‘Danach’: A film by Anna Österlund featuring music by Mikael Karlsson and Black Sun Productions

Talented film-maker and designer Anna Österlund’s latest short Danach is a collaboration with composer Mikael Karlsson and queer post-industrial collective Black Sun Productions. Österlund previously worked with Karlsson on the haunting, beautiful and disturbing film Breathing, and this time she has used his composition, which is the last track “Danach” on the final album release by Black Sun Productions, Phantasmata Domestica.

Black Sun Productions is a collective centered around “artivists” Massimo and Pierce, who for the past decade have performed as sound and visual artists and political activists under the name Anarcocks. Black Sun Productions have worked with Coil (Plastic Spider Thing), Lydia Lunch and H. R. Geiger. Massimo and Pierce met on the set of an underground porn film, and their work includes explicit elements of ritualized sex magick, chaos magick and elements of fetishism and sado-masochism. Phantasmata Domestica is the last ever release from this talented and uncompromising duo.

Now based in New York, Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson, who wrote the track “Danach” for Phantasmata Domestica, holds a masters degree in composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music and graduated Summa Cum Laude with departmental honors in June of 2005. He is a multi-award-winning composer, recognized as one of the most exciting and original working today. Karlsson has worked with Lydia Lunch, Mariam Wallentin, Kleerup, Lykke Li, Benoit-Swan Pouffe, Alexander Ekman, amongst many others.

Anna Österlund told Dangerous Minds about her latest film collaboration and the music which inspired it.

‘The album name is Phantasmata Domestica which means something like house ghost and Black Sun Productions call it “an epic and emotional tale about sorrow and loss.” The last track “Danach” is about the next day, the ceremonies are long since gone - the pity with them. Waking up, being forced to move on with your life. What hereafter? What now?

‘I got to interpret these words and the music freely and came up with this video during last week. We filmed for just a few hours, in the same forest and only a few hundred meters away from where I made Breathing.

‘I made the heavy wool coat that she’s wearing and added my grandmother’s old mourning veil to the costume. The house I built on top of an old record player, so I could rotate it and the wind comes from my blowdryer. I had a lot of fun making the film, it’s quite tricky to go through with ideas when you don’t have a budget or a crew to help out, but sometimes that gives birth to new ideas.’

Danach stars newcomer Maja Mintchev, who Anna spotted for the role in a department store in Malmö, and the film was released just last month in Europe.

Danach is a film by Anna Österlund in collaboration with Black Sun Productions and Mikael Karlsson.

Phantasmata Domestica by Black Sun Productions, featuring Mikael Karlsson, Massimo & Pierce, Lydia Lunch, Othon, Cory Smythe, Fung Chern Hwei, Sirius Quartet and Michael Bates is available here.

More on Anna Österlund at Ravishing Mad and Mikael Karlsson.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

‘Clara’: A film about joy, love and struggle by Anna Österlund

‘Breathing’: A haunting and eerie short film by Mikael Karlsson, Anna Österlund and Truls Bråhammar


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Clara’: A film about joy, love and struggle by Anna Österlund

After the success of Breathing, her haunting collaboration with composer Michael Karlsson, film-maker Anna Österlund has returned with her latest short, Clara - a beautiful and impressionistic film examining the conflicting pressures of motherhood.

‘I made the film after hearing designer and musician Jenny Grettve‘s music and seeing her collection which drew inspiration from the 19th century composer Clara Schumann.

‘Clara was a mother of 7 children, and yet, she was considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era.

‘In the eyes of society, being a performer and the main breadwinner for her family, Clara was in direct conflict with the expected role as a wife and mother. Some of the hardships she must have gone through in combining the two, I also see in my friend Jenny’s life. She’s had 3 kids within 3 years, while at the same time she started her own fashion brand.

‘I see the joy, the love and the struggle, the wish to drop everything, yet embracing it, and the fantastic creativity that comes out of being under such a pressure.

‘So I asked her to just act herself in her own collection and I put her in contrasting situations involving her, her kids, music and creativity, and let the camera roll.

‘I worked with symbols from classic paintings such as the apple symbolising temptaition, and other symbols showing struggle, hard work, restlesness and love. I’m leaving it up to the viewers to make their own interpretations, but everything is there for a reason.’

Prior to film-making, Anna set-up her own highly successful design company Ravishing Mad in 2007, which she described as a contrast of things she loves: ‘being outrageous and yet stunning, clean but not strict, dirty and oh so powerful.’

Anna was born and raised just outside Stockholm. She had a rather lonely childhood, and was often bullied by other kids. To escape Anna spent much of her time alone in her room drawing and sewing, while listening to music. It was the kind of existence that focussed her talents and ambitions.

Once Ravishing Mad was a success, Anna wanted to find new outlets for her cretaivity. ‘I bought a camera and got back into filming, photographing and writing, collaborating with musicians and dancers along with my work in fashion. Now I’m enjoying myself like I never thought possible and my biggest joy is the mix of doing everything.

Anna describes Clara as a mix of music video, fashion video and short film.  ‘Call it whatever you like, but it’s not very typical of the first two. What I’m interested in is awakening emotions and adding an expression that is different to what you see every day.

‘There is an indie feel to most of my work and I have a weakness for the unpolished. I grew up during the 80’s and 90’s and remember how I as a child and teen I recorded films on top of each other until they were completely worn out. I’m so in love with the faults and beauty in old VHS copies and it’s probably a way for me to romanticise the moments when I saw some of my favorite films for the first time. I think my past is quite visible in my work and I try to be honest and to create my own magic world that I can invite fantastic people into.’

Previously on Dangerous Minds

‘Breathing’: A haunting and eerie short film by Michael Karlsson, Anna Österlund and Truls Bråhammar


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment