Sweden – Clara Gower, Biografcentralen

Cinema for me is…

Sweden – Clara Gower from Europa Cinemas on Vimeo.

Clara is 25 frames

1. Describe yourself in ten words
Self-dependent, self-loving, generous, modest, extrovert, rebel, considerate, honest, passionate, tough.

2. What are your 3 best qualities and your 3 worst habits?
I believe loyalty, independence and confidence are my best qualities. My worst habits are that I lose, misplace and forget everything, distracting myself at times when I am trying to focus and lastly; procrastination.

3. What is your dream job?
Psychologist, I find human emotion and behaviour extremely interesting.

4. What do you like most about your country?
What I like most about Sweden is that the country is built on a foundation of equality and has a modern mindset that relates to the Swedish lifestyle. It is a safe country that takes care of its citizens.

5. What is your favourite dish in your country?
It is not really a dish, more of an ingredient. During the late summer and autumn, it is popular to go into the forest and pick your own mushrooms to cook with, and Chanterelle is one of my favourite ingredients. You could do pretty much anything with them but usually they are used to make sauces, pies, or toasts. Chanterelles are the taste of Swedish autumn.

6. What is the word or the expression in your native language that you like the most and what does it mean?
Morgonrodnad, which literally translates to “morning blushing” and is referencing the many different and beautiful pink-, orange-, red-, purple- and yellowish colours in the sky in the morning when the sun rises. This scene is reenacted in the afternoon as well when the sun is setting and is called aftonrodnad which, of course, translates to “evening blushing”.

7. What European capital have you visited lately?
The past six months I have made short trips to Amstedam, Budapest, London and Dublin. Budapest was one of my best trips ever! It is a beautiful city with great bars and night clubs and I loved the baths. Budapest is a city I would love to visit again.

8. Other than your own, which European country would you love to live in?
I would love to live in England. England has a similar culture as Sweden does, but with better humour. It is the country I have travelled the most, as my father is English and my grandparents still live there. It feels like a second home. Most of my favourite bands are English as well, so I will always view England as a cool country that I want to be a part of.

9. What does Europe mean to you?
Even though there are many countries in Europe with different history and culture, I feel that there is a shared bond between all of us, as if we were all relatives. Every country has a responsibility to make sure that we can be proud of our continent. When I look at Europe and Art I see a genuine relationship that is not solely commercial.

10. What are the European values that you share?
One of the most important values are freedom and equality. Freedom to be whoever we want and do whatever we want. I find it extremely important to be able to express any thought, and I love film because it is a form of expressing ourselves.

11. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
12 Angry Men by Sidney Lumet. I watched it for the first time when I was 15 and although I wasn’t expecting anything special from this film, I was completely engaged in the film and my entire body was reacting to the suspense in it. Afterwards I was amazed and could barely believe that I had essentially watched only twelve characters in one room, discussing the same problem for one and a half hours. It completely broke down the walls and opened my eyes to the fact that cinema can be whatever we want it to be and is a lot more than just telling a story, it is an important form of art.

12. What is your favourite cinema theatre and what do you like about it?
My favourite cinema is The Curzon Community Cinema in Clevedon, England. This cinema has over 100 years old and has a lot of personality. It only has one auditorium but the repertoire ranges from blockbusters to art house, films for children and old classics. The volunteers that are managing the cinema have successfully found a balance to please the masses and also offer a rich cinematic culture to the small town. The Curzon occasionally hosts film discussions, workshops for adults and children and has special archive screenings just to name a few things. There are many unique factors of the Curzon, one example is the organ that they play on when they screen silent films and sometimes before other screenings.

13. Where do you like to watch movies and on which platform (DVD, online, cinema, mobile phone, etc.)?
Cinema is by far the best platform to view film. In the cinema the image and sound has the best quality and is as close to the director’s vision as you can come. I also find it easier to connect with the film in an auditorium than in any other environment.

14. Who is your movie hero?
Sigourney Weaver’s character Ripley in the Alien franchise. She is a versatile character who is smart, always keeps on fighting, knows how to kick ass and still has sweet and caring side of her. Most importantly, she is an authentic character who is not reduced to a sexy action heroine or a tough woman who puts down “girly” women.

15. If you were a movie director which one would you like to be?
Stanley Kubrick, who has directed some of my favourite films. His work is great and he has had success in depicting a range of varying genres, themes and environments.

16. Briefly describe your favourite scene
My favourite scene is the lip reading scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick. HAL is an Artificial Intelligence that neither has a face nor a body, and can only express itself through words. Through the editing in this scene we are able to follow HAL’s thoughts and actions, Kubrick manages to give life and a malicious personality to the computer. The silent scene becomes hauntingly horrifying as the viewer witnesses HAL outsmarting the humans, who are unaware that “he” is following their conversation about “him”.

17. What are the 5 best European films you have seen in the last year?
Rams (Grímur Hákonarson, 2015) IS
In the Crosswind (Marrti Helde, 2014) EE
Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015) HU
Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015) FR
The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015) GR

18. Which is the film character that you most identify with?
Right now, Frances from Frances Ha by Noah Baumbach. Not that I am a dancer or living in New York, rather that I know what I want to do (study psychology) but am not really good enough to achieve it (too low grades to get in) and I am now in an awkward phase, just as Frances was, of trying to figure out what I am going to do.

19. What is your favourite soundtrack or song?
The soundtrack that I have been listening the most must be the soundtrack from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels by Guy Ritchie, as it was my favourite film when I was 13.

20. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
In The Congress by Ari Folman. A small portion of the film takes place in a future animated universe where there is no ego. Everyone can transform into who- or whatever they want to be, they can also alternate the surrounding as they want to, there is no physical boundaries to what you want to do. Time does not exist and neither does war.

21. Your life becomes a bio-pic. Who plays the role of you?
Emma Stone, she is a talented actress who has the ability of portraying different personalities and I feel like I can identify with her. She has portrayed tough, nerdy, clownish, annoyed and confident characters and those traits are important if you are going to play me.

22. Which talent would you most like to have?
I would like to be able to express myself through music.

23. What is your most treasured possession?
The only possession I would be long term upset about losing are my photos.

24. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Hands down being chosen to be a part of this experience, but since literally everyone else that is answering these questions has achieved the exact same thing, maybe I should come up with something more unique… Then I would have to say that I grew out of a shy period I had when I was younger and have become a more social, confident and joyful person.

25. What is your motto?
I do not usually get inspired by mottos, but I heard this once and I liked it and it has stuck with me:
“Treat others as friends until they prove themselves otherwise, not as enemies until they prove themselves otherwise.”

Clara is the Ambassador of Biografcentralen. Find out more about the cinema here.

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