Catching Up with Christoffer Boe

GreenCineStaff's picture

Allegro is the second film where your narrator is not only also a character in your film, but also turns out to be a writer of the story. In this case, instead of being a novelist or an author, he felt to me more like an angel who had come done to look after this guy, and his job was to put him back in touch with all these things he left behind.

That's one of the places where people differ. I just talked to a friend of mine who is Jewish, and he was looking me in the eye and saying, "Look, Christopher, I know you have your secrets but, really, Tom, he's the Devil, right?" And you're saying he's an angel. He's somewhere in between, but he's a guy in control, so he might be a perverse kind of god.

Are the narrators, who are also authors, stand-ins for the director?

I think that the movies are taking away the control from the narrators, not so much Allegro but Reconstruction, so, no, they're not. They are their own entities and because they are not the director. They themselves succumb to some of the same mistakes and frailties that the other characters encounter, so, no, they're not.

The idea of love all through these movies is this incredibly beautiful thing that drives us. At the same time, it leaves destruction and it leaves pain. Both of your films grapple with both of these ideas at the same time.

Yes. The variations is the fact that love is a dangerous illusion and we can't live without it. That was sort of it. Reconstruction is very much about the look of love. It's this first meeting, and everything it does to you and the revolution it can be on yourself and your identity. Allegro is very much about someone who is not accepting the revolutionary quality of love, that he's not willing to change his life. He's not willing to accept all the flaws and the losses and the mistakes that are going to come when you invite another human being into your life. To me, it's not so much about a relationship ending. It's about a guy not accepting love, so being in the middle of it and then thinking back, it's very much a movie about melancholy.

I think emotional melancholy is just a wonderful emotion. The quality of thinking back on loss is something that's quite endearing, especially in art. There's this great feeling when you see great art, great movies, and you can experience all this loss, and then after an hour and a half, you can walk out. You haven't really lost anything. You've just watched a movie. But you have this drenched, clenching feeling of being through a turmoil or a big event and there's something quite wonderful about that. And the movie is about that. It's about digging into that feeling.

They are also both movies about telling stories.

Yes. I always had a really big problem justifying making movies. There are so many great movies out there, so many things have been told, I really need to justify why should I make another movie. I really used these movies to discuss moviemaking, at least my vision of moviemaking. After Allegro, I've already made another one, and I think I'm maturing. I think I might be able to leave.

It's also like Godard said, that the only honest movie you can make would be a camera looking into a mirror. That kind of self-reflexivity is something I've tried to have in my movies. These movies know that they are movies and they discuss their artifice as movies, but it's also this great thing about cinema that behind all the technique and behind the fact that there is a camera filming, it still works. There's something amazing about this, that it's all a construction but it hurts. It's not really about the audience. It's about the characters in the movie who are captured in something that they see as a construction. But as an audience, we can know all the techniques about moviemaking.

People might read this interview. People see the behind-the-scenes materials on DVDs, deleted scenes and alternate endings and commentaries, but when they shut it all off and watch the movie again, it still works. Even though you know everything about it, you know all the techniques and the tricks, there is something about cinema, that it can still work on a sort of magical level beyond the point of rational knowledge. That's also something that I try to incorporate into these movies, that they are very aware of being movies, but they are also looking for that spark of magic. That might not work for the audience, but the movie itself is trying to look at those elements where the physical reality becomes something different, it becomes cinematic beauty.

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