Susanne Bier offers the Zurich Film Festival a colourful master class
by Giorgia Del Don
- This year, during the Zurich Film Festival, Susanne Bier plays the double role of jury chair and lecturer. Two jobs which she carries out to perfection
Danish director Susanne Bier, creator of internationally-acclaimed films like After the Wedding [+see also:
interview: Sisse Graum Jørgensen
interview: Susanne Bier
film profile], Things we lost in the Fire and In a Better World [+see also:
film profile] is one of those people that seems to be at ease in any situation: from small budget movies to the frenzy of US super productions. Her secret is probably, as she already illustrated during the master class that she gave in Zurich, not taking herself too seriously, and her ability to dream while keeping her feet firmly on the ground.
For its tenth anniversary the Zurich Film Festival spoiled viewers by offering them a series of master classes (ZFF Masters) as diverse as they are interesting. Accompanying Susanne Bier were American documentary-filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, musician Hans Zimmer, German photography director Michael Ballhaus and mysterious Austrian director Ulrich Seidl.
For an hour Susanne Bier dealt with the most varied topics: from her links to Danish cinema to her ability to also work in the US, from the schizophrenia of an artist's life (a definition which for her is overly “pretentious”, bordering on snobbery) to the need to constantly find her roots, her family. The director of After the Wedding seems to have lost none of the freshness and spontaneity that have always defined her. As she herself emphasizes, movie-making excites and frightens her still, just like at the outset of her career. What makes the direction profession unique is the courage to “take risks”. Without that sincerity and passion no film could (or should) see the light of day.
(Translated from Italian)