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Filmmaker Jonas Åkerlund Opens Up About Los Angeles, Femininity


"If you're a man, I think the strongest thing you can have is a feminine side." 

In a new video for Nowness' ongoing series, "Directors Talk," Swedish filmmaker Jonas Akerlund reflects on his practice and living in California. Featuring lo-fi, black-and-white footage, the dreamy clip includes grainy interview clips with the music industry's golden child, who mostly recently directed Lady Gaga's campy "John Wayne" video off Joanne.

"I thought for a while I was going to become a musician," he says in the video. "By coincidence I was introduced to film editing. Film editing took everything to a new level for me, working with images, the music--it just became my life."

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At one point, the filmmaker opens up about masculinity, saying he believes the strongest thing men can have "is a feminine side," as various shots of his Sphynx cat fill the frame--his home decorated with a large, eclectic collection of art.

Akerlund says the best part of Los Angeles is cocooning in his home to write and discover new ideas, admitting the city was always a dream of his to live in. "It was like a romantic image of what Los Angeles would be," he says. "Seeing it from a young boy's perspective in Scandinavia. In a weird way, it has all those elements when you come to the centers it is a dream land, it is a land of opportunity."

Watch the Nowness feature, below.

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Justin Moran