Hollywood doesn't make you happy

DANISH DIRECTOR QUOTES. Nobody is ever going to require me to re-cut a scene, or to change it, says Hella Joof, comparing filmmaking in Hollywood to Denmark. We continue our summer quotes from Danish directors …

Constructive criticism rather than a blatant order to re-cut a scene is one of the positive aspects of filmmaking in Denmark, says Hella Joof in her interview with Mette Hjort in Danish Directors 2, a new volume giving an inside perspective on how infrastructure, working methods and film policy enable a small film nation like Denmark to thrive.

"I'd much rather shoot films in Africa than in Hollywood. I don't know of any Danish director who has gone to Hollywood and come back happy. The good films Danish directors have made have all been made here, not there. What's good about the Danish context is the way in which we work. Nobody from the Danish Film Institute is ever going to require me to re-cut a scene, or to change it. Someone […] might say something like, 'By emphasizing this scene this much you make it really difficult for us to leave the cinema happy. So if your idea is that we should be unhappy, then you've achieved what you're after. But if you'd like us to be happy at the end of the film, I think you might want to take another look at that scene [...].' What you get is a lot of really good constructive criticism. But nobody would ever dream of insisting on changes. You can't work that way in Hollywood."

Hella Joof talking to Mette Hjort in The Danish Directors 2, page 153.


Feature films by Helle Joof
2001: Shake it All About
2004: Oh Happy Day
2006: Easy Skanking
2009: Hush Little Baby

Previous updates on Danish director quotes

16 Jul—Annette K. Olesen
Making a Dogma film made perfect sense

Read the entire interview with Hella Joof in the volume 'The Danish Directors 2: Dialogues on the New Danish Fiction Cinema' (Mette Hjort, Eva Jørholt & Eva Novrup Redvall, Intellect, June 2010). Available at Film & Bookstore online


About Hella Joof

Joof, born 1961, an acting graduate from Odense Drama School, has appeared on stage, TV and in film. "Shake It All About" (2001), her feature film debut, was a hit at the boxoffice and favourite with the critics. "Oh Happy Day" (2004) was sold to Disney for a US remake. Her latest film is the youth film "Hush Little Baby" (2009).