Three questions for Lasse Marhaug

This Fall Black Box teater and Ny Musikk present in collaboration two film premieres for CineChamber. We have had a chat with Lasse Marhaug to find out a bit more about the work on his new film For My Abandoned Left Eye?

Congratulations on the upcoming film premiere, Lasse! Most people know you from the music world, as a musician and producer and much more. How did you start working with the film medium?

Film has always been as important as music to me. I have never really fully looked at myself as a musician, because I can not play any instruments, do not read music and have no ear for tonality or harmonies. My fascination for music is from the studio-as-instrument perspective, that it is time-based sound design. In addition, I have a visual perception of music. Everyone who works with me knows that I often talk about music in pictures, that I just as easily refer to visual art as other music. And I have always worked with visual forms of expression - design, photography, drawing - so making a film did not feel like going to a new place, it was connected to the other formats I work with.

Groruddalen is the filming location for what you describe as a "dystopian post-capitalist science-fiction noise film". Can you tell us something about the choice of location?

I look at the CineChamber format is a kind of IMAX-for-artists format, full 360-degree surround audio-visual ecstasy, and for such formats there are often sci-fi movies with big ideas that apply, so then I would make the. But then I had no budget for special effects, actors or anything. I had to do everything myself, DIY punk, so I cooked up an extensive dystopian futuristic story that I had as a script when I worked on the film. But it became too banal to tell the story directly, so the idea was that the film should rather be an abstraction of the script, that what lies at the bottom helps to shape the choices that are made, but that it is not important for the experience of the film. When I shot the film, I lived at Ellingsrud in Groruddalen, and there are many areas that look quite tired, so it was the perfect setting for an abandoned gray planet destroyed by pollution and full of rubbish. I often got up early on the weekends, at 5-6 in the morning, when there was really no one out recording. I started filming in January 2020, and two months later the world became a bit like the script for the film, it was quite strange. There are, of course, political aspects to recording in Groruddalen as well.

What is behind the title For My Abandoned Left Eye?

Titles can be difficult, and this time it was incredibly hard. I pondered it for over a year, probably had a hundred different ideas, but nothing felt right. But then one morning it was there. It is partly a reference to the Japanese film director Toshio Matsumoto. His latest film is called For My Crushed Right Eye, and my title is a twist on that. Matsomoto has been a big influence on me in this process, especially the short films he made in the 70's, made with minimal budgets, but still so strong visuals, and an incredible understanding of the relationship between sound and image, absolutely fantastic. The "left eye" also means that my film is primarily still images, and when I shoot I only use the right eye, the left is left for a moment. In addition, the left eye in some cultures and religions is described as a window to the soul, and it fits well with sci-fi dystopia about an abandoned planet. But the film is not a downer, for me it has a happy ending.

CineChamber is shown from Wednesday 13 October to Saturday 16 October.