A press conference dedicated to Magnus, a film competing in the documentary programme of the 38th Moscow International Film Festival, took place on June 28, 2016. The film was presented by the director, Benjamin Ree.
The idea to make the film came to the director, when Magnus Carlsen was participating in the 2013 World Chess Championship. At that time some big media companies with crews of several people attempted to make their own films about the chess-player, but Benjamin Ree worked alone. That is why he managed to find a personal approach to his hero and a way into his private space.
‘I am also fond of chess,’ said Benjamin Ree, ‘What appeals to me in Magnus is his approach to the game: he has never studied playing chess specifically and he has managed to preserve this genuine style at the professional sports level’. The director wanted to show the two sides of live of the famous chess-player: the professional one, where he is totally absorbed by the game, and the personal one, where he still never takes his mind off the chess completely.
While preparing to make the film, the director had watched plenty of documentaries about famous chess-players, such as Bobby Fischer Against the World, The Chess Fever. ‘My film is about the importance of intuition and intelligence in the contemporary world of computer technologies’, said Benjamin Ree. He also shared that it was especially difficult for him to find the way to show on the screen the tension hanging in the air between the two people at the moment when it seems that nothing is virtually happening.