Munch returns to the screen, this time with his Tulla Larsen
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Aage Aaberge is readying his “dream project”, a feature about Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, with director Erik Poppe
The last time that Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944) – Norway’s greatest artist – was portrayed on the big screen was in 1974, when UK director Peter Watkins depicted ten years of his life. Now, Norwegian producer Aage Aaberge, of Neofilm, which most recently staged Norwegian directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning’s Golden Globe- and Oscar-nominated Kon-Tiki [+see also:
film profile], is readying a new feature about him.
Veteran UK writer-director Paul Mayersberg, who scripted titles such as The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (1983), is currently finishing the screenplay for Aaberge’s “dream project”, which will be filmed by Norwegian director Erik Poppe, whose A Thousand Times Good Night [+see also:
interview: Erik Poppe
film profile] just won the Amanda, Norway’s national film prize, for Best Feature. Production will start next summer.
“I had been working on this film for eight years, looking for the right way to approach the subject, until I met Mayersberg. ‘The whole story cannot be contained in one script,’ he said. ‘But you do not have to drink the whole bottle to find out whether the wine is good; one glass will do,’” Aaberge recalled. “Mayersberg admires Munch himself, and he suggested we concentrate on a period in the 1890s, when he met Tulla Larsen – the love and strong inspiration of his life – lived in Paris and Berlin, and made some of his best paintings.
“The film will depict their turbulent relationship: he fled from her in 1900, and then she later returned for a brief reconciliation, during which Munch injured two fingers in a shooting accident. It will also deal with his strange on-off friendship with Swedish playwright August Strindberg. Otherwise, the film will be loosely based on Norwegian author Ketil Bjørnstad’s book The Story of Edvard Munch, and we will shoot on location in Paris, Berlin, Oslo and Munch’s summer cottage at Åsgårdstrand,” he concluded.
While packaging the Munch biopic, Aaberge is co-producing Dutch director Boudewijn Koole’s Beyond Sleep, filming in Tromsø, northern Norway (see news). He is also executive-producing Norwegian directors Rasmus A Sivertsen and Rune Spaans’ animated feature Knutsen & Ludvigsen.