The 72-year-old directing legend is in Helsinki filming the final scenes of his coming feature film. Greenaway, who is known for his unconventional approaches to filmmaking and storytelling, is purportedly returning to a more plot-driven variety of cinema.
The protagonist of Greenaway’s new film is Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein (1989—1948), of 1925 film Battleship Potemkin fame, and his experiences and travels in Mexico in 1930.
Most of the film has been shot in the city of Guanajuato, Mexico, but the remaining scenes are now being filmed in Helsinki using a green screen, with the Mexican background to be added in later.
“I am sure if he were alive now, Eisenstein would be using 3D, holograms, everything that’s now at the fingertips of filmmakers,” the director told Yle. “He was a great inventor.”
Greenaway came to film in Finland because both part of the funds and the main actor in the production are Finnish.
“This is my first big role,” said Elmer Bäck, the actor portraying Eisenstein in the upcoming film. “So sure I was nervous. But when you’re working, the nerves go away if you just buckle down.”
The young actor is still as yet unknown to the broader Finnish viewership, as Bäck has worked for years in Berlin as a member of the Finnish-Swedish theatre group Nya Rampen. Greenaway saw Bäck in the 2012 crime series The Spiral and went on to cast him inEisenstein in Guanajuato – as he will for his next project, along with fellow actors Jakob Öhrman and Rasmus Slätis.
Eisenstein in Guanajuato is an international co-production between Submarine and Fu Works (The Netherlands), and Paloma Negra Films (Mexico), Edith Film (Finland) and Potemkino (Belgium).