The Real Estate (Toppen av ingenting) press conference with co-directors Axel Petersén and Måns Månsson, and Léonore Ekstrand
Swedish film The Real Estate had its world premiere in competition at the 2018 Berlinale. It’s a curious movie with a distinctive visual construction, featuring a committed, complex and crazy performance from Léonore Ekstrand. She plays Nojet, a singular 60-something in Stockholm. The death of her father has brought her home to Sweden after many years abroad – that, and the fact that she has inherited an apartment building. Plans for a quick sale of the building – aided by her father’s former lawyer – quickly go awry when she learns about all the illegal tenants who call the place home.
As the actress and her two co-directors speak at the press conference ahead of the first public unveiling, the chemistry and camaraderie between them is quickly explained. Axel Petersén and Måns Månsson have been friends since the age of four, and Léonore is in fact Axel’s aunt. As she put it: “it’s a real family affair.”
Much of The Real Estate is shot in an unflinching, extreme closeup. It’s an interesting choice, and when asked why this is the case Månsson stated: “Léonore’s face is very compelling, and it’s hard not to get closer and closer and closer all the time. So from a very pragmatic point of view, it was where you instinctively started moving. But we were also in a house; it’s a film about housing. These interiors were cramped – it’s not like we shot this in a studio; it was in a real house, so there are some practical elements to it from a visual point of view.”
When asked about how she came to understand her character, the actress was frank: “to be honest, I didn’t really understand her in all aspects, but I don’t prepare myself very much before filming. Axel and Måns are brilliant at telling me what my situation is: how I feel, what they expect from me that day. And I do it.” She continued: “I semi understand her. I understand her desperation, her disappointment, how alone she is in a city where she has no friends actually, except for the lawyer – who is her father’s old lawyer. He’s the only one she can talk to. I can imagine her desperation.” Månsson added: “semi-understandable characters? That sounds pretty exciting to me. What’s exciting about understanding every single thing?”
The Real Estate (Toppen av ingenting) does not have a UK release date yet. Read our review here.
Read more reviews and interviews from our Berlin Film Festival 2018 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Berlin Film Festival 2018.
Watch the trailer for The Real Estate (Toppen av ingenting) here: