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‘Commune’ Director Thomas Vinterberg on Making the Camera Work Mimic Documentaries

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg talks to Film Comment about his latest work, Commune, which tells the story of an unraveling marriage set against the bigger backdrop of a 1970s commune.

One of Vinterberg’s shooting philosophies is to have “the camera being positioned behind action, trying to overcome situation, trying to become a part of it as a documentary,” he explains. “What I always try to do is to create a feeling that the action is happening in its own time, regardless of where the camera is. So if the camera would come too late, it would be over. Sometimes the camera is behind—sometimes it is too early—but it’s never really ‘on time.'”