Lamb with Noomi Rapace: meeting with the director of this crazy and different film – News …

He is the man behind “Lamb”, this Icelandic film discovered in Cannes that is unlike any other. Valdimar Jóhannsson lifts the veil on the particular shooting of his first feature film, at the cinema on December 29. Encounter.

Strange and fascinating. These are the two adjectives that best describe the Lamb experience. Coming straight from Iceland, this folk tale travels through festivals around the world. In Cannes, he received the Originality Award from the Un certain regard section. An honor for Valdimar Jóhannsson, the director, who signs his very first feature film here.

This cinema man knows the sets like the back of his hand, young and old alike. Batman Begins, Prometheus, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Game of Thrones… He has taken part in the biggest productions that have stayed in his native country, sometimes as a special effects technician, interior designer or electrician. After two short films – Harmsaga and Dögun – he offers this fantastic drama about a lamb that will change the life of a couple of breeders. A story as touching as it is brutal, very different from the usual proposals.

AlloCine went in the footsteps of the film, in Iceland, to meet the director. It is in the setting, an isolated farmhouse abandoned for 20 years, that Valdimar Jóhannsson confided in this very personal project, which took time.

Lamb with noomi rapace: meeting with the director of this crazy and different film - news...
Go to Sheep 2021

“Lamb” by Valdimar Jóhannsson.

The most important thing was to make the movie that I had always wanted to see, he says. My co-writer, Sjón, and I were in no rush“In total, it took more than three years to raise the necessary budget. It is never easy to finance a first film and even less when it requires a lot of visual effects, something rare in Iceland.

Two themes run through Lamb : loss and parenthood. Subjects already present in the director’s short films. “But everyone can see what they want, he specifies, I like viewers to have a different opinion on the message I want to convey.One of the details which, on the contrary, will not escape anyone is the importance of nature on the screen. She takes back what the human being is trying to steal from her.

We filmed some daytime scenes after midnight

Lamb is not an ecological film, but Valdimar Jóhannsson makes the Icelandic plains a character in its own right. This setting is so important that the filmmaker chose to shoot near where he grew up, in the north of the country, in Akureyri. This is where the farm is located. “I had a very special one in mind, I had made drawings and even a model”, He explains.

In the great Icelandic tradition – where everything is a family affair – it was finally her brother who sent her a photo of the one who will be chosen for the film. “It is very different from the farm of my dreams, but I like its arrangement around the mountains. ” In the cinema, the effect is guaranteed. The place is the perfect setting for this bizarre and haunting tale.

Lamb with noomi rapace: meeting with the director of this crazy and different film - news...
Thomas Desroches

The abandoned farm in Flaga, Iceland, the main setting for “Lamb”.

During the shooting, which lasted 35 days, Valdimar Jóhannsson took advantage of the peculiarities of his country to sublimate his images. With his director of photography, Eli Arenson – who is also his brother-in-law – he has filmed throughout the summer, when the sun does not set and the night is nonexistent. “We filmed some daytime scenes after midnight because the light is so beautiful and soft, he rejoices. We slept here on the farm to capture these moments. ”

As for the opening scene, it was shot in the middle of a snowstorm in February. A new challenge for technicians who have used a steadicam – a system that allows the camera to be stabilized with a harness attached to the cameraman.

REPORT – James Bond, Star Wars … why are the biggest films shot in Iceland?

Beyond its visual beauty, Lamb also shines thanks to the talent of its main actress, Noomi Rapace. Its international fame allows this film with a modest budget to make its way. The star hadn’t acted in the Icelandic language since her very first film, Shadow of the Raven, released in 1988. “We absolutely wanted her, but I remember she gave no answer for a very long time, recalls Valdimar Jóhannsson. Then there was this phone call and she wanted to see me.

After a lunch with the filmmaker in London, the Swedish actress went to Iceland for five days to rediscover the place and meet her acting partner, the equally talented Hilmir Snær Guðnason. “There was something between them, indicates the director. I knew they would make a convincing couple. ”

Lamb with noomi rapace: meeting with the director of this crazy and different film - news...
Go to Sheep 2021

Noomi Rapace is striking in “Lamb”.

The other star of the film is, of course, Ada, this special lamb taken in by the couple. It is difficult to talk about it without revealing one of the mysteries of the story. To create this character, the team had to shoot with real animals, but also dolls “with lamp-shaped heads“, as fun to tell Hilmir Snær Guðnason. On social networks, especially Instagram, the creature is causing a stir. She has become a source of inspiration for many artists.

Since the world premiere in Cannes in July 2021, Valdimar Jóhannsson has been living a dream: “I was not expecting that at all. I didn’t know if people were going to buy into this stuff. Even in the United States, a lot of people have seen it. ” And for good reason, Lamb became the biggest Icelandic success on American soil. To top it off, he was selected to represent his country in the Oscar race. It was well worth some risk taking.

Lamb by Valdimar Jóhannsson, at the cinema this December 29.

Interview by Thomas Desroches, in Akureyri, October 31, 2021.

Check out the movie trailer:

Related Posts

error: Content is protected !!