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Passing the Torch

At the 2003 Telluride Film Festival I again reviewed two films for The Economist, both from young directors testing the waters and both beautiful in very different ways. The first, Reconstruction, by Danish director Christoffer Boe, won Camera d’Or at Cannes, was fairly widely released (for a Danish film) and was a stylish and noirish love mystery. The second, My Life Without Me, starred some up and coming talent here in the US – Sarah Polley and Mark Ruffalo – and also found room for a wonderful supporting cast including Scott Speedman, Amanda Plummer and the still beautiful Debbie Harry as Polley’s hard working and downtrodden mother.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

TWO films, both deserving of popular and critical acclaim, stood out at the Telluride film festival earlier this month. “Reconstruction”, which had earlier won a Camera d’Or at Cannes, is a stylish and contemporary exploration of love and trust. Alex (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and Aimee (Maria Bonnevie), both entertaining doubts about their respective partners, meet for a night of passion. Upon waking, Alex’s world has shifted subtly, yet with menace. The door to his flat is gone; his girlfriend Simone, his father and his friends claim not to know him. Only Aimee remains the same, and Alex must decide what is real. That Aimee and Simone are played by the same actress hints at his dilemma.

Christoffer Boe, the director, co-wrote the script with Mogens Rukov, his former teacher at that hotbed of contemporary Danish cinema, the National Film School of Denmark. But this is no Dogma film. Echoes of an Elizabethan fascination with the illusory lurk beneath the surface as David, Aimee’s novelist husband, Prospero-like, writes Alex’s and Aimee’s story as it happens. Mr Boe cites Raymond Queneau’s “Exercises in Style” as inspiration, so it is no surprise that the film has turned out to be a cool looping pastiche of cinematographic style that just manages to hold its disparate parts together.

And you can read the full article here.

Movie Poster for "My Life Without Me"

Movie Poster for "Reconstruction"

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