11 September 2013 9:15 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Entrusted with delivering both an eight-hour TV miniseries and a feature film in “1864,” the most expensive Danish production ever, one can forgive director Ole Bornedal for wishing at the time that he were on an island in the Baltic Sea.

The scale of the enterprise was daunting. Major battle sequences in the film, about the war between Denmark and Prussia in 1864, required 270 extras, who, all told, clocked 18,000 hours on set. One day, a downpour caused some walls on the set to collapse. On the day that Variety visited the shoot in the Czech Republic, the heat caused a score of extras and crew members to faint.

“The logistics of doing war movies, with so many hundreds of extras, is difficult and sometimes nerve-racking,” Bornedal says, suddenly longing for the smaller, inward-looking films of fellow Scandi filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. “Bergman called in Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson to film on his island, »


- Leo Barraclough

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