Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson: “It was important to create the world of the film, which gradually gets dark and ugly.”

My interview with Icelandic director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson on his latest film, Under the Tree.

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Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson presented his latest film, Under the Tree, in the Orizzonti section from last year’s Venice Film Festival. There, I had a chance to interview him. I had already met him in Karlovy Vary in 2014, where he had presented his previous work, Paris of the North, that I had greatly enjoyed.

His latest film revolves around a petty argument between neighbours that slowly but surely develops into a full-blown tragedy. I identified the setting of the film, the Icelandic suburban landscape with its insufficient sunlight and scarcity of trees, as a key element of Under the Tree, and asked him about it. Here is his answer:

[In this film] I’m shooting in Rejkyavik for the first tie, and it’s set in a kind of suburban area which has this kind of sixties architecture that I like very much. It was important to create the world of the film – with its peaceful and quiet neighborhood, which, you know, gradually gets dark and ugly.

You can listen to my full interview with Sigurdsson on FRED Film Radio in a podcast that you can stream here, http://www.fred.fm/uk/hafsteinn-gunnar-sigurdsson-under-the-tree-venezia74/, or watch the video of the interview in the player below:

You can also listen to the podcast of my earlier interview with the director, where we talked about his 2013 film Paris of the North, here, http://www.fred.fm/uk/hafsteinn-gunnar-sigurdsson-paris-of-the-north-paris-nordursins-karlovyvaryff/.

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