Forever Now – Kristian Håskjold (Flying Films)
Danish director and writer Kristian Håskjold’s honest and intimate short film Forever Now has been selected to screen at the prestigious Oscar qualifying Palm Springs International ShortFest in June, and stars Frederikke Dahl Hansen and Ferdinand Falsen Hiis as a young couple dealing with the end of their relationship.
Writing a short-film about a break-up is a dangerous thing. Too often writers fall into cliché and, like the words chosen during break-ups, fail to articulate anything real.
-When were you most in love with me?
-I think it was when we just met.
This is a film about closure, about bathing in respect for a relationship, about realising it was a vignette, and about two people breaking up after several years together.
-Is there any MDMA left from New Year’s Eve?
-Shouldn’t we take it?
Based on a real experience writer and director Kristian Håskjold had with a past relationship, the camera follows the couple over the course of a weekend as they find closure in the love now ending. The narrative is interjected with memories, an ethereal atmosphere and the remembering’s each of us ascribe to the text.
I was sitting on a tree stump at St James’s Park last weekend and I caught the slightest scent of the fragrance of an old love. Immediately it was 2012 and I was lying in a bed with white linen, shutters thrown open and the sound of languid Parisians.
This is exactly what this film does, it appeals to each of us on such an individual plane, it’s hard to review it as a traditional film.
The realism of the film gives it powerful emotional intensity. Denims and browns, exposed brickwork and greenery foster the organic language. Sheepskin and stubble. Kristian Håskjold threw the script away before filming. It’s almost wholly improvised. During his own experience, Håskjold recorded the entire weekend of his break-up and, for this film, transcribed it. He allowed the actors to read threw it to grasp the envisioned atmosphere.
The cuts of memories, the playful dancing and idiosyncrasies remind us of a Terrence Malick film – that and the method of throwing away the script.
-See you, see you.
Your approach seems to share aspects with Terrence Mallick’s method, is this a conscious decision?
To be honest, I know that Terrence Mallick works the same way, but I was actually more inspired by my younger filmmaker colleague in Denmark – Niels Holstein Kaa (Natten er Ung, Yellowknife, Lovers).
What do you gain from throwing away the script?
The whole idea with the film was to try to portray a neutral break up as honest as possible, which I believed only would be possible with the directness of improvisation. I thought it would be necessary for the actors to reach the needed honesty of the situation. When that’s said, the story is also kept really simple for it to work with improvisation. If we had a complicated story with a lot of characters, I’m pretty sure it would become way harder to succeed with such a process like this one.
You find a good balance between vocal narrative and pictorial narrative. Do you have a system for this, or does it arise organically?
When I wrote out the script, I tried to balance it out, but a lot of the dynamics also came in the editing. The whole flow and development of the MDMA sequence is created in editing. I tried to give it an organic progression to give it a feeling of the night slowly building towards a climax. In general we had a lot of extra material, so editing has been key to create the right balance between vocal narrative and pictorial narrative.
If you could work with any director, who would you work with?
If I could work with any director in the world, I would probably pick Steven Soderbergh. I love a lot of his films, but mainly because of his work with the tv show The Knick. He has found a technique, which has made it possible to get incredibly believable acting and long shots. I in general just love everything about that show and think I could learn so much by working with him.