The No/Gloss team had a virtual sit-down with the director of Triangles of Happiness (Denmark) and asked him a few quick questions about his film that will be screening at our festival this October!
My name is Jannik Dahl Pedersen, and I’m a Danish shortfilm director. I am 25 years old, and I’m currently studying at the alternative film school 18Frames from Funen, whilst studying Filmscience at the University of Copenhagen.
What is the ideal portrayal of a family?
The film “Triangles of Happiness” more or less comes out of a memory I have from my childhood. I was a boy who loved to sleep all day, and watch movies all night. One weekend my mom came in to my room to get me up, and said: “Please remember to pull aside your curtains – the neighbors think you spend all day sleeping.” My reaction was pretty much; Why should I care what the neighbors think. But for some reason, it seemed important to my mom.
There is a big difference between our facades and reality. The ideal portrayal of a family is, to make everyone else think that you are happy all the time. That you are a happy family, who enjoy each others company. But it is common knowledge that we all have a backstage where we compile our impressions, and think about what type of person or character we want or more important do not want to be in real life. My mom taught me that day that this idea in many ways can be transferred to entire households. Therefore the film is about the price of the ideal portrayal. I think that everyone actually would be a little bit happier if they just relaxed, and could be real in front of each other.
Is there still a financial crisis?
Whether or not there still is a financial crisis is hard for me to answer. The crisis really never went away, but the economists seem to say, that the worst part is over. Anyway the problem behind the financial crisis is in my perspective still alive and well. History repeats itself, and the greed that was the basis of the crisis seems to still exist. Regarding “Triangles of Happiness” we went through a discussion, and said, if everyone just lived the life they could afford, in stead of the life they wanted, then everyone would be happier. Of course only when talking about the upper- or middle-class which the film portrays. But even though that is in many ways my opinion, this film was still written on a computer that I borrowed money to buy.
Do you have a favorite film coloring preference/technique you don’t mind sharing? Your film has very vivid colours.
This film is in many ways about the everyday life in a suburban household, and therefore we went for a very colorful style, simply because we wanted to show people from the first image that there was something very unreal about the whole film. I love strong colors, and work best if I have a couple of colors that can be the setting of the whole movie. In this way it is also easier to have a complete style, which can be easily communicated to every part of the production. I’m very inspired by filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick and Wes Anderson, who have a very cool way of making comedies. Their ways of using certain color schemes for their films are the primary inspiration for this choice.