Petri Luukkanen My Stuff Interview
Petri Luukkanen My Stuff Interview
It sounds like you’re describing a process that’s quite self-conscious. Is it at all difficult to watch back, especially to watch with strangers?

Petri Luukkanen

Of course it’s better than it used to be. It came out in Finland in February and it’s been screening festivals. It’s gone into theatres in many countries. In the beginning it was quite hard and the diary that’s in the film is my real diary.. I’m getting used to it. After the filming, I stepped more into the role of director.
It must have been hours and hours of material, can you tell us a little bit more about how you structured it? I love the way the countdown provides a narrative arc to the movie - at what point did that come in the process?

Petri Luukkanen

As I see it, there were almost three hundred hours of raw material. Everybody can think, if you filmed your ordinary life, 45 minutes a day, and then you squeezed it into one and a half hours, you have these kinds of stories. I think we had seven stories. Story of the grandma, story of the stuff, story of the girlfriend. With the refrigerator, I didn’t know that everyone is talking about the fridge. And then we checked through it and my grandma’s talking about the fridge, my mum is talking about the story of the fridge. And we go, ‘There’s something about the fridge, let’s think about that.’ It kind of became the narrative.
My take is that there is quite a French influence in your style, could you tell us who your influences are?

Petri Luukkanen

I’m not a cinephile. I love cinema and I like a lot of films, but not particularly French films. Me and the DP, we met in grade school when we were sixteen and made some videos together. We found out we both have this really static way of filming. We want to have the camera on the tripod and not move it. At that time, I hadn’t watched any French films. I think it’s just the static way of keeping the camera, and all of the montage is quite raw. It’s a way that we feel we want to film. I think I’ve been influenced by late nineties, early 2000s, those period films. David Fincher, Aronofsky, those kind of quite mainstream films.
Out of the year, which days were the hardest, the most fun and the one in which you learnt the most about yourself?

Petri Luukkanen

Of course the beginning had its ups and downs, with some physical challenges. Of course, in the beginning I was doing a film about my stuff. At some point I hadn’t gone to the storage for a month or something. I realised that maybe it was a film about me, maybe because I was lonely or something. Those moments were the hardest. I was thinking, ‘Should I end the film, because there is nothing to be filmed here?’ When I was with my grandmother, then I go to see her in the hospital, the director in me was thinking, ‘We have to film this.’ We were in a meeting when I heard about it, ‘Your grandma is in hospital - we have to film i.t That’s nice. We go there with cameras and I feel like an idiot. It was quite hard.

Also with the financing of the film, we didn’t owe anybody anything. If I wanted to delete the material afterwards, I could have done it, so I only had to trust myself. I was thinking, ‘We’ll film this, because I’m the guy who says if we’re going to use it’. We filmed it from the background, and I felt quite bad about it. I asked my grandma, ‘You remember when we were filming for this project, do you mind if we filmed you when you were in hospital with a broken neck,’ and she said, ‘No, that’s life.’

I was so conscious about myself. The happy moments, I became quite good friends with some of my buddies because I spent quite a bit of time with them. I have these over-romantic memories of the beginning, when I’m sleeping on the floor. The radiator was so hot, I turned it up because the apartment was so cold. I remember always getting close to the radiator, really close but not so close that you burn yourself. When you fall asleep, you wake up at some point feeling bad, then you have this warm radiator. It’s these nice memories, not these kind of war stories. Sleeping on the floor. It was nice. But I don’t recommend it.
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