Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Reconstruction (2003)

Filmed in Copenhagen, director Christoffer Boe’s debut film won the Camera D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. Considered an avant-garde in the Danish film community, Boe likes to veer from the conventional and push the standard beyond the pale.

The whole film is washed in a sleepy washed-out blue, a deceiving sort of anesthetization. However, the audience must be awake for this film as it blurs the lines between the mediums of film, literature, poetry, dreams, reality, and emotion. The film elaborates this in a stunning exercise of filmic montage.

The film centers around the experience of Alex, played by Nikolaj Lie Kass, getting lost chasing renegade dreams. His desire is torn between two women, both played by the same actress, Maria Bonnevie.

From the opening to the ending sequence of the well-dressed, mysteriously alluring character who performs sleight of hand levitating a cigarette and the narrator stating the obvious, “This is a film,” to the highly aestheticized vision of Copenhagen, to the obvious economically comfortable lives the characters lead, Boe explores at a distance what such an über-constructed world has to offer. Without reading too much into it, as Boe seems to want his audience to decide for themselves, this world seems to float above anything real, perhaps it can be read as a meta-narrative on the modern world.

The sense of space created in the film is very primed and wide-open, eliciting the expectation that something very pointed is going to happen in that space to fill it. However, the space remains open. Nothing really happens, except perhaps a slight shift. The viewer is simply left with an impression of solitude and loneliness, and the emptiness of a consistently reconstructed cliché - “I love you.”

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