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Hallvard Bræin • Director

"I love to experiment, but I also love to lend my talents to causes that I hold dear"


- Cineuropa sat down with Norwegian director Hallvard Bræin, whose film, Børning 2 – On Ice, the sequel to Norwegian box-office smash Børning will hit cinema screens this autumn

Hallvard Bræin • Director

In Oslo’s west, at Filmparken, a film studio of similar stature to France’s Studios de Boulogne or Italy’s Cinecittà, Cineuropa met up with Norwegian director Hallvard Bræin, who is currently in the final stages of post-production, and all smiles, the model of relaxation, in spite of the busy period of work he is going through, with a number of various meetings. Next autumn he will be releasing Børning 2 – On Ice [+see also:
interview: Hallvard Bræin
film profile
(which will be hit Norwegian cinemas on 12 October), sequel to Børning [+see also:
film profile
, a film that won four Amanda Awards (Norway’s answer to the Oscars) in 2015, and was the most successful film at the Norwegian box office in 2014, with close to 382,000 admissions.

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Cineuropa : Yet another fast-paced action film...
Hallvard Bræin :
Essentially. It’s certainly not lacking any car chases or fight scenes! Shooting conditions were sometimes very difficult: streets covered in ice, snowstorms, even a lack of snow that forced us to change locations. But I find difficulties stimulating, to attempt the impossible, to show, for example, a car going head-to-head with an icebreaker on the frozen Gulf of Bothnia. It’s really exciting, especially when you are buoyed by the enthusiasm of a courageous, competent team of technicians, extras, stuntmen and actors, including names like Anders Baasmo Christiansen in the role of Roy, Sven Nordin, Henrik Mestad, Otto Jespersen who we met on the set of director André Øvredal’s Troll Hunter [+see also:
film review
interview: Andre Øvredal
film profile
, on which I worked as DoP. Once again, we see Ida Husøy playing Nina, Roy’s daughter. Her nature and sincerity are truly amazing. It changes the preconceived ideas of beauty to which today’s youth try to conform.

Is it just an action film?
No, I also highlighted human relationships. My film is rife with conflicting situations. I think that people can easily relate to Roy, who is so concerned with doing the right thing that he often finds himself confronted with difficult circumstances: Nina wants to take part in a race with her boyfriend, Charlie; Ingrid, Roy’s ex-wife, played by Marie Blokhus, turns up unexpectedly; adversaries continue to provoke him; and the police are always on his back. And so everyone is drawn into some fully-equipped motoring madness that will take them from Western Norway, where I grew up, all the way to Murmansk in Russia.

Do you share the same love of cars that motivates some of your characters?
Actually, my true love is cinema, but I do like cars, and I have recently been able to attend some car shows. They’re a chance for some Norwegian car addicts to get together and discuss engines and the technical specifications of their cars, while eating sausages and waffles as a family. This type of convivial gathering is important in a rural setting, where almost everyone spends almost all of their time in or with their car.

Did you write the screenplay for Børning 2 – On ice ?
No, the scriptwriter’s were Anne Elvedal and Line-Jeanethe Kyed, I just shared my ideas and a rough story outline with them. I’m not patient enough to dedicate such a long time to writing. I think that it is sometimes good for a director to take a step back from writing the script. You can see things clearer from a distance, and you can be more critical, if you need to be. But, as Håkon Bleken, a Norwegian painter about whom I directed a documentary in 2009, said, when it comes to the artistic domain, you need to know how to operate in the space between the conscious and the unconscious, between intellect and feeling. If we remain in a calculating mindset, one of cold evaluation; if we try to hold back the emotional aspects in an attempt to silence them, we run the risk of ruining the project. You have to trust both chance and the serendipitous. For me, this chance came in the form of my team’s creativity and that of the people I’ve been lucky enough to meet.

You also made a video that you dedicated to first-responders
That’s exactly right; I wanted to encourage as many people as possible to sign up to join emergency care. It’s something that I think is indispensable. I love to experiment, but I also love to lend my talents to causes that I hold dear. Informing and sharing are as important to me as entertaining is.

(Translated from French)

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