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Watch Alexander Skarsgard Battle the Undead in ‘The Northman’ | Anatomy of a Scene

VideosWatch Alexander Skarsgard Battle the Undead in ‘The Northman’ | Anatomy of a Scene

A quiet moonlit scene turns into a rousing fierce fight with an undead mound dweller in this scene from “The Northman.”

Amleth (Alexander Skarsgard), the Northman of the title, is seeking to avenge his father’s death. But he requires a special sword that he must retrieve from a burial mound. He’ll just need to pry the weapon from the hands of the mound dweller buried there. Oh, and fight that undead figure when he is roused.

Discussing the scene, the director Robert Eggers said that the barely visible moonlit shots in the film “are almost black and white, to the point where I wonder if my D.P. and I made a mistake,” he said, referring to the director of photography, Eggers’s longtime collaborator Jarin Blaschke. The stark glimmers of these moments are based on time Blaschke spent in remote parts of Africa, far from any light pollution. The images are enhanced by an ashen coloring the costume designer and production designer put on the clothing and set to enhance the visuals.

Much of the fight with Skarsgard (6-foot-4) and Ian Whyte (7-foot-1) was shot in a vertically roomy space in long, unbroken takes. It became a way to help audiences be “more immersed in the fight,” he said. “And it’s also easier to follow each beat of the fight as a story.”

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