say that you shouldn't show
violence as something unpleasant is dangerous. We are used to
seeing so much violence and it is always sanitized, it is always
for our entertainment. It is made to tickle us and excite us.
But violence, real violence, is horrible. And if you don't get
upset by seeing real violence, then I think we are losing
something. You should be upset by the violence in the film."
Czech writer/director Václav
Marhoul explains his film - "For me, it wasn’t about the
violence and the brutality. For me, it was about the three most
important things in our lives: love, good, and hope. This
story is based on their absence. The COVID-19 pandemic is an
example because we only realize how important it is to be
healthy when we get sick. 'The Painted Bird' is about the
absence of love, good, and hope because we only realize how
important these things are when we are missing them. That was
the key for me."
film, "Godzilla vs. Kong" had originally been scheduled
to premiere on November 20th this year. However, it has been
postponed once again owing to the coronavirus so fans will have
to wait until May 2021. Both Alex and Bill have been cast in "The
Northman", the Viking drama set in Iceland at the turn of
the 10th century. Again, the pandemic has forced delays in
production in Northern Ireland but construction of the wooden
village has now resumed. Beautiful scenery!
wonder how much patience I would have sitting in a make-up chair
for hours to take on a role such as Bill "Bootstrap"