JOACHIM TRIER: I studied in the National Film and Television School in England. There was no film school in Norway when I started out. So I made a lot of short films in English. Then I made two films, and the first of those was Reprise, which got a lot of attention in the U.S., got distributed by Miramax. And then I did the obligatory run through in Los Angeles and read about 100 scripts, almost. None of them felt like they could become personal projects, so I decided to write with my writer Eskil Vogt an American movie. So, that turned out to be Louder Than Bombs. And that took, altogether, six years to make. I made Oslo, August 31st in the middle of the process. We re-wrote [Louder Than Bombs] several times when we got older. My co-writer [Eskil Vogt] didn’t have children when we began, and now he has too.MM: Like Reprise, one of the main characters in Louder Than Bombs is a writer.
JT: In a film like Louder Than Bombs, to deal with grief you have to re-evaluate your story. By telling each other stories we find out how to deal with life. In a film which is so much about the lack of communication, I think somehow to have a young character like Conrad (the young writer) to be a narrative force with his own rather romantic notion of storytelling was an interesting take on it. […]
MM: I’m curious about how you structure your films. Do you have it all written out exactly, or do you think of something while shooting and tell yourself “yeah, let’s go with that”?
JT: I always try to stay intuitive. On one level, Louder Than Bombs is shot in 35mm, and so we are very concerned with the look and feel of the narrative. Then, we throw in images, paintings, YouTube clips, which I think is hopefully a modern way of showing how reality perculates in our minds with an overload of images. So, it’s a mixture of plan and spontaneity.