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

  • Ulay

    Advice to the Young

    “If you want and need inspiration – go behind the central station.” The iconic artist – and self-proclaimed anarchist – Ulay here advises young artists to avoid art institutions and to make works that meet their own needs rather than that of the audience.

  • George Condo

    The Artist at Work

    The mind of American artist George Condo has been referred to as a place where “Picasso meets Looney Tunes.” Watch him at work in his New York-studio where he draws and paints his take on a 19th century painting by Manet.

  • Ulay

    Under My Skin

    This is the story of legendary artist Ulay, famous for his collaboration with Marina Abramović. As a solo artist in search for his identity, Ulay’s radical works have pushed the limits of photography and performance using his own body as material.

  • Olga Tokarczuk

    I Absorb Stories

    Olga Tokarczuk – one of the most important Polish writers of her generation – here shares how she draws inspiration from others: “People tell amazing micro-stories or even bigger stories. I seize them, absorb them and transform them in my books.”

  • Mika Rottenberg

    What is the Connection

    The exceptional video artist Mika Rottenberg here presents her intriguing video installation ‘Cosmic Generator.’ Set on the U.S.-Mexico border and in a huge Chinese market, the work explores the collapse – or reinforcement – of distance.

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Nick Cave

    The World is my Skin

    Have you ever wished that you could put on a suit which would open up the imagination and take you to the world of your dreams? In this video artist Nick Cave presents his wearable sculptures, the 'Soundsuits', made from discarded everyday materials.

  • Gerhard Richter

    In Art We Find Beauty and Comfort

    “I don’t really believe art has power. But it does have value. Those who take an interest in it find solace in art. It gives them huge comfort.” Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest painters of our time, discusses beauty in the era of the internet.

  • Svetlana Alexievich

    A Human is a Scary Creature

    Nobel Prize-winning writer Svetlana Alexievich is known for her monumental non-fiction narratives exploring war and its aftermath in the former Soviet Union. In this video she discusses the role of the writer in a corrupted society permeated by money.