Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I mentioned in my TIFF wrap-up yesterday that the cinema of Denmark is on fire at the moment, with a wealth of intelligent and stylish features spanning multiple genres, all coming out of a country of about 5 million people. KBT this week presents Danish director Christopher Boe’s debut feature: Reconstruction.

Reconstruction is a curious piece of noir cinema. It shot with enough visual flair (a gritty high-contrast colour image) for the folks at the Cannes Film Festival to hand the film the Camera D’Or, the festivals top prize for cinematography. The film is full of shadowy close-ups of faces that have a intriguing glance or a small flirty upturn of the lip. It has a coldly scientific way of using satellite photos to show the geography of the scene before getting to the scene itself and a methodical introduction of it's concept and four leads. Sandwiched between those two scenes is sizzling hot introduction to two characters of the four.

If I have confused you by that above description, it is sort of akin to the feeling of watching Reconstruction. The title itself is overtly suggestive of something not quite put together right the first time. Boe & Co. brashly throw the gauntlet down in the very opening sequence which features a magician floating a lit cigarette between his hands. In a voice over, he clearly states that what you are about to see has no bearing on reality. It is just a film. Over the course of the following 90 minutes raw humanity shines though the construction, nonetheless.

Ok, this sounds a bit on the arty and possibly pretentious side, and the film could have easily slid off the cliff and turned dry and arch. But Boe and the three lead actors (Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Krister Henriksson and Maria Bonnevie (who plays both women in the film) have the talent to pull off a film which not only puts the whole genre of the love-story thriller under the microscope, but is also a steamy love story in its own right. You need only to watch the first scene with Lie Kaas and Bonnevie flirt in an upscale bar to forget about constructs and scenes and just savour the romantic sizzle, the noirish feel and the jazzy score.

The story is a wholly unusual one that is best discovered rather than read. Suffice it to say that it involves crumbling relationships, memory loss, disorientation, suspicion and jealousy. One character needs a mysterious and red-hot attraction (and maybe something more) to hold onto his sanity until he sorts his confusion out.

If you are a fan of mysterious and obsession driven love stories, a genre where Hitchcock was the master, such as Vertigo, Rebecca, Charade, Blow up, Body Double, and the mother of them all, Casablanca, come out Tuesday Night for Reconstruction. It is a very post-modern take on the genre with style to burn.

Tuesday September 20th, 8:15pm drinks, 8:30pm showtime.


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