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

  • Fred Tomaselli

    Drawing on New York Times

    “The world is going to hell, but art is still worth making.” Hear about American artist Fred Tomaselli’s fascinating project, in which he manipulates The New York Times front pages by adding paint and collage onto editorial photographs.

  • Doug Aitken

    The Sculpture as a Flux

    Watch American multimedia artist Doug Aitken talk about his mesmerizing, glowing phone booth-piece ‘Twilight’ – a “living sculpture,” which creates “a synthesis between work and viewer.”

  • 11 Writers

    Advice to the Young

    What would some of the greatest writers of our time advise their younger peers? Find out here where Jonathan Franzen, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Richard Ford, Umberto Eco and seven others share their thoughts on how to make it as a writer.

  • Nicolai Howalt

    What We Become

    Photographer Nicolai Howalt here takes us through a selection of his spellbinding work, including photos of young boxers before and after their first match, abandoned car accidents and starry formations of ashes left behind after a cremation.

  • 7 Architects

    Bridging Cultures

    “Doing architecture is listening.” Some of the greatest architects of our time – from Peter Zumthor to Jean Nouvel and Diébédo Francis Kéré – here share their inspirational thoughts on what it is that makes global architecture work.

  • 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’.

  • Nicolai Howalt

    The Light Eyes Can’t See

    Experience an unusual take on the sun in this video where artist Nicolai Howalt talks about his “anarchistic investigation” of light and the sun. An intriguing project inspired by the Danish Nobel Prize-winning physician Niels Finsen’s work with light radiation.

  • 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

    We Get Used Fast to Constraints

    "So much space is just not taken seriously." Interview with the pioneering Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist, who has formed the exhibition space into her own vision by using home video projections and creating new electronic forms.

  • 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.