Let’s touch upon your more formative years again, I know you’ve cited Matthew Barney and David Lynch as two directors that you’ve looked up to and have been inspired by. I am interested in how you speak about your lack of female role models and you often talk about your responsibility as a female director. What has your experience in the industry been so far, and how is it changing?
I have been thinking about it a lot. My main influences, especially throughout my education, have been almost exclusively male! Today it is much easier, in the last three years it’s changed a lot for example, but at that point I only had men to look up to. It left me kind of confused and I couldn’t get my head around how I could do what they were doing. It was just really hard and things got mixed up, until I started to find female role models like Miranda July, Sophia Coppola, or Yoko Ono, that it became easier for me. I related to how they told their stories from a female point of view.
When working with Phillips on the Mando Diao film for example, I said, come on, there’s only going to be guys in this video, male protagonist, with his male friends ending with some pretty girls in the kitchen! As a female director, I feel like sometimes you have to be a little bit responsible! I suggested we swap the last artist, who was supposed to be a man as well, for a female artist who’d pick up the protagonist in a car and drive off.
Since I began to look for female role models I’ve felt like it has become easier for me to find my own language. For this reason, I want to talk about it to inspire others to do the same. For example, I like to have students from art schools to do work placements with me, especially younger women, because I didn’t have that opportunity and I want to give them that. I think all I can do now is to support young girls to pursue their dreams, in any kind of way!
It is reminding me a lot about all of the comments surrounding Cannes this year; the role of women in film is at the forefront of discussions in contemporary film.
It’s true that something big is happening! Dazed Digital is making a big move to support female directors, as well as the newly established Glass Lion in Cannes that recognises work that implicitly or explicitly addresses issues of gender inequality or prejudice, through the conscious representation of gender in advertising.
Also, I don’t know if you’ve heard about this ‘one in three’ initiative? The Swedish Film & TV Producers organisation KOMM have decided on a recommendation that at least one in three who are pitching for commercials should be a woman. It’s obviously just a guideline but it’s gained a lot of attention in the press.