Riga IFF Special Guest – Liv Ullmann
“Miss Julie” is based on the Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s popular play, the film has been included in the Riga IFF programme. Liv Ullmann will attend the film screening on the 11th of December at 5 p.m. to make introductory remarks.
“Miss Julie” had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year. In her latest film, Liv Ullmann presents her version of August Strindberg’s masterpiece of psychological naturalism that has been staged at many theatres all over the world, including in Latvia (in 2004 at the New Riga Theatre, director Māra Ķimele, and in 2012 at Valmiera Theatre, director Vladislavs Nastavševs). The film is set in 1890 – the time when Strindberg wrote his play, it was shot in Northern Ireland in an authentic 19th century manor.
Taking place at a large country estate in Britain over the course of one 1880s midsummer night, Miss Julie explores the brutal, flirtatious power struggle between Julie and John – a young aristocratic woman and her father’s valet. She is all hauteur longing for abasement; he, polished but coarse. The two of them held together by mutual loathing and attraction. At turns seductive and tender, savage and bullying, their story builds inevitably to a mad, impulsive tryst. Plans are made in desperation, a vision of a life together – unsure if the morning light then brings hope or hopelessness, Julie and John find their escape in an act that is as sublime and horrific as anything in Greek tragedy.
Cast: Oscar-nominated Jessica Chastain as Miss Julie, Colin Farrell as John, and Samantha Morton as servant Christine – John’s fiancé.
Those who would like participate in a discussion with Liv Ullmann are invited to the Great Hall of the “Splendid Palace” cinema on the 12th of December at 12 noon. The discussion will be moderated by film historian Viktors Freibergs, admission is free of charge.
At 4 p.m. on the 12th of December, Liv Ullmann will also attend a presentation of the book “Stork Flight over the Pine Forest” at the Latvian National Library. The event will take place in the library’s conference hall on the fifth floor. “Stork Flight over the Pine Forest” is a book about the most important Nordic-Baltic co-operation projects in cinema in 1989-2014, written by Jan Erik Holst, the person in charge of international projects at the Norwegian Film Institute. In writing the book, Holst collaborated with several noted Latvian authors, and the book informs not only about the major Nordic-Baltic film projects, but also about the development of the Baltic film industry since the restoration of independence, the most popular film directors and producers, films that have participated in international film festivals, and the major film festivals in the region.
Closing the visit to Latvia, Liv Ullmann will also participate in the European Film Awards Ceremony at the Latvian National Opera on the 13th of December. She will be one of the special guests at the ceremony who will present one of the awards.
Liv Ullmann (1938) is a Norwegian actress, screenwriter and film director, and a muse of the influential Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman. She has starred in eleven films by Ingmar Bergman, including “Persona”, “Cries and Whispers”, “Scenes from a Marriage” and others. She won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in the 1972 film “The Emigrants”, and was several times nominated for “Oscar” Academy Award, Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and others.
Liv Ullmann began directing plays and films in the 1990s. Her latest production is “Uncle Vanya” at the National Theatre in Oslo.
A photography exhibition dedicated to the Riga IFF guest of honour, titled “Liv and Ingmar”, is on display at the “Splendid Palace” cinema until the 31st of January. The exhibition was organised in collaboration with the Norwegian Film Institute.