Magazine article Screen International

Michael Noer, Key House Mirror

Magazine article Screen International

Michael Noer, Key House Mirror

Article excerpt

Rising Danish director Michael Noer talks to Sarah Cooper about his third feature, the unusual love story Key House Mirror, which opens Goteborg

On paper, a love story set in a nursing home appears to be a dramatic departure for a film-maker whose first two features revolved around life in prison (R) and a crime-ridden neighbourhood in the suburbs of Copenhagen (Northwest).

"I may have changed subject matters and characters, but the way I have made this film is exactly the same as my first two," says Danish director Michael Noer of his third feature, Key House Mirror, which opens Goteborg Film Festival. "Just because I'm making something where the people in it are 80 and not 18, why shouldn't I respect them enough to make the film with the same energy and life and death as I would put into a gangster film?"

Veteran Danish actress Ghita Norby, whose credits include Bille August's 1992 Palme d'Or winner The Best Intentions, stars as Lily, a woman who begins a much-frowned-upon relationship with a neighbouring resident (played by Swedish actor Sven Wollter) when she moves into a nursing home with her husband of 50 years.

Key House Mirror will compete for the best Nordic film award at Goteborg, as well as playing in Rotterdam's Spectrum programme. Produced by Tomas Radoor and Rene Ezra for Nordisk Film Production with backing from the Danish Film Institute, Danish broadcaster DR and Nordisk Film and TV Fond, the film is being sold internationally by TrustNordisk, with its first market screening taking place next month at Berlin's EFM.

Personal inspiration

Noer was partly inspired to make Key House Mirror after watching his 94-year-old grandmother go into care. "I always promised her that she wouldn't go into a home, but what I forgot to think about was that at some point she would need 24-hour supervision. What do you do? It's a conflict and question which I don't have any answer to. And because I don't have the answer, I've made a movie about it. It's not going to get my grandmother out of the home but maybe it will start a conversation," explains the director.

He draws parallels between Key House Mirror and his first fiction feature, the hard-hitting prison drama R, which he co-directed with Tobias Lindholm, winning the best Nordic feature and Fipresci prizes at Goteborg in 2010. …

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