DETALJER (2003)

[Details]

ROLE: Publishing editor - Erik

GENRE: Drama

COUNTRY: Sweden/Denmark/UK

SWEDISH RELEASE: October 10, 2003

 
Synopsis

The story begins in 1989 with Emma, an attractive young writer, approaching Erik, the publishing editor to whom she sent her first novel, the appropriately titled "Lost and Found", some months earlier. Their acquaintance leads to an affair in spite of Emma’s freshly begun relationship with Stefan, an impulsive, neurotic, up-and-coming dramatist and heroin addict. Stefan botches a suicide attempt, presumably after learning of the affair, and winds up under the medical care of Ann, Erik’s justifiably dissatisfied wife. The two embark on their own doomed affair.

Over the next decade their paths cross as couples and individually: at the Uffizi in Florence, literary-type parties, the gym, the café. This relatively straightforward primary narrative is interspersed with more ambiguous Bergmanesque arthouse scenes in which three of the characters — Emma, Erik and Ann — hint at their respective fates in the purgatorial setting of a decrepit and labyrinthine abandoned building. Stefan, notably, is missing.

 
Cast & Credit Details

Rebecka Hemse - Emma
Michael Nyqvist - Erik
Jonas Karlsson - Stefan
Pernilla August - Ann
Young Daniel - Valter Skarsgĺrd
Older Daniel - Gustaf Skarsgĺrd

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Director - Kristian Petri
Screenplay - Jonas Frykberg & Lars Norén
Cinematography - Göran Hallberg
Music - Johan Söderberg & David Österberg

114 minutes

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View film clips at kristianpetri.se

View film clip at youtube.com

 
Production Notes:

The film was recorded in Trollhattan, Berlin, Florence and Stockholm in 2002 with a budget of 19 million. The history of this production goes back a few years ago when Lars Norén wrote a trilogy for the stage. Two of the plays were ultimately merged for the screen with the film borrowing its title from one of the plays - "Details". The second piece is called "November".  For Kristian Petri, the project was a dream come true. He has long encouraged Norén to write a screenplay and it was actually Petri's idea to merge the two plays. For the final screenplay, Jonas Frykberg was called in for the final design.

Director's Vision Statement

 
Publicity Stills
 
Promotional Photos

June 5, 2002

October 8, 2003

 
Commentary

Film critic Gunnar Rehlin:
Story of relationships in a downward spiral, Detaljer is a demanding, hardcore art movie with echoes of Ingmar Bergman in its look and themes...  The film is punctuated by the characters meeting in what looks like an old, almost deserted hospital, whose significance is only revealed at the end. The narrative jumps around in time, and takes a while to come together, but the ace cast, especially Norén regular Nyqvist, relishes the darkly comic dialogue, and helmer Kristian Petri gives the talky script a cinematic vigor, with d.p. Goran Hallberg using different lighting and color styles in the studio and on Italian locations.

Eric J. Iannelli, Ink19.com:
What is most striking about the film’s story is the way it comes full-circle in spite of the personal differences between the characters. Erik and Emma marry but are no happier than they were before, their marriage overshadowed by childlessness and Emma’s mental instability. Erik’s ongoing selfish preoccupation with the former invariably affects the latter. Ann still craves stability and affection, but what she gets from Stefan is exactly what she got from Erik: betrayal. All of them are so consumed by their own wants that they leave little room to consider how ill-suited their partners are to fulfill them. Stefan seems to be the film’s bleak anhedonist, but he is the only character who expresses some kind of genuine satisfaction with the original arrangement. The core triangle of lovers are either longing for the new or longing for the old. The final moments of the film, in which Ann and Erik are momentarily content, show them distracted by attributes they once took for granted — a smile, the curve of the cheek — and dangerously unaware of more important details about the road ahead.

Detaljer offers much for the willing audience to pick apart and digest, and is worthy of multiple viewings. Petri’s narrative method can be challenging and idiosyncratic, but it is engrossing despite the malcontent middle-class everymen whose tale is being told. Hemse, Nyqvist, August and Karlsson truly live the roles, imbuing the characters with just enough depth and substance to excuse, or at least explain, their tragic blindness.
 

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