När vi hösten 2015 fick höra talas om att spelades in en fransk film i de dalsländska skogarna blev vi givetvis väldigt nyfikna men kom tyvärr inte så mycket längre i arbetet just då. Nu 2017 när filmen finns tillgänglig är det dock högst aktuellt att kolla läget med en av filmens två regissörer Gilles Marchand. Filmen är inspelad främst omkring Ed/Bäckefors och bär det mystiska namnet "Into the Forest". I Frankrike är kritikerna ense om att miljön är magisk och dramatisk och ger filmen en extra dimension. "Into the Forest" handlar om två franska bröder som åker till Sverige för att tillbringa sin semester med sin franska pappa (Jérémie Elkaïm), som bor och jobbar i en svensk storstad. Under semestern tar han med sönerna till en liten stuga i skogen. Det är en psykologisk skräckthriller, som gränsar till det övernaturliga. Nu över till intervjun med regissören själv.
What are you doing right now? Do you have any new film in the pipeline?
Right now, I'm in South Korea where I present "Into the Woods" at BIFAN a great festival of fantastic movies. The screening begins right now and I will participate in a Q & A at the end. In a few days, as soon as I returned to Paris, I will start writing the next film that my friend Dominik Moll will direct. We will try to adapt a French book, a thriller, that we liked very much. And as a director, I still think about things without deciding what I'm going to do.
Why did you choose to film parts of your movie "In the Woods" in Dalsland (Sweden) of all places?
For two reasons, the first and most important is that the landscapes corresponded perfectly to what I had imagined when writing this story, I loved the tranquility and mystery that emerge from forests and lakes. And the beauty of the light made me dream. The second, more pragmatic reason is that Dalsland encourages shooting in the region by providing both financial and logistical support, which has enabled the film to be done in good conditions.woo
Where did you live and where did you have your lunch (Lilla Lee, Ed? Facklan, Bäckefors?) during these weeks, when you were in the woods around Ed & Bäckefors? Did you also go to other nearby places like Dals Långed and visited the famous Dalens restaurant?
During all the shooting (except the part of the film that happens in Goteborg of course), the whole team, technicians and actors (and also their families), Swedish and French, lodges in the little appartments of the hotel Dalsland in Ed. Every morning we had great breakfasts!! And in the evening we were preparing our meals. We were shopping at Willys or Coop, not forgetting to visit Systembolaget, and we invited each other. During the working day, we ate at the shooting location. Some guys of the crew was bringing us a meal specially prepared for us. And we all ate together under a large tent in the midst of nature. On weekends we regularly went to the Dilan pizzeria (I like their lasagne) ...
Do you have any fun memory to share with you from the time in Dalsland?
A shooting brings a lot of crazy memories... To shoot a simple scene where the character rowed on the boat we have to bring a whole team, several boats, one big enough to ensure safety, and spend the day there. To shoot the scenes when the father pull the boat in the forest, we built a second lighter one. The real boat weighs not far from 90 kilos, the lightest more than 60 ... One take is ok… but two? The third it starts to be harder. And we must do it again and again. In a new location. Another one. In the end Jeremie had blisters that bleed. But he was courageous. However, the first memory that comes to my mind when I read your question is the excitement of the French crew and especially André, the sound engineer, when the first day of shooting in Nature, near a lake we discovered mushrooms. True fields of chanterelles and dozens of ceps more magnificent than the other. But we were far from the vehicles and we had nothing to carry them. André took off his jacket and T-shirt to use them as bags, bringing this treasure back to our encampment. In the evening at the hotel, he cooked a real feast with giant pan fried chanterelles. André is a genius sound engineer but is also a gourmet ... and an excellent cooker.
Which was the main source of inspiration for "Into the Woods"?
I was mainly inspired by childhood experience. Of mine own, but also of many other children i believe. When the boundary between the real and the imaginary is still open. Where a jacket hanging on a coat rack can quickly turn into a monster... and where the scary sometimes delights.
What do you think of other French horror movies from the "later" years? I think of, for example, Martyr's, Inside & Haute Tension?
To be quite honest I have not seen any of these movies. I met Alexandre and Julien the directors of Inside in a fantastic film festival in France where I was a jury and I found them really friendly. They told me details of their American misadventures in a funny and intelligent way. I am always happy that fantastic movies are made in France or elsewhere. (Here in Korea where I am right now, the genre (horror) movies are of course incredibly inventive!) I am against the standardization of cinema. Including genre films of course. We must always reinvent ourselves.
What's your favorifilm(s) of all time?
This is a question which is almost impossible to answer. I can say that two of my favorite directors are Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch. If I must choose one title, I will say The birds. … Or Shadow of a doubt. … Or Blue Velvet. … Or Mulholland drive that i just rewatched once again. But there are hundreds of others that I would like to mention.
Do you have any favorite books / authors?
There too, this is also an impossible question. Well, let's play the game... I love Haruki Murakami intensely. And I love 1Q84.
What's your favorite artists / bands?
At the risk of surprising you (and perhaps disappointing you), I will mention the name of a huge French singer and composer who began his career in the thirties and died at the very beginning of the 2000s, after 70 years of Songs ... His name is Charles Trenet. You have probably heard "The sea" of which Sinatra has made a standard "Somewhere beyond the sea". This is not my favorite song. But I love a lot of his songs. I love them. It's a fact.
Since I'm a big Heavy Metal-fan, I'm curious to know if you have any favorite bands in this genre? Have you also listened to some Death or Black Metal?
Sorry I'm not a Heavy Metal specialist at all ... When I was young I listened to Deep purple and Led Zeppelin ... but it must seem prehistory to you... and I don’t know if this is considered Metal for fans like you.
Here at Tisselskog Companiet's office we often watch movies from some of our favorite directors such as David Lynch, Roman Polanski or Alred Hitchcock. What do you think about these directors? Do you have any favorite director yourself?
You see, I have already mentioned two of your favorite filmmakers. Lynch and Hitchcock are the greatests. These are two great geniuses in this art, cinema. Roman Polanski is a great director... Repulsion terrified me when I was a teenager… but I confess that I didn’t like his last three or four films... I admire Stanley Kubrick a lot. And also Hayao Myazaki. And many others.
Do you have any favorite TV series? Have you seen some of my favorites such as The Walking Dead and / or Dexter? Maybe "Game of Thrones" with my favourite Joffrey is something that you enjoy?
You'll soon think I'm totally obsessed but if I had to give you one single series, I'd say "Twin Peaks". I'm following the new "season" 25 years later ... and I think it's amazing. The absolute freedom it imposes. The way in which he succeeds in resuscitating emotions, in deepening the world he created, in opening new paths ... He is immense and unique.
As a director of movies, do you also got the time to check out some new films? Have you watched and enjoyed some of the modern classics such as Birdman, Royal Tennenbaums or Punch Drunk Love?
I am a assiduous cinephile. I see about 150 films a year in theaters ... and much in my appartment on my videoprojector. I see movies from all over the world, from young filmmakers and experienced ones. Blockbusters and specialized films. I try to be curious about everything, especially in cinema. So of course I've seen the films that you mentioned. I am a fan of Wes Anderson since the debut. I am an admirer of Paul Thomas Anderson. And Punch Drunk Love is a film who do not resemble any other. I've seen all Iñarittu movies, but I have to admit that I found Birdman really too indigestible.. Too heavy for me.
Have you seen any Swedish films over the years? Are you a fan of Swedish Crime such as Beck, Wallander & Arne Dahl?
I've seen a few Swedish movies in recent years yes. I liked "Snow Therapy" (Turist) and I am obviously curious to see his Gold Palm ... I also liked "Efterskalv" who was released in France last year. Few months ago, I watched "A serious game" (Den allvarsamma leken) and found it a little bit too academic... What else? ... Ah !! obviously "Morse" (Låt den rätte komma in"). This is one of my favorite movies of recent years. All nationalities combined. Of course I read some of Mankell's books. He died during our shoot of "Into the Woods". I remember that I showed the first page of the French newspaper Libération, which was a complete one of Mankell to the Swedish crew... and I confess being a little surprised by the indifference that his death seemed to arouse in the team. On the other hand, I did not see any of the adaptations ... nor the series you mention.
Do you have any favorite beverage when you really want to enjoy your life? Have you tried the Thai Whiskey "Mekong", or Mummelman (refined variant of Jägermeister)?
Shame on me. My favorite drink is fresh flat water (fresh but not too much) ... I also like tea. Ah ah ah ... And yet I assure you that I try to enjoy my life! I sometimes taste a small glass of alcohol. But I do not like the feeling that everyone who drinks alcohol loves ... I'm far from being a connoisseur. Sorry.
In Sweden, we have musicians like ABBA, Roxette and Europe to be proud of. Are these artists something you also can enjoy?
I very badly know Roxette and Europe (it's metal, is it?) But I am forced to admit that, long time ago, I danced on Abba ... Dancing queen !!!