Joachim Trier presented his English language feature debut, Louder Than Bombs, in competition at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Boasting a cast comprised of such names as Isabelle Huppert, Jesse Eisenberg and Gabriel Byrne – the latter in one of his best performances to date – the film is about a widower coping with new details about the death of his celebrated war photographer wife, and his difficult relationship with his two sons.
It is a drama about family, about the relationship of the living with the memory of the death, about growing up and moving on, but also about lack of communication. Much like Trier’s previous works, it feels fresh and free. Its structure is more similar to a written novel, but one can spot many cinematic influences in its rich construction, that span from the French New Wave to 80’s coming of age comedy dramas. It is as much Jean-Luc Godard as it is John Hughes. But more than that, it is a Joachim Trier film.
I caught up with the director to have a chat about the movie during the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The screening of the film was incredibly popular. Despite queuing up for the film an hour in advance, I was denied access at one of the biggest screening rooms on the Croisette. Disappointed, but determined, I was in the queue of the second screening of the film that same day, in a much smaller room. Already about twenty people had had the same idea. Understandably, this had an impact on the reception of the film. It’s hard to fully enjoy a film after standing for two hours, and being afraid of leaving your spot to go to the bathroom, or get yourself a drink of water. This is part of the intensity of the Cannes Film Festival. At the end of the screening, some hecklers inexplicably saw it fit to boo the film. But it all meant nothing in the end, as the film has been distributed around half world and has currently hit UK screens, to a much more positive and more relaxed critical reaction.
Personally, I enjoyed the film and found it exciting. Therefore, I was rather looking forward to my meeting with Trier, as much I was excited about seeing the film in the first place. This is, after all, the man who directed Reprise, in my opinion, one of the best debuts in recent memory. Click here to listen to my full interview with director Joachim Trier on Louder Than Bombs from the 2015 Cannes Film Festival on FRED Film Radio.
Click below to go onto the text interview.