The Juniper Tree, Nietzchka Keene’s visually stunning tale of witchcraft in the wilds of medieval Iceland and starring a young Björk, is available now on Cinema on Demand, after a brilliant restoration. 30 years after the cult film was first released, Barbican cinema curator Alex Davidson interviews cinematographer Randolph Sellars about filming in Iceland, the film’s reception and working with Björk.
The restoration of the film does full justice to your cinematography – it looks stunning. What fueled the decision to shoot in black and white?
When Nietzchka was considering me for the film she had already decided that she wanted to shoot in B&W due to the dark subject matter and its period setting. That is one of the elements that attracted me the most to the project - a chance to photograph a feature in the style of European masters such as Ingmar Bergman and Carl Dreyer, who were major influences.