Italian for Beginners

Italian for Beginners

On Directing Actors

Don’t ask people to do something they can’t do. Casting
is crucial. Don’t give a very physical actor a lot of intellectual
reasons to do something; learn to know your actors and direct each
differently according to who they are as individuals.

On What Makes a Good Director

When I taught at the Danish film school, there was
one shy, Icelandic guy who always said the wrong thing and the actors
just loved him, and they wanted to please him. They would give and
give and give for this guy just to see him smile when they got it
right. Then there are others who, when you see them on a film set-tall,
energetic and full of power-and the actors don’t like them. It’s
a mysterious thing. It’s hard to explain but actors just respect
some directors more than others. You don’t have to look like a director
to be one.

Writing a Dogme film

When you start using reality more you suddenly see
possibilities everywhere; you’re not used to that way of filmmaking
as a traditional filmmaker. Usually, when I walk into a room, the
first thing I do is decide which furniture I want taken out, what
walls should be repainted, what we will see and what we won’t see-manipulating
reality. Dogme is the other way around: you go into a location and
say, ‘Let’s take advantage of all the gifts that are here,’ and
even write them into the script. It’s a nice way of working and,
if you have the right idea, it’s a really great way to make a film.
I enjoyed it so much and you can see that the actors are really
having a good time.

Directing a Dogme film

Directors who have done Dogme films get a great deal
out of it because you get to enjoy breaking the rules of film language,
especially when you when you already know how to work by the rules.
And you enjoy getting rid of all the equipment, given that you already
know what it’s like to work with a lot of equipment. When you’re
young you need all the equipment and you need all the help you can
get, but for an experienced filmmaker, giving some of that up can
be liberating.