On the Art of the Set Design

Ijäs Jan

“Can the set take it?” is a question that often gets asked on film shoots. When you adjust a camera position, change a lens or introduce a new panning shot, the orientation and scope of the images you capture change. As a result, you then risk showing a stretch of soundstage wall or even an unwanted glimpse of location. This film is based on North Korea’s former leader Kim Jong Il's (1942–2011) film-making treatise On the Art of Cinema, with a particular focus on the chapter titled The Sets Should Reflect the Times, passages of which are read out by the narrator. All images were shot on location in North Korea during a guided tour. These guided visits are highly managed, with all filming and recording activity carefully controlled by the hosts. Everything you see is reminiscent of a theatre or film set.

Production Year
Original Title
On the Art of the Set Design
English Title

On the Art of the Set Design

Production Countries
Jan Ijäs (Author), Simojukka Ruippo (Cinematographer), Jan Ijäs (Director), Jan Ijäs (Editor), Jan Ijäs (Producer), Jan Ijäs (Script), Matti Ahopelto (Sound Design), Svante Colérus (Sound Design), Rebecca Clamp (Actor), Atalante Oy (Production Company)
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Jan Ijäs

Born: 1975

Media artist and film director Jan Ijäs (b. 1975) studied documentary film making at the Department of Film, Television and Scenography at the Aalto University in Helsinki. His work can be described as a blend of avant garde, experimental media art and documentary film making. His films have been screened at more than 200 Finnish and international film festivals and as installations in museums and art galleries. He has won numerous awards, including the Finnish Risto Jarva Prize in 2011 for SWEET MOV(I)E, Raft of the Médusa, film about immigration won Amnesty International Award 2018 at the IndieLisboa film festival in Portugal.

28 works