Rome IFF: When Vinterberg comes home

Article published on Oct. 28, 2008
Article published on Oct. 28, 2008
When a Man Comes Home [trailer] is a rather autobiographical title for the new film by Thomas Vinterberg, at the Rome International Film Festival in the Extra section.
The director left America (“but only for a little while,” he assures), where he shot It’s All About Love [trailer] and Dear Wendy [making of], to return to his native Denmark and make a film that, at least thematically, relates to his best known title, The Celebration (Jury Prize winner at Cannes 1998).

The basis is once again an atypical family reunion (which is also the title given the film by its Italian distributor Teodora, who plans to release it next spring). Young Sebastian (debut actor Oliver Möller Knauer) has always believed that his father committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. Until the opera star Karl Kristian Schmidt (Thomas Bo Larsen) returns to his small town….

The issues are the same as in The Celebration – secrets and family traumas – but the atmosphere is different, as is the style. “Then I wanted to deliver a hard blow to viewers with an aggressive film, but this time I wanted to relate human frailty,” said Vinterberg.

The director was backed in his choice by DoP Anthony Dod Mantle, who he says shot “in 35mm because this was the only way to convey the warmth of life. Digital is a more cynical way of recording reality”.

Vinterberg has come a long way since Dogma, which he pioneered along with Lars von Trier: “It was an important manifesto but it soon became a successful brand so we searched for something new”. In his case, in the US, but with his “heart back in Europe, because I prefer working here. My next project will be very Danish, low-budget and very dark. The working title is Submarine and we start shooting in January”.

Produced by Nimbus Film, in collaboration with Nimbus Rights, the Danish Film Institute, DR TV, Film Fyn, Film Gear and Mainestream ApS, When a Man Comes Home also received funding from Sweden by way of Nordisk Film, Breidablick Film AB, the Swedish Film Institute, broadcaster SVT and support from the Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

Gabriele Barcaro