Morten: “We have a deep respect for each other”

Morten, February 2021

a-ha: The Movie had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York this weekend. The first review (4 out of 5 stars) has been posted on the website Josh at the Movies:

“The fact that I instantly opened my Spotify and downloaded most of A-Ha’s discography as soon as A-Ha: The Movie ended should speak volumes about its overall quality”, Josh Batchelder writes in his review.

“Following their dream from struggling below the poverty line, A-Ha: The Movie is an endearing story of realizing your dreams and believing in them. The documentary feels deep-reaching, a truly honest portrayal of personalities and musical insight. (…) I look forward to exploring more of A-Ha’s incredible body of work, as the ripples of their impact on the music industry can still be felt today.”

Morten himself has been interviewed by Salon.com in connection with the premiere. When asked about his own favorite a-ha songs, he says:

“There could be many. I don’t have a favorite song. I can lean to one song for a period, then to another. But all the songs we’ve done, we’ve had some sort of soft spot for at some point in time, or they wouldn’t be there. And there are a lot of songs in the making that have never gotten through to the point of being recorded and released. There are some cornerstones. On “Memorial Beach” there is a song that most people don’t know, “Cold as Stone,” which I like. A lot of others that are more the darker side of the band. A-ha is a dark band, really. That is where we are coming from. None of us listened to pop music growing up. We would not have listened to A-ha ourselves if we were on the street, because of the image of the band. Because of a number of things. Because of me, for one. [Laughs]”

In the interview, Morten points out how the band in many ways has been more successful since the 2000 comeback than in the first period:

“I feel the documentary fails us a little in the second half, which [chronicles] when we got back together through to today. That is the longest period that we’ve been together, I believe. And it’s our time when we’ve done our best business and touring. We played to many more people in the second half than in the first, and success-wise, that’s a bigger achievement than making it in the first place, I would argue.”

Early reports about the film also suggests that it spends quite some time on the often-reported creative frictions within the band:

“What I do feel is that the focus in the second half of the film is the disagreements and problems. But one has to bear in mind that we’ve been together for all this time and we’ve chosen to get together and get back together over and over again. We have a deep respect for each other and I’m always proud and honored to be associated with them. And we all feel the same. But we are not the same, and that is part of the package. All three of us are completely necessary for the band to become A-ha”, Morten says.

Director Thomas Robsahm has also done several interviews to promote the film recently, including conversations with Cineuropa and Screen Daily, while a video clip from the film, detailing the evolution of “Take On Me”, was published by Rolling Stone.

Next month a-ha: The Movie will be screened in Germany, as part of the Munich International Film Festival on 8 and 9 July. Information in English is available here.

Lisbon back on the schedule (again)

After a-ha’s performance at the Rock in Rio Lisboa festival was cancelled due to Covid in both 2020 and 2021, hopefully third time’s the charm as a-ha have now been confirmed for next year’s festival:

25 June 2022: Rock in Rio Lisboa Festival, Lisbon, Portugal

Duran Duran have also been confirmed for the same day.
Tickets already purchased will remain valid for the 2022 festival. More info here.

Movie trailer now available

The official trailer for a-ha: The Movie premiered yesterday, via articles posted by Variety in the US and VG in Norway.

It has also been posted by the production company on YouTube:

“I wanted to tell a story about their boyhood dream, and how incredibly difficult it really was to achieve an international breakthrough back then. About the future of a-ha. If there will be more music. I hope you’ll get to know them better as individuals and get a deeper understanding of the mechanisms within the band. This is not just a film about a-ha, but above all a film about Paul, Magne and Morten”, director Thomas Robsahm tells VG.

a-ha: The Movie will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on June 12th – tickets for the outdoor screening are sold out, but streaming access can be purchased here (US only).

Meanwhile, the Norwegian premiere has been pushed back to September 3rd. Theatrical deals are also in place for Japan, Korea, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, according to Variety.

Magne to take part in literature festivals

.

In connection with the Norwegian Festival of Literature, Magne will hold a retrospective solo exhibition called “Monologue” at Galleri Zink in Lillehammer from 25 May – 13 June.

As this year’s festival artist Magne has chosen a selection of sculptures, paintings and graphic prints that have been influenced by literature.

Ahead of the opening, Magne will join musician Morten Qvenild for an artist talk with Marte Spurkland at Verdensteateret in Lillehammer, on 25 May from 16:00 to 16:50.

“Magne Furuholmen and Morten Qvenild have previously worked together on music projects, now they meet again to talk about how they relate to literature and its influence on their artistic work”, the festival website says.

Tickets for the event are available from litteraturfestival.no, along with digital festival passes which will presumably give access to a live video stream.


Then, from 11 – 13 June, Magne will be this year’s festival artist during the biennial Petter Dass literature festival in Alstahaug. This was supposed to happen last year, but was postponed due to Covid.

The exhibition is held at the main building of the Petter Dass Museum and the opening will be streamed online at petterdass.no on 11 June from 18:30.


Recently Magne has also been busy creating custom artwork for the restaurant Schlägergården, located at Lilleaker in Oslo, which is set to reopen with renowned chef Björn Svensson as the new owner once the Covid-restrictions are lifted.

“I’ve really studied the history of this place, and my artwork will contain stories and symbols that are connected to it. It’s a great place and with Björn as the chef I think it will attract people from a wide area”, Magne told local newspaper Akersposten last week.

New songs from Magne

.

Magne continues to post new solo recordings on Instagram. Half an album’s worth of songs so far, with the latest being “Between the Halo and the Horn” which was uploaded on 2 May.

“(…) i have decided to share with you some new songs (…) songs which may or may not find their way into the fray later. presently though, these are demos, unfinished, even with the odd emergency rhyme thrown in here and there – much like early drawings in a sketch-book, but written, produced, and performed by yours truly”, Magne wrote when he posted the first one.

Here is an overview of all the songs so far:

21/12/20: I’m In
26/12/20: God is in the Details
21/01/21: Time is on Your Side
24/02/21: Bluest of Blue
04/04/21: You Have What it Takes
02/05/21: Between the Halo and the Horn

a-ha – The Movie to premiere in June

Directed by Thomas Robsahm and Aslaug Holm.

After several postponements and much back and forth, the highly anticipated documentary film a-ha – The Movie is now finally set to premiere, at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in June 2021.

The festival is held from 9 – 20 June, and the movie will be shown as part of the “Spotlight Documentary” section. Producer and co-director Thomas Robsahm says it will be extra special to have the world premiere in New York, only a few blocks from where Paul Waaktaar-Savoy lived for many years.

The movie will also premiere in Norway during the same month, on 18 June. It will also be distributed by First Hand Films in a number of other countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Israel, Sweden and South Korea.

The running time may end up varying in different markets, as in addition to the 1 hour 39 minute version planned for Norwegian cinemas, there is also mention of a 90-minute version and a 52-minute version.

Other links:
World premiere for a-ha – The Movie at Tribeca
Anthony Bourdain, A-ha docs among 2021 Tribeca Festival feature line-up

Update 5/5:
It looks like the world premiere will happen at Brookfield Place in New York on June 12th. Tickets go on sale May 10th, while tickets for the virtual screening (starting June 13th – US only) are available now at tribecafilm.com.

Powered by WordPress