Thomas Vinterberg

Thomas Vinterberg

About a Scene by Bergman

Film director Thomas Vinterberg talks about his inspiration from Ingmar Bergman, in particular one farting-scene in 'Fanny and Alexander' which has inspired him in his work, not least in his famous 'The Celebration'.

In this interview Danish film director Thomas Vinterberg (director of 'The Celebration', 1998), who won a 2012 Cannes award for the film The Hunt, talks about the 'farting uncle' in Swedish director Ingmar Bergmans four-part TV movie Fanny and Alexander (1980), and how he feels this scene is a symbol of the finest art of film making. Silly scenes can be very memorable and they are an example of how movies can capture life, he explains. There are other reasons why he is such a fan of Fanny and Alexander, one of which is that the family is the epicenter of important emotions such as love and claustrophobia. "A family is always a very ritualized organism" Vinterberg says. "Families also implies past" and is the only institution which you don't choose yourself.

Vinterberg also explains how he tries to make his films naive, to see things through the eyes of a child, in order to create a straight honest vision of the world. The grown up characters in his films are often childlike, unreflected and irrational, driven by their emotional life. Irrationality is a great tool in filmmaking, Vinterberg says.

Ingmar Bergman has been a huge inspiration to Vinterberg, who was lucky enough to meet him and get his advice. Vinterberg says he has stolen a lot of stuff from Bergman - for instance a scene in The Celebration - and adds how Bergman also admitted to having copied scenes from other filmmakers. "It's all done in admiration" Vinterberg says.

Interview by Synne Rifbjerg.

Camera: Mathias Nyholm
Edited by: Martin Kogi
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Margarethe von Trotta

    A Group of Rebels

    Award-winning film director Margarethe von Trotta – who has worked closely with the legendary directors Fassbinder and Schlöndorff – here shares the story of her winding road to becoming one of the leading contemporary German filmmakers.

  • Anna Bjerger

    It's All About Process

    “The painting moves me forward – and I follow.” Meet Swedish Anna Bjerger, who wants to preserve the excitement of painting, and who paints from photographs, feeling that she can somehow rescue images “that would otherwise disappear.”

  • 3 Artists

    On Yayoi Kusama’s Phalli’s Field

    An absorbing installation of mirrors and soft polka dots by Yayoi Kusama. Join artists Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Astrid Svangren and Alexander Tovborg as they explore what Kusama herself describes as “a sublime, miraculous field of phalluses.”

  • Colm Tóibín

    On Writing

    The award-winning Irish writer Colm Tóibín here shares his meticulous approach to writing, and how a novel can begin with – and build on – just one perfectly shaped sentence: “It moves into rhythm when you least expect it.”

  • David Shrigley

    Advice to the Young

    “You’re on the right track if you’re excited about what you’re doing.” David Shrigley, known for his humorous spin on common situations, here advises his colleagues to be open to learning from mistakes and stresses that being an artist “isn’t for everybody.”

  • Superflex

    Why We Flooded McDonald’s

    What motivates a Danish artists' group to make a movie where one of the most famous American fast food restaurants is inexplicably flooded? Superflex here comment on the content of their “post-apocalyptic movie” ‘Flooded McDonald’s’.

  • Peter Zumthor

    Different Kinds of Silence

    We visited Peter Zumthor – one of the world’s leading architects – in his studio in Switzerland. In this extensive and rare biographical video interview he tells the captivating story of his childhood, his studies in NYC and his parents’ strong influence.

  • Marina Abramović

    Advice to the Young

    Follow your intuition. Have courage. Do what you imagine. And always be completely present in the moment. Marina Abramović on what it really means to be an artist: "A great artist has to be ready to fail."

  • Linn Ullmann

    We All Try to Make Life Work

    ”Literature was a place, where I could recognize things that I thought were only felt by me.” Meet Norwegian writer Linn Ullmann for a conversation about literature, writing and the obligation of the author to be critical of power.

  • Pipilotti Rist

    Color is Dangerous

    Meet the sensuous Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist, whose work full of colour and playfulness. She here argues that videos can have painterly qualities and tells the story of one of her most famous videos, where a woman smashes car windows with a flower.

  • 6 Artists

    Poetry of Discarded Materials

    In a time where consumerism only seems to be growing, it is inspiring to observe these six artists – such as Tara Donovan and Piet Hein Eek – who have made discarded, everyday materials the centre of their work. Watch their approach to re-using materials.

  • 6 Artists

    On Decisive Moments

    6 acclaimed artists reveal a decisive moment in their life – a strong personal experience which became crucial in their development, and in shaping their work as artists.