‘The Wife’ Director Björn Runge Discusses Drama ‘Burn All My Letters’

WifeDirector Björn Runge was at Sweden’s Göteborg Film Festival this past weekend to present the star-studded Swedish drama ‘Burn All My Letters’. SF Studios are in production.

Runge was at the festival’s industry stand with his producer Annika Sucksdorff, and main actors Asta Kamma August (“The Pact”) and Gustav Lindh (“Queen of Hearts”). The film is adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by Alex Schulman. Bill Skarsgård (“It: Chapters 1 & 2”, “Deadpool”), who was not in Goteborg, also stars in the film.

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Stellan Runge

Several clips were played during Goteborg’s presentation, showcasing the film’s dedicated performances, atmosphere, and slick production design, which drew warm applause from those participating in the show. industry and local people. Runge also revealed that Jacob Mühlrad, the famous Swedish art composer, is creating the first score for the film.

“Burn All My Letters” marks Runge’s follow-up to “The Wife,” which earned its star, Glen Close, a Golden Globe Award and Oscar and BAFTA nominations. The director approached Mühlrad after seeing his final orchestra performed by the Royal Stockholm Symphony Orchestra.

“It was absolutely mesmerizing and hypnotic,” said Runge, who originally planned to collaborate with Mühlrad on the sci-fi project “Stardream” that was put on hold due to the pandemic.

Runge continued to work closely with Mühlrad on the song “Burn All My Letters.” “He has an energy and talent that constantly fuels creativity, like spring water to me.”

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Amit the Israelite

Mühlrad, who previously scored Schulman’s theatrical production of “Tröstrapporter” (“Reports of Consolation”), says his insightful conversations with Runge nurtured his ability to compose. his music. As “Björn digs into the subtle small details of the characters and paints a beautiful picture of what he sees, the music comes to me,” says Mühlrad, who adds that he aims to “reflect on it.” reflects the fine nuances of the protagonist Karin’s struggles and pain. ”

Spanning 70 years and based on true events, this vivacious film sees August play as Karin Stolpe, a young intellectual torn between her complicated relationship with her husband Sven Stolpe. (Skarsgård), a famous Swedish author, and her fiery love affair with another author, Olof Lagercrantz in the 1930s. The film shows the aftermath of this tragic love triangle and its strength. Family secrets weighed heavily on the childhoods of Karin and Sven’s grandson, Alex Schulman (Sverrir Gudnason, “A Serious Game”) in the late 1980s. Now in his 40s, Alex is going through a difficult life. crisis with his wife Amanda (Sonja Richter, “The Bridge”) and begins to investigate his family history to better understand his own psyche. What he discovered about his grandmother’s tumultuous and sacrificial life had a profound effect on his marriage.

Runge said he was working on another project in the UK when his agent in Sweden called him and said that Annika from SF wanted to meet him. “I went to that meeting with an open mind and when the meeting was over, Annika put in my hand a book by Alex Schulman.

“I didn’t like reading the book because he was not my type of writer back then. But then I read it overnight, and I was hooked. “I saw a movie with passion and strong characters, and I can also relate to the big issues of love, violence and classic family secrets,” said Runge, who was also drawn in. The narrative structure of the story forms a type of dialogue between three different time periods.

Runge said that Sven Stolpe is “an interesting character because a lot of people think he’s a psychopath, but he’s a very charming and very intelligent psychopath, and I think Bill Skarsgård really captures it.” all the different aspects of that character.”

“You’re really captivated by him, but you’re also pretty scared of him because with just one look he can make you scared of his character,” said Runge, who added that August and Lindh also blend into their respective roles.

The director said that August’s character Karin Stolpe is the emotional anchor point of the film. “We will see her struggle in a very closed environment and her fate will have an important influence on her grandson Alex, who is now an adult and guides us to this kingdom of ours,” said Runge. past. He said “there could be another title for this movie: different faces of Karin.”

Meanwhile, Sucksdorff said she also felt during the first full edit that Karin Stolpe was a “prehistoric #MeToo figure, a feminist force”. “She really tried to fight the system and get her light back but she couldn’t get out of her marriage for various reasons,” she said.

“Burn All My Letters” was produced by Sucksdorff and Jonathan Ridings at SF Studios with support from the Swedish Film Institute, in collaboration with SVT, Film i Väst and Film Stockholm.

Sucksdorff points out that the book is gaining attention from several other companies after it came out in 2018. “I met Alex at a concert and told him how great this book is and how good it is to read. I personally felt compelled to produce a movie about it, and he said “it’s a pity you didn’t (auction) it sooner because we’re about to strike a deal with another company,” Sucksdorff recalls. She said that the next day she gave the book to Runge, who read it overnight. A week later, she and Runge expressed their vision of adapting Schulman and eventually won the rights.

Written by Veronica Zacco, “Burn All My Letters” was developed with support from the European Union’s Creative Europe MEDIA program. The film was shot in Sweden last year and is currently in the final weeks of editing. One of the most anticipated Nordic films of 2022, the film will be released this fall in Swedish cinemas by SF Studios.

https://variety.com/2022/film/global/bjorn-runge-burn-all-my-letters-1235172922/ ‘The Wife’ Director Björn Runge Discusses Drama ‘Burn All My Letters’

Olly Dawes

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