She barely rushes the first coffee in the morning, but her gesture already explains her serene, thoughtful. Perhaps it is a preview of her cinema, the one that becomes great in the montage and that hate empty stares of meaning. She asks for water in French, sorry for being late to the journalist in English and sits looking for the light, perhaps as a reflection of that Nordic gene that she inherited from his paternal grandfather. Mia Hansen-Løve (Paris, 1981) is one of those directors capable of painting landscapes in a few lines, appealing to the most holistic conception of authorship. She thus attends LA RAZÓN, a few days before the premiere of “Bergman’s Island” and just out of the maelstrom of the Cannes Festival, where she presented an even more recent film, “A beautiful morning”with Lea Seydoux. With a filmography that is already larger than hers, eight feature films of hers –awarded at the most prestigious competitions–, the French director was deserving of the honorary award Moon of Valencia, which awards the Cinemajove of the city of Turia in its 37th. Edition.
“It’s not uncommon, but you do get tired of yourself after so many interviews. There is a kind of added difficulty when talking about delayed premieres due to the pandemic, and that is to stay fresh, don’t say a lot of stupid things and don’t exhaust the movie», explains the gala director about «Bergman’s Island», which arrives on our billboards this Friday and in which she dares with one of the untouchable myths of world cinephilia. In the film, Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth are a couple of filmmakers who travel to the mythical islet of Fårö (Sweden), fetish withdrawal from the Swedish totem, to try to write each one their own script. The experience, of course, will be very different in both cases, and there is even an almost morbid observation of autofiction, especially if we take into account that Hansen-Løve shared fifteen years of life (and a daughter) with fellow director and screenwriter Olivier Assayas: «In this film there is as much of me as in any other. If we made a list, of course, I could say what is fact and what is fiction, but I like to go against self-fiction, based more on the feelings each moment evoked. As a director, making a director’s film has made me get closer to my own biography, but it wasn’t about settling pending accounts or sending messages, the plot never ceases to be fiction », she adds.
A Swedish island. bike rides Abba and Tina Charles sound. The summer we DO want. #LaIsladeBergmantheatrical release July 1.
— elasticafilms (@ElasticaFilms) June 14, 2022
Like in some kind of russian doll mechanism, and to give her story a more fictional patina, Hansen-Løve reflects on the character of Krieps who, in turn, imagines herself lost and younger in Farø with the face of Mia Wasikowska. escapism, which “Bergmann’s Island” It is also a spring to move us to the sentimental interior design that the Swedish filmmaker always displayed, it serves the director to dazzle in the strictly conjunctural sensation of living other people’s lives or, failing that, imagine the ones we could not live: «It has been the best shooting of my life, the best experience. And I totally understand why Bergman didn’t want to get out of there. It is like a giant studio that hardly needs preparation, it is the world and nature at your entire disposal. I have never felt so in sync with my team and I got to know the islet by heart”, he reflects on the almost loving relationship of the director of “Person” and “Wild Strawberries” with their land.
Without falling into hagiography, but neither in the easiest answer or revision, Hansen-Løve is able to honor the figure of Bergman as an omniscient entity, even reaching comedy and parody around the cult that is paid to him on his island. A safari of filming locations, existing in real life, serves here so that the film is able to laugh at itself and so that the legendary Spanish critic Jordi Costa even makes a cameo: «I think that, after making the film, Bergman fascinates me even more. Perhaps it is too corny to say it, but now I feel like a member of my family. I have been stuck there for so long, I have invested so much of myself that I feel like some kind of apocryphal granddaughter», completes the director before continuing on that explicit criticism that is made in the film to the macho ways (“Who took care of his children while he wrote quietly?”, asks a character) of the person beyond the director: «It will always be a mystery to me, because everything I have been able to know about him is testimonial. That’s what I wanted to make clear in the safari scene. In the revision of the myths, of the icons, there will always be some comedy because there are gaps that we must fill with our subjectivity, and even with the context in which we give our opinion. I am not laughing at the hundreds of visitors who come to worship Bergman on his island and who are interested in his cinema, but I did want to distance myself from the seriousness with which we always associate his cinema and from which he escaped in just a couple of projects, like ”Fanny and Alexander”. If anything, I am laughing at myself first, as one more of those people who is capable of venerating to an almost ridiculous point a person and a director that he did not know », he laughs during the answer.
A recurring myth
irony aside, “Bergmann’s Island” It is also a story of female emancipation, of modern understanding of the relationships between men and women beyond what parasocial and a treaty, if possible, even more social democratic, more pretentious (in the best sense of the word, the only valid one) and more pragmatic than any Swedish cult film: «It is difficult to know why we always return to Bergman. The most obvious answer is that he is, perhaps, one of the three greatest. The deepest answer, perhaps, has to do with the fact that he was always able to maintain his independence, and that gave us back a cinema incapable of betraying itself. He never owed anyone anything, and that is something that today is impossible to affirm. Every time we have more directors taking refuge in the commercial aspect to be able to face projects that motivate them from the authorial point of view. A lot of the blame for this lies with the serialization of film and television consumption. Producers don’t want one script, they want three or four, serialized. And, furthermore, each time it is about more choral projects where it is difficult for a single voice, a single vision to prevail. Bergman hardly had more commitment than with himself. That’s why he was able to search in the darkest places of his life, extract the sensations and feelings and put them at the service of his cinema. He was never afraid of reflecting the darkest side of the human being or staying out of fashion, out of the sign of the times », Hansen-Løve passionately lectures before saying goodbye to her.
In eternal return, the premiere of “Bergmann’s Island” coincides in time with two equally titanic projects around the Swedish filmmaker and that well complement the viewing of the film. “Secrets of a Marriage” (HBO) returns to Bergman’s pillow scripts, now with Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac as protagonists; and the publisher Fulgencio Pimentel is recovering in Spanish all the written work of the genius, with titles such as “Children on Sunday” or “Good will.”