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quarta-feira, 20 de setembro de 2017

Taneli Mustonen

Olá!

Entrevistei, pessoalmente, o finlandês Taneli Mustonen, realizador de "Lake Bodom" - uma longa-metragem de Terror com temática lésbica! A entrevista aconteceu aquando da 11.ª edição do MOTELX - Festival Internacional de Cinema de Terror de Lisboa, que se realizou no Cinema São Jorge.

Visto que a língua de conversação foi o inglês, resolvi não traduzir o que foi dito (quem não está à vontade com o inglês, basta ir ao canto superior direito do blog, ao "Translate", e seleccionar a língua mais conveniente). A entrevista, foi gravada por meio digital, e foi totalmente transcrita assegurando assim, a naturalidade de uma conversa que durou mais de 30 minutos onde, obviamente, foi uma enorme honra para mim puder fazer as perguntas que tinha planeado... e ter incríveis respostas, claro!
O realizador e argumentista finlandês Taneli Mustonen
Lisboa, 9 de Setembro de 2017, no Cinema São Jorge.

Adolescente Gay: For the people that don’t know you, how would you present yourself? 
Taneli Mustonen: Oh, that’s a huge question. I would say I hope that the movies speak for themselves.

AG: Because you made very different sorts of movies? 
TM: Yes and there’s a good reason for it. I was raised in a family where my father is a journalist and my mother is a graphic designer. My siblings and I were somewhat oddballs in this old mining town back in Finland and the only thing that we really connected in that town and anywhere else was the local cinema. When the old lady from the cinema was too tired, my father sort of took over and that was my first film school. I was eight or nine and I fell in love with films. I think it sort of ignited my passion for different kinds of movies because there was a different kind of movie every week and there was only one cinema. So, they were running that same film many times. That was why I called it my first film school.

AG: So, you watched them several times? 
TM: Yes. Also, the miners either went to see a movie or they would go and get drunk so, my father used to say that it was sort of like a beacon, just like in a church. Where people could just forget their lives for just a second and dream a little bit I guess.

AG: How was your childhood?
TM: I had a happy childhood I guess. It was very much so because of the movies.
I’m really afraid of being boxed so, I don’t like when people put anybody in a box or expect someone to behave in a typical way. I was the only long haired dude back in my hometown. My friends and I were constantly picked on and bullied about it. That’s like small town problems and, in that retrospect, when I think about it movies told me, promised me, that there’s another world.
That’s the thing about movies: You can fall in love with a person on the big screen, follow that and see the world from her, or his, point of view. That’s important to your mind. I would have chosen a totally different path, I guess, if we didn’t have that cinema.

AG: What were your thoughts about the world at such an early age?
TM: It taught me that there is a world outside your hometown. That there is something that you want to go and achieve. As soon as I learned that there is an occupation called directing, that was the happiest moment. I was twelve, thirteen when my friends told me that there was somebody making these films and that sort of sparked something in me and I started making these short films with my friends. Every kid does basically Horror films. Everybody does that first. Then, I moved from home when I was sixteen and that was… Finland is quite a small country and I sort felt that I wanted to be in a bigger city, see other people too and travel a lot.
I started high school in a totally different city and then things really happened fast. I got in the only real film school in Finland. The academic film school when I was just nineteen, twenty, just out of high school. I was the youngest to go in that year. It’s been really fast ever since.

AG: Did your love for Horror films begin in those years? What kind of horror movies did you do with your friends back then, considering that you were very young?
TM: I think the Horror films that we did with our friends were just to have fun with, you know, ketchup and just, like, play around. It was very much to get to know all the machinery that is called filmmaking.
It sparked something in me and it really isn’t that different nowadays even though you can work with a team of almost two hundred people. At the same time, it’s not that different. It’s still working together in creating something out of nothing and just loving the universal language of cinema.

AG: When you started your academic course, was it difficult to adapt from your previous experience with filmmaking?
TM: The correct answer would be yes and no. It was a difficult period for me because I felt that in school they sort of take a pupil and you feel like they train you to become something that is in full contradiction with what you feel that you are. You feel ashamed with the films that you love and you feel like you’re lacking something. It can be really difficult. I had really difficult times when I think about it. I love my education. I learned my craft from my film school and I love my teachers.
At the same time, when I got in at such a young age, it was a difficult part for me because I felt that there’s a contradiction between the things that they would like me to pursue and the things that I would love to do. It took me, right after school, almost 10 years, to go back to the things that I love to do. Then, I went back to comedies and horror.

AG: What did you do in those 10 years? What kind of movies did you make at that particular time?
TM: I didn’t do any movies in that time. I was one of the students that … every now and then there’s like a promising student and then I won a couple of prizes when I was in film school and then I had these 10 years of wonder. I did a lot of commercials and music videos and worked a heck of many years on TV. I was writing and directing for TV and those years were really necessary for me to once again learn what I wanted to do. It took me quite a big loop to back get up onto features.
I’m doing a feature per year now. Last year, I did two features, so I’ve been working really hard.

AG: Along those 10 years, did you see yourself making long feature films in the future?
TM: Sure, certainly. I started, pretty much every year, writing a project that I would just scrap it for every other reason. The biggest learning curve for me was learning how to write. I’m not sure if I know that much about writing still, but it’s something that started from film school. I’ve been writing all of my life like little stories and poems that my mother uses to all of our friends now. I just wanted to learn the craft, to know what it takes to write a screenplay.
I wrote five scripts that never got anywhere before I got the first feature. That’s funny enough because my writing companion and my business partner who cofounded the company that produced this film, for instance, Aleksi was studying to be a producer. We met in film school and sort of clicked from there, but we didn’t write together until our first feature back in 2010. I finished film school in 2000 so, that’s a long time, but it has been very fruitful and I think that we’re adding something to each other when we work.
I’m usually the guy that is spitting out ideas and talking out of my ass, most of the time, and he’s just like picking up the ideas and saying: “That could work”; “This could work” and “We could do it like this”. It works for us.

AG: Now, I would like to ask you some questions about your present feature. Why “Lake Bodom”?
TM: “Lake Bodom” in short is basically something sort of in the age of innocence in Finland. It’s this kind of horrible crimes that occur every once in a while that change everything.
It’s also, for every generation that follows, something that you learn when you talk to your parents and ask “Can I go camping with my friends?” and they say “Yes you can, but do you know what happened at Camp Bodom?” and you sort of learn these kinds of urban legends. That is the reason why there were so many projects.  Pretty much every kid that wanted to do a horror film, back in Finland, I would assume that they probably had the idea: “Let’s do Lake Bodom the movie.”
It fits nicely into the slasher genre. That’s the main reason why we started this project, but then it took us almost 10 years to come up with the other ideas.
We always thought that there must be two ideas. The other idea was that we wanted to bring it to present time, the present day and deal with present day problems. Instead of talking something about what happened in the 1960s, we wanted to talk about kids that reconstruct and what it is to be a kid nowadays in social media and everything.

AG: Was the 1960s reenactment a possibility back then or did you set up from the start that you wanted to bring it to the present days?  
TM: Actually, I think everything clicked when I got my motorcycle driving license. I went to Lake Bodom and saw all those kids walking there and making markings on the ground. I came back to the production office and told Aleksi what I saw and then he said: “That could work.” That sort of ignited the idea that we were going to actually make it happen because the Bodom case is so all over the place now. It’s like a JFK case and we didn’t want to do a film that accuses anybody because it’s still very much so an open case.  We just wanted to talk about the question: “What would make a young person to kill someone?” That was the thematic question for us and we sort of started to follow that path back to and that gave the story of the social media and the shaming and all these things that are very much today.

AG: How long did the shooting take?
TM: The shooting was quite short. It was only twenty-something days. We shot something in studio, but it was twenty-five, twenty-seven days in total, so it was really short.
We ran out of money so many times. I was so lucky to have these amazing Italian kids. Most of them had done nothing before. They were newbies. We were just wandering around the forest in total darkness for those twenty-seven days.

AG: What was the main difficulty while shooting the movie?
TM: Everything about filmmaking can be difficult, but I would say shooting the elements, the unknown and the things that you can’t anticipate
beforehand, especially, when you’re shooting in a forest, in that time of the year, in Finland. It can be really rainy and windy and you just have to deal with
all of the four elements and people get tired.
Especially, when the actors are new to these things and have an age between seventeen and twenty-five, they don’t have any protection and take everything in and that can cause problems. Lucky for me they kept on fighting.
Another difficult part was finishing the film on time, in post-production. We finished the film four days before the first screening so, we just calculated how much time the CGI needs. I was mixing while I was still editing and the composer was making the music at the same time.

AG:  Was the underwater scene difficult to shoot?
TM: Yes, it was super difficult to make. That’s a little movie secret: we had to have an extra trained diver that was accustomed to cold water because the water was freezing at that time of year. Luckily she had the same hair and we just had to dye it and she portrayed it either when she went in the real lake. Everything that happens underneath we shot in this underwater tank and luckily for me Nelly Hirst-Gee did her own stunts. That was tremendously hard to work.

AG: What scene are you most proud of?
TM: That’s difficult to say. Of course, I’m proud of the all movie, but there are situations where the team came up with ideas to overcome certain obstacles. We did that on a daily basis or nightly basis, I would say. We had many cameras running and we didn’t have enough lights. We were constantly being poured with problems, but at the same time I was so excited. I saw that we were really onto something. I saw how the acting was growing so, I was extremely lucky. It was tremendously hard to shoot, but at the same time extremely satisfying.
It wouldn’t be fair to call out something. If you asked me another time, I would say something else.

AG: Considering the sound and lighting aspects were the final results what you expected?  
TM: I think it was so much better. I was super scared all the way through, how would we manage all the problems that we were having with lighting and that was only due to the fact that we didn’t have the money. Also, the elements were against us. There was this situation we called the moon sourcing where we had actually a substitute for the moonlight.
I’m very lucky to have been working with the same crew ever since I started features. Most of my crew is from my film school days, so they knew what they were getting into when they’re working with me. We just try to keep the bar high, the quality as high as possible, at the same time, and try to come up with solutions.

AG: Yesterday, I saw the movie. Why did you place the character of the old man in Lake Bodom when the murderer could be connected with the only survivor?
TM: Oh, that’s another thing you learn in Finland. As you study the case, you hear about the case. As it happens, the police had two investigating lines all the way from the early murders of the 60s. One line was that maybe it’s an outsider that attacked them like the surviving boy said. If so, his testimony was that he must have been a huge guy because it takes a lot of power to actually conquer four teenagers in a tent. He had to be overwhelmingly powerful. So, they tried to find the giant and never did.
The other line the police had: was that maybe there was no outsider. Maybe, it was just the guy that survived. So, we started working on those theses in order that the movie would communicate those questions because they are quite important. In the movie we kept it so that it could be either both and at the same time I feel that there’s a part in the film, when the movie ends and the killer saves one of the kids, that’s sort of like the same as in the original murders. Either saved for her own doings she knows what she has done. That’s the judgment, I would call.


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Trailer de "Lake Bodom" (título original: Bodom), de Taneli Mustonen, 2016.




Beijinhos e portem-se mal!! ;)