FAN OF DE PALMA, ROEG - WORKS INTUITIVELY "IN WHAT I CALL DIRTY FORMALISM, OR POP FORMALISM"
This past June, I posted a link with an excerpt from a Cannes interview with Joachim Trier, in which the director talked about writing and creating a diary section (a kind of movie within the movie) of his new film Louder Than Bombs. In that interview, Trier told The Upcoming's Christian Herschmann that prior to discovering the social realist films of Ken Loach, Steven Frears, and Mike Leigh, "I was really into Antonioni, Alain Resnais and Brian De Palma. I wanted montage and the break of the image and the form to be really at the essence of what I did, and I think I changed."
In responding to Herschmann's question of how he became interested in the sort of written text being presented "in a very visual way, as a montage of imagery" (which Herschmann points out was also used in Trier's Oslo, August 31st), Trier states, "I still have one foot in that kind of formalism. Showing thought patterns in cinema through montage I find very interesting. And it’s been appropriated by commercials, but I always try to show that it could be more expressive and, ideally, more complex."
In a new interview posted yesterday by Variety's Jon Asp (from the Norwegian Film Festival at Haugesund), Trier is asked how he comes up with ideas. "I like working intuitively," Trier responds, "in what I call dirty formalism, or pop formalism. I jokingly say that our films should be like great albums with different songs. I am a big fan of Nicolas Roeg, Don’t Look Now, which could be very specific conceptual things, but it was a warm formalism, it didn’t alienate you. I’m also a very big fan of Brian De Palma. I believe in the idea of doing a cinematic set piece, like Conrad’s diary, it’s like film in itself, or the car crash sequence with Isabelle, and the association of the son thinking of his mother and the last moments of her death, are whole set pieces, a film within the film. So it’s like an album. You have different songs, hopefully most of them are hits."