Internationally renowned Icelandic editor Valdis Óskarsdóttir (photo) has edited two Nordic films ready to open in Scandinavia early 2010: Thomas Vinterberg's Submarino and Árni Ásgeirsson's Brím (Undercurrent). She is now editing her own second feature film King's Road 7, but turning down other directors' projects. She spoke to us about her new passion for directing.
What was the inspiration for King's Road 7?
I can find stories everywhere. Some of them come and go and others stay and I can't shake them off. That's what happened with King's Road 7. There is a trailer park at Laugarvatn (Southern Iceland) and I often drove by it. I always felt the area appealing and interesting and I decided that one day I would make a story about the people living in a trailer park. That's how the project came alive.
Your first feature film Country Wedding travelled very well around the world. Was that a surprise?
I guess it came as a surprise because it never occurred to us that the film would appeal to an audience outside Iceland. Our first festival was in Toronto and I was sitting - quite nervous, in the cinema during the first screening and when the audience started to laugh and seemed to like it, it was not only a great relief but I also got a tinge of happiness in my stomach. What I learned from this world tour was that humour isn't always bound to borders.
How satisfying is it to direct your second feature after almost 20 years spent in a cutting room?
It has nothing to do with satisfaction but a lot with passion and desire. I got fed up by editing and I no longer felt that the creative part of my mind was working at its ultimate force. The editing had become a routine, with no excitement or gymnastic of thinking. It was terrifying and I felt like dying until one day, in an editing room in Soho, London, I decided that I didn't want to die. That's how Country Wedding came to life. I felt alive and I want to continue feeling alive by directing more films!
What can you say about Thomas Vinterberg with whom you've worked on most of his films, and how would you describe Submarino?
It's always nice to work with Thomas and except for that he's my friend and I'm very fond of him. The only thing I can say about Submarino is that it's different from his other films!