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Grand Prix - New Director of the Year 2003

Reconstruction
directed by Christoffer Boe

A Film that Haunts Your Mind
by Grégory Valens

Let's not be afraid of using superlative terms: Christoffer Boe is the most promising revelation of Scandinavian cinema since Lars Von Trier. His debut feature film, awarded with the Caméra d’Or in Cannes, offers a variation on the theme of the love encounter. It is magnified by a narration deliciously elaborate, made of temporal and geographical movements, of simulacra and surprises, and by a most ambitious filmic form, using the mixture of 35 mm and digital images to compose a personal world which appears alternatively glacial and warmhearted, realistic and fantasmagoric, timeless and very modern.

Reconstruction.

The film tells the story of two couples: a writer neglecting his young wife, Aimee; a photographer, Alex, and his girlfriend. Aimee and Alex are struck by love at first sight, and decide to run away together. But life is not always as simple as you would wish: suddenly Alex realizes his neighbours, his friends, even his girlfriend do not recognize him anymore; his apartment is gone. Has he been dreaming? Is he the product of a dream? Maybe his affair with Aimee is just the result of his imagination? If not, will it survive this confusion?

Reconstruction is of those films which haunt your mind long after the screening, which you like to remember to modify the interpretation you first made, and which you wish to see again as soon as possible, in order to confront your certainties damaged by the sieve of your thoughts… Flirting with fantasy, abusing of clichés to better play with them and startle the spectator, Reconstruction reveals an author who may be slightly tortured but most probably visionary, and definitely a master in directing actors : the ascending star of European cinema, Swedish actress Maria Bonnevie, impersonates both female roles. Fragile and ingenuous as young Simone, confident and feminine as Aimee, she allies the innocence of Bibi Andersson and the charism of Liv Ulmann. This double interpretation contributes both to the film charm and to the complete loss of landmarks of the acquiescent spectator. It is a raffinated pleasure to be amazed in such a subtle way.

Grégory Valens

A version of this text was published in French in Positif.
English version © FIPRESCI 2003.

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Grand Prix - Best Film of the Year 2003:
Uzak by Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
Review / Portrait

 

 

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