The Movie Waffler Interview - ARE WE LOST FOREVER Director David Färdmar | The Movie Waffler

Interview - ARE WE LOST FOREVER Director David Färdmar

are we lost forever
Director David Färdmar discusses his queer relationship drama.

Interview by Benjamin Poole

Are We Lost Forever focusses on the emotional break-up of the relationship between two lovers, Adrian and Hampus. One morning, out of the blue, Hampus declares the end to their engagement and relationship. For him it's a relief to finally break up from their destructive relationship but Adrian is shocked and totally devastated. Will he be able to survive without the love of his life or is there some way of getting him back. Can this ending lead to new beginnings or are they lost forever?

We spoke to the film's writer/director, David Färdmar.

Hi David! Congratulations on your new film, Are We Lost Forever. The film details the protracted and untidy aftermath of a breakup. The breakup occurs between two young men. Even though breaking up is unpleasant for anyone who has been in a loving relationship, I wonder, do you feel that the film is specific to the homosexual experience? I can imagine anyone watching Are We Lost Forever and appreciating it, but do you feel that the film may have an extra layer of relevance for gay men?

Thank you! My intention was to make a very universal film about this theme of a heartbreaking separation, and when the ”We” becomes a ”You” and ”I”. And I didn't want to make a film where the characters' sexuality is an ”issue”, or a ”problem” or part of the main conflict in the film. When I wrote the script I didn't really think too much about that most of the characters were homo-gay, since that's the world I'm living in, and my everyday norm. But of course, the part in the story that includes the conversations about how to become parents as a gay couple might add an extra layer of relevance for the gay audience, and also the scenes including the sexual storyline struggle of the Adrian character. I do think, and I've noticed that from reactions from the audience around the world where it so far has been screened, that those scenes even might add some kind of, maybe not extra relevance, but an extra understanding and also extra curiosity, to the not so gay audience.

When I was watching Are We Lost Forever, I couldn't help but be reminded of ABBA. Not just the shared, overriding themes of breaking up, but the upfront and unflinching processing of hurt and upset. The glacially cool video for 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' (which was, of course, directed by Lasse Hallström), with its use of freeze frame, is in a sense similar to your use of long takes. Ingmar Bergman, Ibsen, Abba et al: the fracturing of human relationships seems to be a Scandinavian constant. Where do you see Are We Lost Forever fitting in to this tradition?

Oh wow, that's a huge compliment, just to be mentioned in the same sentences  as ABBA, Hallström, Bergman and Ibsen. Lasse Hallström's movie What's Eating Gilbert Grape is actually one of my all-time favourite movies, and when I saw it in the cinemas back in the '90s I realised that this was something I also wanted to work with. The music of ABBA is of course part of my childhood, their music is like running in the genes of all Swedish people. My parents had this kind of tradition, to buy the new ABBA album and give it to me and my older sister Anna on New Years' Eve to listen to. I don't think I understood until many years later that Hallström also had directed all their epic music videos. I have to admit that I never was so much into Bergman's older black and white movies, I'm a bit too ”young” for that. My first memory of Bergman must be Fanny & Alexander in the '80s, and that one I really like, and have seen many times during Christmas holidays over the years even as an adult. I was also older when I first watched Bergman's epic TV-series Scenes From a Marriage. One of my (ex)-boyfriends and I actually watched it together again during the summer of 2014, and then our relationship ended some months after that... maybe that was the starting point...

So with all that said, I think I maybe unconsciously might be a product of all these gents and their previous works and inspired by them. And at the same time, totally consciously wanted to create my own story and characters for the new 20s as a reaction to their stories, where of course the couple always consisted of a man and a woman, and were very gender-conformative. I hope Are We Lost Forever is going to take this Scandinavian tradition further, and in to the future.

The sex scenes in Are We Lost Forever are especially intimate and physical. How did you go about blocking and rehearsing these carnal sequences?

Thank you, they sure are, I'm glad you appreciated them. I just wanted to make a portrait of a separation story and its characters with as much realistic heartfelt breakup-scenes as possible, as well as realistic scenes including sexual and physical content in terms of what the character Adrian goes through. To give his character, and his struggle with the breakup, on his journey to break free more depth. Adrian's physical struggle  is as important as his emotional struggle in the film I think. Like life itself often is.

We all had a lot of fun shooting them, and shared a lot of laughs. And my actors always looked forward to doing them the most actually. We basically worked with them the same way as we worked with all the other scenes. The actors and I talked about what the purpose and meaning of the scenes were, rehearsed them, first with, and then without clothes and so everyone felt comfortable doing everything that the scenes required. All the actors were of course wearing cocksocks as well. And the photographers and I planned the scenes way back in our storyboards so we knew what shots we needed to cover everything in the scenes, and went over the shots with the actors in rehearsals. Since we always were a pretty small crew, where everyone knew each other from before it was always a really good and safe vibe during the shoot. It all comes down to respect for each other's craft and trust among us all. Also, my scripts are very detailed written, so it's all in there, even all the intimacy and physical-action-scenes described full on.

Over to you now David! Why should The Movie Waffler readers get lost in Are We Lost Forever?

It's a heartfelt, a bit sad, but also beautiful and sometimes even awkward funny, contemporary breakup-story that everyone who's ever been in love, broke someone's heart or had their own heart broken, can easily relate too. And on top of that, a packed soundtrack with great Swedish pop music.

Are We Lost Forever is on UK Digital, DVD and blu-ray from January 18th.