A lot of the gems we were able to see at festivals this year are so far out there that they may never find a place in the world. The Giant, written and directed by first-time filmmaker Johannes Nyholm, is perhaps the best example. On this week's episode of The No Film School Podcast, we deconstruct the film's veiled themes, and with the aid of its Swedish director, piece them back together to reveal how surrealism can weave together a more meaningful message than your average run-of-the-mill drama.

The Giant is a film that's nearly impossible to pin down. Nyholm describes it as a western, a cheesy sports movie, a drama, a surrealistic fantasy, and a dark comedy all rolled into one. It follows the daily life of an autistic and severely deformed little person named Rikard, whose main ambition in life is to win the Scandinavian Championship of pétanque, a European bowling game much like bocce ball. Oh, and there's also a 200-foot giant by his side nearly every step of the way.

Nyholm is a DIY filmmaker through and through. He didn’t go to film school; instead, he taught himself as many tools as he could through shooting, editing, VFX, and animation, first for music videos and then his own shorts. He is living proof that, with the correct tools in place, you can create a movie that doesn’t cost much even though it looks like it does.

Listen to the episode by streaming or downloading from the embedded player above, or find it on iTunes here. 

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This episode was produced and edited by Jon Fusco.