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Interview: ‘Pleasure’ Filmmaker Ninja Thyberg Breaks Down Her Bold New Film

Nothing else exists quite like Pleasure. Hearing about it is one thing, but you truly have to see it in order to understand what filmmaker Ninja Thyberg is going for. What she’s attempting, as well as what she accomplishes, is nothing short of stunning. It’s a work that exists in its own special category. Last week, I spoke to star Sofia Kappel (here) about the flick, as well as Thyberg. Friday we dropped the Kappel chat, which I’m sure you’ve seen by now. Now, it’s time to introduce you all to the writer/director, who certainly has to be relieved to see it finally out in the world, courtesy of NEON. Today, I’m delighted to present our conversation to you all.

This is some of what I had to say about Thyberg’s movie in my review of Pleasure back at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival:

Pleasure goes there, that’s for sure. Co-writer/director Ninja Thyberg shows you more than you’d ever expect to see in a non erotic feature. Of course, there’s no eroticism to be found here, as this is far more a clinical depiction of making it (or not making it) in the business. The film never wants to titillate, only to educate. Without question, had this played in person at Park City, there would have been walkouts. At the same time, those individuals would have missed a hell of a movie, graphic as it is.

Filmmaker Ninja Thyberg is completely unafraid to turn the dial up to eleven. Along with her co-writer Peter Modestij, Thyberg charts a familiar narrative, even if we’ve never seen it in this profession. It’s in her direction, which is full of close ups, shots of a sexual nature you’re not expecting, and takes that hold for longer than expected, that reveal a sense of style. She wants you to experience what Bella experiences, and for better or worse, she’s very successful. For some, it’ll be far too much, as if I even listed some of what you’d see here, it would cause a stir. For others, it’ll be downright captivating. Consider me mostly in the latter category.

Below, you can see my conversation with Thyberg. Considering how she’s the brains of Pleasure, developing it out of the short film of the same name, I was fascinated to hear how this project came to be. Not just the how, but also, and especially, the why. When you see the movie, you’ll understand what a singular work it truly is. Thyberg is a storyteller to watch out for, that’s more than clear.

Here now is my interview with Pleasure filmmaker Ninja Thyberg. Enjoy:

Pleasure is in theaters now!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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