Swedish director Johannes Nyholm takes us in a mesmerizing journey with his shadow puppetry short-film, entitled Dreams From The Woods (Drömmar från skogen).
The movie is a dreamy shadow play about love, life and death, a strange interplay between a girl, bird, and death. The girl adventures into this big world, when suddenly she hears Death’s sweet, bewitching music and get’s herself drawn into the dark wood. Then a bird, who is in love with her embarks on a jurney to find her.
The idea behind the film was to tell a story that was a mix between dream and reality. For the first time in my life, I guess, I wanted to create something that actually looked beautiful. The form should be so fragile that you get the sense that it could dissolve any second, like a dissipating cloud. I wanted to encompass a whole life in just a couple of minutes. Love, break up, death and grief. A melodrama without any irony.
Dreams From The Woods is filmed in a theatrical play, a shadow puppet theater. It might look simple, but there was a lot of work involved. Every shot was rehearsed multiple times, then shot, live, with many puppet players controlling the figures and elements. Sometimes there were 15 people controlling different small elements of the scene simultaneously: one controlling the little bird, another the girl, four people controlling the wind, yet six controlling the fires all over the image. Some shots were so difficult and complex that they had to reshoot up to 200 times.
Director: Johannes Nyholm
Script: Johannes Nyholm
Camera: Johannes Nyholm
Editing: Johannes Nyholm
Original Music: Little Dragon – Twice
Sound Designer / Sound mixing: Jan Alvermark
Animation / Puppeteering: Henrik Andersson, Elias Araya, Johanna Arvidsson, Erik Bodin, Kasper Collin, Mikael Emtinger, Kristofer Hagbard, Christian Hansen, Aime Hellrand, Anders Holmer, Andreas Korsár, Kurt Lightner, Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Henrik Malmgren, Yukimi Nagano, Mary-Anne Norberg, Lars Nilsson, Karl-Oskar Olsson, Isabel Theselius, Ola Wagner, Fredrik Wallin, Håkan Wirenstrand, Andrea Zimmermann, Michael Zimmermann, Mirjam Zimmermann
Produced by: Joclo / Andreas Jonsson Hay
Co-producer: Swedish Television – Dokumentärfilm/kortfilm / Caisa Westling
Support from Film i Väst / Julia Boström, the Swedish Film Institute / Andra Lasmanis
Copyright: Johannes Nyholm