Yngvild Sve Flikke • Director
by Maud Forsgren
- Cineuropa met the Norwegian director Yngvild Sve Flikke, who has just screened her first feature film Women in Oversized Men’s Shirts
The majority of Norweigan films offered to the public this spring were directed by very young women. That’s the case of Yngvild Sve Flikke who has justparticipated in the Gothemburg Film Festival in Sweden, with her debut feature Women in Oversized Men's Shirts [+see also:
interview: Yngvild Sve Flikke
film profile], screened in the legendary Draken theatre, one of the most beautiful Swedish cinemas, with its 700 seats and its stage curtain adorned with an impressive long ship. The movie, produced by Motlys with the support of the Norwegian Film Institute, and set to open the Kosmoram International Film Festival in Trondheim at the beginning of March, is freely based on Gunnhild Øyehaug’s bestseller novel Vente, blinke.
Cineuropa: Gunnhild Øyehaug is also the screenwriter/script-writer for your movie.
Yngvild Sve Flikke: She is. We’ve worked in close collaboration, Gunnhild and I. The work was pleasant, because we’re the same age, so we have shared references. And we’re also both young mothers, whose mothers, coincidentally, come from the same village. However, our two works are very different. Some of the book’s characters are not in the movie and vice-versa: for example we created the character Agnes, the oldest woman. But, in the movie like in the book, the feminist intention is clear, just like the humour is central. Plus there’s a lot of self-mockery in the voice of the narrator, played by Gunnhild. We were constantly engaged in striking a balance between empathy and irony, between bonds and detachment.
Trondheim, a city that is dear to you, shows itself on its most beautiful day, at the beginning of summer, on the big-screen.
That’s true. I wanted to show the cathedral, the museums, and the artistic-literary milieu of this lively town that’s too often under-estimated. The wonderful weather we enjoyed when filming allowed us to obtain those beautiful images, shot by Marianne Bakke, director of photography. I walked a lot around this town. It’s mine without really being mine, as I don’t live there anymore. I was able to see it in another light to choose the backdrops but the café that Sigrid goes to was dreamt up.
In your movie we see three Norwegian women, three different generations...
All three in search of identity and authenticity as well as happiness and social success: Sigrid, the main character, a student in love with a writer who’s older than her; Trine a pregnant woman who is quick to become very physically involved in avant-garde artistic practices; Agnes, an elderly carpenter who suddenly leaves in search of her abandoned child. The main roles are played by Inga Ibsdotter Lilleås, a newcomer to the profession, and two seasoned actresses: Henriette Steenstrup and Anne Krigsvoll.
Why this movie? Is this an ensemble film?
No. We didn’t want an ensemble film where the stories become entangled. Our characters barely cross paths. The ending is both open and closed: every story comes to an end, finds its completeness in a conclusion, but some hanging issues and question marks remain. My film is a kind of philosophical and existential comedy. It’s about life and living, about complex characters and their problems, dreams, illusions and frustrations. It’s all presented in scenes that are often amusing, familiar situations that everyone can identify with. My women stumble, they get lost, they often lose their footing, but they always emerge stronger. Sigrid learns to compromise. Trine makes progress: what seemed inconceivable to her at the outset becomes possible despite everything. Agnes certainly won’t have the career she desired, but does it really matter?
Have you always been passionate about film?
Not really. When I was very young I wanted to be an actress. Above all I wanted to paint and to draw. I ended up studying anthropology before I worked in media. For the moment film has triumphed and I’m happy pursue it.
(Translated from French)