“Art has the right to reinvent reality”

Lone Scherfig during the filming of An education

Danish director Lone Scherfig is filming again in Great Britain with His best story, a romantic drama with drops of humor set in a filming during World War II, which recovers the spirit of the playwright Noël Coward.

Danish director Lone Scherfig (Copenhagen, 1959) rose to international stardom in 2000, at the height of the DOGMA movement that proposed a return to cinematographic purism, when her film Italian for beginners, a portrait of some bachelors from the provinces in search of love; became an international success. Then i arrive Wilbur wants to commit suicide (2002), who confesses that he continues to consider his best film; the story of a man who fails to kill himself and drives women crazy. After a film in Great Britain as successful as An education (2009), which garnered three Oscar nominations; the director returns to the Anglo-Saxon country with a story so british like the His best story, in which recreates the shooting of a propaganda film to cheer up the English during the worst days of World War II. The spirit of Noël Coward flies over this film in which a brilliant screenwriter (Gemma Arteton) must confront the producers, the war ministry and their insecurities while falling in love, without realizing it, with her co-writer, played by Sam Claflin.


Question.- How have you felt portraying a world that you know as closely as that of cinema?
Answer.- I think an important part of this film has to do with the love for cinema. I love my profession and I like all stages of my work. I like writing the script and also starting to work with the actors and the contact with the crew on the set. I see this movie as my love letter to the cinema. And I hope this is a joyous, easy-to-watch movie. It is what I have intended.

P.- Is the magic of cinema that something beautiful arises out of chaos capable of moving many?
R.- Totally. In the end, the most important thing is that the audience laughs and cries with your film. That will always be the miracle of this art, bringing people together in the same room to share emotions. The essence of cinema is actually very simple. Today we are addressing an audience that knows a lot about cinema, that has consumed a lot and understands this language very well. I believe that His best story introduces them to a world they already know well.

P.- We see the protagonists racking their brains to fulfill the order of “propaganda film”. Can censorship be a creative challenge?
R.- It has been many times. Great movies have been made in bad times. The important thing about a movie is its authenticity and it has always been very difficult to make movies about love and hope without being sentimental. Of course, it is better to have no limitations, but limitations can be inspiring. Great movies were made in the United States in the early part of the last century and they had no political but moral restraints. The filmmakers managed to say what they wanted.

P.- We see how in the film they embellish a real episode so that it has that propaganda force. Does cinema owe something to reality, like journalism?
R.- Any type of art has the right to reinvent reality. What I do not agree with is that history is rewritten. I have seen a good part of what I know of the Spanish Civil War in the films of your country, so there is a responsibility when dealing with History. Let’s say you can change the story with lower case but not upper case.

P.- The film rescues that ingenious spirit of the Anglo-Saxon theater and cinema of the early twentieth years. Was it an intention to make that mythical wit British?
R.- I really like the screwball comedy. It’s great to work with her because she has such fantastic lines and at the same time she imposes a rhythm and a tempo on you. And then there is the classic element of the struggle of the sexes through those two screenwriters who fall in love without knowing it.

P.- We see the difficulty of the protagonist to be taken seriously in a world of men like that of the cinema. Do women still have a hard time?
R.- I think that is changing a lot. Producers and audiences are increasingly aware that there are movies of lousy men and many women wanting to tell stories. What I see is that women have an increasing role in front of and behind the camera and that is unstoppable.


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“Art has the right to reinvent reality”