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– He wipes his ass with “Mein Kampf”

Petter Næss has with him the “Harry Potter” star Rupert Grint in his claustrophobic war drama.

HAUGESUND: In April 1940 when the Germans brought the second world war to Norway, two planes crashed over Strynefjellet (Stryne Mountain). They had shot each other down. One of them British, the other German.
The two crews do not expect to see the others alive, but end up seeking shelter from the harrowing cold in the same cottage.

This is the setting for Petter Næss’ newest film, the multilingual, Norwegian, claustrophobic drama, “Comrade”. Among others, the “Harry Potter” star Rupert Grint plays a big part in the film which Næss introduced during the Film Festival in Haugesund yesterday.

Intimate
– The film balances between intensity, discomfort and liberating humour, Næss tells Dagbladet after the introduction.

Most of “Comrade” takes places inside the cottage, up close to the five stranded men – filmed in a refrigerated warehouse in Sweden. In order to keep the film intense and exciting, Næss utilised his extensive experience from theatre.

– I demanded that all the actors should be present during every take. Then I directed them alone at first, before they acted out the scenes with the crew as an audience, he says, and tells us that it created a great sense of unity.

– I watched how the audience paid attention and what they thought was exciting. It made everyone very sharp in their performances, Næss said.

Horde of fans after Grint
Stig Henrik Hoff is the only Norwegian actor in a main role even though Næss insists that it is a Norwegian film. Among the cast we also find David Kross who played opposite Kate Winslet in “The Reader” and Rupert Grint.

– I was looking for a temperamental, ginger, street smart, British type. So my agent suggested Rupert, says Næss, who “hasn’t really seen that much Harry Potter.”

– I really had no idea how famour Rupert was, he says, now that he has had his eyes opened to the British star’s horde of fans.

The film has no specific target audience, but Næss thinks that young people will find it refreshing to see adults who are not perfect, and who do not make light of their mishaps. The characters are skillful pilots, but amateurs in the situation they find themselves in.

– They will probably think it funny to watch Grint as the young rebel who wipes his ass with “Mein Kampf”.

Two imperialists
First and foremost, Petter Næss categorises “Comrade” as a Norwegian film, but it has already been sold to England and Germany – among others.

– My hope is that it’ll spark an interest there. Both for the English and the Germans, this is a very new perspective of the war, and the characterisations of enemies that have been set in stone, he says.

He points out that this was a matter of two imperialists. One on its way up, the other on its way down.

– One has to remember that Great Britain had large parts of the world under its control as colonies during this time. It is a debate which arises in the film, the director says, and continues:

– It’s a film about breaking down prejudices.

”Comrade” will be coming to theatres in February.

STARSTUDDED WAR DRAMA: Petter Næss introduced fresh clips from his war drama ”Comrade” during the film festival in Haugesund. The cast includes Rupert Grint, David Kross and Stig Henrik Hoff among others.


Original article found here: dagbladet.no


August 25, 2011


Translation by Malene and Majbritt

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