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

  • Athi-Patra Ruga

    A Glimpse of Utopia

    “Somehow resistance is what validates an identity. Growing up gay, black and non-Christian, it kind of is something I love playing with.” Athi-Patra Ruga's sensuous work makes us question everyday life.

  • Catherine Opie

    A World Beyond Selfies

    “I was never an optimist in thinking that my images would change laws. But I certainly thought that I would be able to create a history.” Catherine Opie, photographer of minority groups and subcultures, can be both political and very internal.

  • Peaches

    Love Your Vagina

    ”It’s most important right now that men be feminists. If women say they aren’t it’s only because the word is not relating to them and we need to find new terms.” Electronic musician and performance artist Peaches wants us to question norms.

  • Alex Da Corte & Jørgen Leth

    Eminem and Warhol

    Two American icons portrayed eating. Young Alex Da Corte, who impersonated Eminem for a year, was inspired by film director Jørgen Leth, who made an iconic scene with Andy Warhol. Here they meet on stage to talk about the stunning parallels.

  • Tomas Espedal Meets

    Karl Ove Knausgård

    For the first time ever the two giants in Scandinavian literature, Norwegian writers Tomas Espedal and Karl Ove Knausgård, meet on stage – about writing their autobiographical novels where you "have to proceed even though you feel the danger."

  • Daniel Richter

    A German Painter

    “The studio is the sponge and the outside world is the water … The sponge is dipped into reality and then squeezed out.” Daniel Richter, one of the most important painters of his generation, talks about the transformative power of painting.

  • Tiffany Chung

    Maps of Memory

    One of the biggest political and social issues of our time is the refugee crisis. Meet Vietnamese-American artist Tiffany Chung who uses questions of migration, conflict and cultural memory as the raw material for her art.

  • Erik A. Frandsen

    Drawing Out Memories

    Distinguished Danish artist Erik A. Frandsen here shares how the trance-like experience of a 35 days and 1,050-kilometre long walk was transferred into a stunning exhibition of multi-coloured mosaic columns and beautiful watercolour sketches.

  • 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.”

  • Manal Al Dowayan

    Protecting Words

    “The written word is about engaging the viewer.” Let us introduce you to the cool Saudi Arabian artist Manal Al Dowayan, who here shares why she has chosen to integrate words into her art – and why they are so powerful.

  • David Shrigley

    Everything that is Bad About Art

    "One tends to think of oneself as being somewhat more functional and dynamic than one actually is.” Join the incomparable David Shrigley for a thorough and humorous talk about making art that some people think is absolute rubbish.

  • Joshua Oppenheimer

    Making the Invisible Visible

    "You have to find the traces of fear and silence that are visible, whether it's in the furrow of someone's brow or in the water as it flows down an aging torso." Joshua Oppenheimer talks about the making of his Oscar-nominated documentaries.