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

  • Ragnar Kjartansson

    on Stage with his Mother

    The "mother with child" is one of the oldest clichés in the art historical vocabulary. Performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson grew up in the theatre with an actress-mother who has played a crucial role in his life as an artist, attuning him to what he calls "the realness of fakeness"

  • Cathrine Raben Davidsen

    Paintings of Loss

    Artist Cathrine Raben Davidsen was only 13 years old when she lost her father. “I started making art because I lacked words. Art was my way of dealing with loss.” Meet an artist whose work is a meditation on loss, both personal and societal.

  • 8 Artists on Sound

    Captivating, agonizing, nostalgic – sound can induce a plethora of experiences. In video artist Bill Viola’s words: “like angels, sound can cross between the physical and the nonphysical world.” Hear how he and 7 other artists inhabit the sonic world.

  • Linn Ullmann

    At That Point it Became Possible to Write

    “Subterfuge is very liberating. It helps you be as truthful as you can.” Award-winning writer Linn Ullmann discusses memory and autobiography on the occasion of her latest novel, which treats the relationship between herself and her famous parents.

  • Carlos Cruz-Diez

    The Colours We Create

    “I always say that I do not make paintings or sculptures, I make support for events.” Follow Carlos Cruz-Diez, leading figure in Op Art since the 1960s, into a world of chromatic experience.

  • Carlos Cruz-Diez

    Advice to the Young

    Franco-Venezuelan artist Carloz Cruz-Diez has a lifetime of advice saved up for young artists – even though they may not want to listen. “They should do what I did: try to invent art and new discourses.”

  • Karl Ove Knausgård

    Literature Should be Ruthless

    Karl Ove Knausgård has enchanted the literary world with ‘My Struggle’, a novel of more than 3000 pages about his own life. Watch the star author discuss literature, writing and how his autobiographical style is closely connected to fiction.

  • Ann Veronica Janssens

    Passion for Light

    Step into the laboratory of an artist whose main material is light. Whether solid, liquid or gaseous Ann Veronica Janssens uses light in all its forms “to show the manifestations of reality in a different way.”

  • 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.