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cannes film la cinef that's love

Cannes Film Festival 
25th La Cinef Selection 2022 

Malthe Saxer
May 26, 2022

An absurd modern anti-romantic love story about falling in and out of love, driven by a discussion of the statement made by relationship professionals that "love consists of 20% feelings and 80% willpower".

Hi Malthe, thank you for talking to The New Current, how have you been keeping during these strange times?


Of course. The restrictions that have come with the pandemic have actually suited me very well. It has been good for my wellbeing and has made me much calmer. Except from that, I’m in a position of waiting. I have recently applied for funding for my next project, a feature, which I’m waiting to receive an answer on. Currently I’m re-charging and taking it slow and easy.


Are there going to be any nerves ahead of your screening?


For sure! There will be lots of nerves, there will always be regardless if the film is presented for my parents or my friends…or in Cannes.


What would you say have been the most valuable lessons you have taken from your time at the Den Danske Filmskole?


It has been very valuable to have the time and space to experiment with different things, in a very short time. As well as failing and learning from those experiment. The film school was for me a place to search and find a language and an atmosphere in which I could explore.


Congratulations on That’s Amore being selected for the 25th La Cinef, where you are also nominated for the Cinefondation Award, what does sit mean to you to be able to be at the festival with this film and get this nomination?


Thank you. It means a lot that people value and recognise the things I do as a filmmaker. And hopefully, the attention that is around THAT’S AMORE will have a positive effect on my upcoming feature. Hopefully being in Cannes also means that I get the opportunity to meet a lot of people whom I otherwise would not have met.


Would you say you’re a romantic?


Yes! Even though I’m not sure what lies in the definition, besides from being a hopeless romantic. It is hopeless because there exist some kind of ideal or idea about how a relationship should be. Love has been described millions of times through art, and that picture of love as something grand and diffuse can give a distorted view on love, at least it did for me. It makes love appear as something one doesn’t have control over. The romantic comes from an imagination and seem to be a representation of love that make things complicated. It is a utopia. I would like the love to be more grounded.

cannes film la cinef that's love

Can you tell me how That’s Amore came about, what it about Anna Juul’s screenplay that connected with you as a director?


Anna and I used to be a couple, and we have worked together a lot during the years at the school. So we know each other very well. Two days before we started working on the film, we broke up, and the only thing we could make a film about was that. The film is somehow a result of that, and through the film we could deal with the break up. She wrote the screenplay, but we developed the ideas and the film together. With that said, I really connect with her writing because she can balance the philosophical with humour and the pain or vulnerability of being a human. We are a good match, creatively.


How much flexibility did you allow yourself and your actors with the screenplay?


At the film set we stayed with most of the screenplay. But before we started the filming, I had spent a lot of time with the actors to develop their characters and the characters relationship through improvisation.


What was the biggest challenges you faced bringing That’s Amore to life and what was the hardest scene for you to film?


The biggest challenges during the process was that we had to change from one production team to another during the shooting. That was very hectic. The most challenging scene was the end scene, because there was a truth in the screenplay, a kind of poetry, which was very difficult to create.


Jakub Natorp’s cinematography is incredible how important is the creative collaborative relationship between a director and their DOP?


It is of course a very important relationship. Because the DOP is an elongation of my eyes. So, it is important that we agree on what to see and how to see it. Jakob and I have – since we met the first time at the school – really wanted to work together. In this film we finally did, and I love working with him! He has an incredible way to sense, he is very playful, and I fell very safe around him. We like to play in the same way, we have the same approach to how to play when it comes to filmmaking, and that is important to me.


Looking back is there anything you would do differently on this film?


Yes, but it is difficult to shortly pin point what it is. But it is about some of the movements throughout the film, the emotional ones.

Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?


It feels right and meaningful to tell and share stories through film and I love the teamwork that comes with it.


How much has the approach and style of your films evolved since your debut short?


My approach is not different, but I’m becoming more and more precise. The space between my sensation and thought, to the final result of an idea, is not as big as it used to be. I’m getting better and better. I still think I have a lot to learn, one can always get better.

cannes film la cinef that's love

"I would like to start a discussion about love and how you can take ownership over it."

Are there any film themes or genre you are keen to explore with future films?


Yes, I like to explore and expand genres and themes. I would say that I have an undogmatic approach to filmmaking. At the moment I have 4-5 ideas and all of them are very different from one another. One of them is ex. a horror film and another a film with a dog as the main character.


Is there any advice or tips you would offer a fellow director?


Everyone is different… But I find it important to be aware and clear about how one prioritise, and how to communicate it. Then it is easier to navigate through life and through your career.


And finally, what do you hope your audiences will take away from That’s Amore?


I hope that the audience will reflect and have discussions about what kind of discipline love is, and what love takes in 2022. Is the view on love realistic? I would like to start a discussion about love and how you can take ownership over it. How can we practice the discipline and not leave it to be a mystical phenomenon that comes and goes with the tide? If you want to become a good soccer player, then you practice. You prepare your technique, your stamina and your kick. It is the same with love.

For its 25th edition, La Cinef has selected 13 live-action and 3 animated shorts directed by 6 male directors and 10 women directors...Four of them are from schools taking part for the first time and these 16 shorts reflect the diversity of filmmaking education in the world.

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