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The Movies That Changed My Life: Lukas Moodysson, Director Of 'We Are The Best!'

by Edward Davis
May 29, 2014 2:10 PM
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Lukas Moodysson We Are The Best!

The work of director Lukas Moodysson has always been challenging, with the filmmaker coming to the attention of cinephiles with 1998's "Fucking Åmål," and earning further attention for his often tough dramas such as "Lilja-4-Ever," "A Hole In My Heart" and "Mammoth." But Moodysson's latest couldn't be more different. 

Hilarious, and infused with pure joy and a playfully rebellious spirit, "We Are The Best!" might be one of the, well, best times you have at the movies this summer. Based on the graphic novel by the director's wife, Coco Moodysson, the film follows the travails of three young girls who decide to form a punk band in 1980s Stockholm. The decision finds them battling against what's expected of their gender, all while they navigate coming of age and learning who they really are as people and friends. It's effortlessly charming and sweet with a streak of authenticity that makes every moment feel real.

With the film coming to theatres this Friday, we caught up with Moodysson to talk with him about the movies that changed his life and put him on the path that has led to his diverse career. 

Twin Peaks
"Twin Peaks"

The first movie you ever saw.
No idea. My memory is terrible. Maybe it was “The Brothers Lionheart,” based on Astrid Lindgren's book, or some other Astrid Lindgren movie.

The best moviegoing film experience you ever had.
Some of my own films, because I always expect a fiasco and sometimes it is but sometimes it's not, and those rare moments when I watch my own film with an audience and it doesn't feel like they want to kill me afterwards. Those are wonderful moments… The Stockholm premiere of “Fucking Åmål” (“Show Me Love”), for example… Or the Venice premiere of “We Are The Best!”

Christiane F.

The first film you saw that you realized, you too could be a filmmaker.
Twin Peaks.” Not a film, but still ... I wasn't very interested in films/moving images before "Twin Peaks." I didn't take movies seriously. Strange, because I had actually seen some good movies, for example some Tarkovsky movies, that I liked a lot before "Twin Peaks," but still I considered it an inferior art form compared to, for example, music and literature.

The first movie you became obsessed with.
Obsessed? I don't know. I wanted to try heroin after watching “Christiane F.” when I was 12. I was very touched by “Fanny & Alexander” at approximately the same age, but obsessed? Yes, maybe.

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  • James | May 30, 2014 6:11 PMReply

    I love this site, but I really don't understand why every article about this film has claimed it's some sort of radical departure for Moodysson. His first film, Show Me Love (F--king Amal) was a monstrous hit in Sweden (I remember reading it outgrossed Titanic that year) and is tonally almost exactly like this new one. Together, his second film, is VERY similar to this one in every way, it's even a period film set in roughly the same era. Yes, he made a few bleak films, but this film is actually a return to the style that made him famous in the first place.

  • potion lords | May 30, 2014 1:43 PMReply

    i'm guessing his comment on Seven - " I can't understand how people want to make films with all that violence and terror"- is slightly sarcastic. his masterpiece Lila 4 Ever is full of seriously disturbing violence and terror.

  • Glass | May 29, 2014 3:09 PMReply

    That's cool that he hated Se7en for that reason. I think the Se7en emulation (especially in television) is a little much right now, but he's kind of proving the effectiveness of the nastiness of that film by being so bothered by it.

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