Hilke Rönnfeldt, born in Northern Germany with Icelandic-Danish roots, is a writer/director whose work revolves around life in small communities, loneliness, intimacy and the sea. She is a Screen Talent Europe (2016) and a film fund Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein writer’s lab (2018) alumna. Recently, she joined independent film collective Super16 in Copenhagen. Her latest short film SILENCE OF THE FISH (2019) international premieres at Tallinn Black Nights Festival in November. Her first feature film in development EXPLORER was selected for the Scandinavian Debut Pitch at Haugesund International Film Festival and POWR Baltic Stories Exchange this year. A cosmopolitan and polyglot by heart, Hilke writes and directs wherever it takes her. Preferably somewhere by the sea. Essential for her writing: To be real and aim for the heart. She has a strong faith in the poetic capability of the image.
On the beauty of images and words
In my head I collect thousands of images. I can construct them. Think about how I would things to look like. Let the images roll in exactly like I want them. The speed, the colors, the textures.
Waves of my imagination and inspiration.
Everything is possible. Everything looks amazing.
Then I grab my pen. I like pens in different colors. Black ink on white paper already lets my heart sink. And it can’t be on my computer. I need at least the readiness of my scratch book, not the resistance of the keyboard, the clinic light of the screen. And then all the beauty in my head falls to pieces.
How to transfer all the beauty of the images in my head into the beauty of words? Each time it feels so impossible. If I allow myself the aimless thought, I ask again and again the following question: Why do I have to write something down that is not meant to be words. It’s to be seen: images, colors. It’s to be heard: noises, dialogue. Every time I see a piece of paper with written words on screen, I really wonder if it belongs there. Piece of paper saying: ‘See you later’, ‘My dear XXXX, I have to write this letter to you…’, ‘Had to leave. Call me. XOXO’. ‘It’s over’. Also if they say greater things.
Me and the words, it’s not over. I read the most beautiful screenplays. A language in them, so vivid, funny and descriptive about what’s going to be filmed in images.
It’s a pleasure to read this and hopefully write this. But nothing of it ends up on screen.
This beauty of words, except for the dialogue maybe, it’s all just there to function for something else.
Are screenplays supposed to be beautifully written or is pure function enough? But how can pure function create the beauty of the image?
I worked over the last years in film in Iceland and Denmark. Then I started studying at Alma. The language of my words became English. Suddenly I don’t have to think so much about the beauty of words. I lost touch with it. I can’t feel such a strong need for it any longer. It’s like saying ‘fuck’. The native speaker feels the impact. I just repeat it. I don’t feel the same. Not the same connotations. It’s helpful.
Right at the start to put something into words, I have the right by birth to already give up on it. My English words will never put the beauty of images in perfect words. And I can’t hear it when I read them out loud. And I can’t do anything about it. At once, it’s not me and my abilities as a writer.
We became friends again. Me and the words. I accept, that they have limitations. However after some years, I got tired again. I returned to the mother tongue. Herz im Zaum, Jelängerjelieber. Komische Worte. Meine ich komisch oder seltsam? Ich schätze die Feinheiten und die Wortspiele. Sie bauen auf Bildern.
At Alma I learnt more about my process and my words. Is it about the words or is it about me? I feel acceptance. I still feel that I need to use words to describe something that doesn’t necessarily has to be put in words. But I chose to write for the screen, words are my means. We are not at war. Me and the words.
We want the same. Beauty. In image and word.