In another example of working with existing films and re-purposing them, here is a recent video for the band Summer Camp that uses footage from the 1970 Swedish film “En kärlekshistoria,” or a “Swedish Love Story.” The original film by Roy Andersson beautifully portrays the intensity of youth, if you can look past the adolescent smoking.
In an interview over on mubi.com with Andersson, the interviewer Vishnevetsky asks Andersson about his approach to lighting, casting, and the wide shot, amongst other things.
VISHNEVETSKY: Can we talk a little about your actors? I’ve heard that you have a very specific casting process.
ANDERSSON: I spend a lot of time and energy finding the most fitting characters for the scenes. I want to use common, ordinary people, not “VIPs.” The dialogue is written first, but when I meet the actors, I may re-write it. I am ready to change the dialogue a little to better fit the person. I can rehearse ten or twenty times. Twenty times we’ll meet. I work a lot with them. Often the dialogue is very, very simple, just a few words, so it’s very important that the dialogue is expressed properly.
ANDERSSON: Nowadays I prefer lighting without shadows. There should not be a possibility for people to hide. They should be seen. They should be illuminated all the time. That’s what I mean when I say “light without mercy.” You make the people, the human beings in the movie, very naked.
(and on the wide shot)
VISHNEVETSKY: Chaplin said, “Life is a tragedy in close-up, but a comedy in wide shot.”
ANDERSSON: I’m not sure than I agree with that. I think that the wide shot tells a lot about the human being that a close-up can’t. About their place in the world. The wide shot defines the human being more than the close-up because, for example, the room where the person is tells about his tastes, his life. Even if it’s not home, you can read the history of a person better in a wide shot. When you read this wide shot, there are so many elements that make the picture more tragic. Do you follow me?