FILMING BJÖRK BEHIND THE SCENES - The Reykjavik Grapevine

FILMING BJÖRK BEHIND THE SCENES

FILMING BJÖRK BEHIND THE SCENES

Published December 3, 2004

“I’m now editing footage from the making of a video by the director Spike Jonze [Adaptation, Being John Malkovich]. It’s for one of the songs from the Medúlla record, “Triumph of a Heart.” One of the scenes in the video is a party at Sirkús where Björk shows up quite drunk and really depressed and all of a sudden everybody in the bar there starts singing, doing sounds with their voices, different sounds, and she sings with them. It’s like a chapter in the song. So we had to find people who could perform spontaneously in front of the camera.”
This is pretty high level, working with Spike Jonze and Björk.
I don’t really see it like I’m working with Spike Jonze. It´s not like Spike calling me and asking me…I usually don’t think of it, but when I do I get paralyzed. “Fuck, I can’t do this. I’m not the person for this!”
Any ideas in the works?
Right now I’m also working on a film on contemporary art with my friend Markús Þór Andrésson. When you do a documentary you are trained to try to tell a truth. You’re not supposed to add anything fictional to it. I graduated four years ago with a degree in anthropology and it’s taken me these four years to realize I’m not doing anthropological films, I can add whatever I like to it. So already Markús and I have started adding a lot of fictional things; why not add scenes that are just made up? I don’t know where that’s going to lead but it’s opened up a new world for me.
How many people did you have with you during the filming of the making of Medulla?
It was just me. You get a totally different thing having a crew or being on your own. I actually do think that you should not edit your own films, (smiles) but I seem to be stuck there.
Is it going to be shown here any time soon?
Yeah, it will be shown on RÚV before Christmas. It was released on DVD on the same day as the record, and has been bought by TV stations all around the world.
What’s very interesting and attractive about The Inner Life… is that you avoid the typical interview storyline.
I thought at first that I was going to end up with just footage of Björk and Valgeir Sigurðsson sitting in front of computers around the world. That’s when I contacted illustrator Darri Lorenzen to create the graphics, because I thought I was going to be struggling with visual material. You never actually knew who was coming where and when…Björk didn’t even always know herself. It was all spontaneous.
Now, you did not have to find funding for these recent projects with Björk. Is it all about being in the right place at the right time?
Yes, definitely. I did another film about Björk in 2000 when she toured with Vespertine. I didn’t really realize it, but now that I’ve been trying to get funding for this art film I realize it’s such a big gap that I stepped over.
Though you get a leg up initially, you still have to prove yourself.
Exactly. Absolutely.
And so she most probably will.

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