With “Things To Come,” director Mia Hansen-Løve, who is only 35, already has five critically acclaimed feature films under her belt and looks to have a long filmmaking career ahead of her. So which of the great directors’ careers from film history does she look to as being a model for her own? “It’s going to sound pretentious and ridiculous, but I think I should tell you any way: Ingmar Bergman,” Hansen-Løve recently told IndieWire. “I’m obsessed with Ingmar Bergman, I’m so obsessed I’m even writing a film right now that takes place in Fårö, which is the island where he use to live.”
Fårö is a remote, windswept island off the eastern coast of Sweden that has become part of film lore, as it was not only the home for the reclusive Bergman, but the iconic location from some of his greatest films: “The Passion of Anna,” “Shame,” “Scenes From a Marriage,” and “Through a Glass Darkly.” The island was so integrated into Bergman’s life that he even made two documentaries about Fårö, shot “Scenes From a Marriage” in the home of one of his ex-wives, and built the island’s only movie theater by converting an old barn.
“I love the fact he was constantly creating,” said Hansen-Løve. “His whole life has been creation and that is what impresses me.”
Hansen-Løve is trying to channel some of that spirit as she writes her new script, but made it clear on the podcast she will first shoot “Maya,” the story of a French war reporter, who after months of being held hostage in Syria seeks refuge in India. It was announced a few weeks ago that Juliette Binoche would be joining the film’s ensemble.
While on the podcast, the great French director talked about her own artistic process and how she thinks she’s benefitted from never having gone to film school or read any books about “proper” screenwriting structure. She also talked about her new film “Things to Come,” which was the first film she ever wrote for a specific actress, Isabelle Huppert, and how the celebrated French star added a comedic sensibility to the role of a philosophy professor who finds herself alone after her husband of 25 years leaves her.
Also on this week’s podcast, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich stopped by to talk about how he goes about making his masterful end of the year Video Countdown, which is a beautifully crafted love letter to the critic’s favorite 25 films of the year. While on the podcast, Ehrlich said making the video countdown first started as an exercise to learn editing software (Final Cut Pro), but has grown to take on a life of its own.
One of the most impressive parts of the film critic’s countdown is the way he uses songs from 2016 films to not only to make connections between different films, but the way each movie pulls meaning from those tracks. Not surprisingly, Ehrlich said the music aspect is the biggest challenge.
“The only part that really ties my head into knots and is frustrating is just finding the songs and how to align them,” said Ehrlich. “I don’t have formal training in doing this, so I’m sure there are many capable professionals who could bridge the pieces of the songs — all 73 parts of ‘I Would Do Anything For Love’ into a really fluid whole — but I am not one of them, so it’s really difficult for me to massage it and get it to a point where it flows.”
If you haven’t yet seen this year’s amazing countdown, or you just want to see it again, you can find it here.
LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE PODCAST BELOW
- “Kate Plays Christine” director Robert Greene
- Kirsten Johnson discussing her life as a “Cameraperson”
- “Night of” location manager on shooting in New York
- Andrea Arnold on “American Honey”
- Gianfranco Rosi on “Fire at Sea”
- Barry Jenkins on “Moonlight”
- Ezra Edelman on “OJ: Made in America”
- Paul Verhoeven’s refusal to be censored
- “The Witch” director Robert Eggers on adapting “Nosferatu”
- Eric Heisserer on adapting “Arrival”
- Sophia Takal explores the horror of being an actress in “Always Shine”
The music used in this podcast is from the “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present” score, courtesy of composer Nathan Halpern.