Director Joachim Trier discusses the dynamic between the subjective and objective gaze, portraying a dysfunctional father-daughter relationship, and the stylization of his first genre film. This is the second feature in our Special Issue on Thelma. Read the rest of the issue here.
Norwegian director Joachim Trier makes his genre film debut with Thelma, his fourth feature and his first to feature a female protagonist. Thelma (Eili Harboe) is a young woman from rural Norway who has moved to Oslo to pursue studies in biology at university. When she falls in love with a classmate, Anja (Kaya Wilkins), it awakens supernatural powers that had hitherto been held in check. Her religious upbringing and close relationship to her father (Henrik Rafaelson) means that she tries to suppress these feelings to disastrous effect.
We talked to director and co-writer Joachim Trier about the making of the film and collaborating with the team he’s worked with on all of his films, including his co-writer Eskil Vogt, cinematographer Jakob Ihre, editor Olivier Bugge Coutté, and sound designer Gisle Tveito. We also discussed the similarities between Thelma and his previous films — Reprise (2008), Oslo, August 31st (2011), and Louder Than Bombs (2015) — and the kinds of genre films he was inspired by.