One thing you certainly can say about Danish cinema is that filmmakers from Denmark tend to have very unique sensibilities in terms of look and tone unlike that of filmmakers from any other part of the world, including the United States.
That’s why it’s so interesting to see a movie like the crime thriller Terribly Happy from filmmaker Henrik Ruben Genz, which has elements of those Danish sensibilities but a look and feel like some of the great thrillers of the ’70s like Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs to the horror classic The Wicker Man, as well as the likes of Hitchcock and the Coen Brothers.
Based on the novel by Genz’s childhood friend Erling Jepsen (“The Art of Crying”), the suspenseful film stars Jakob Cedergren as Robert Hanson, a police officer from Copenhagen, who has been relocated to the outer burbs of Denmark, made the sheriff of a remote village where the people of the town are highly suspicious of outsiders. Once there, he gets caught in the middle of a domestic dispute between the beautiful Ingelise (Lene Maria Christensen) and her violent husband Jorgen (Kim Bodnia), causing him to wonder whether maybe the stress of the big city would be more appealing than the situation in which he finds himself.
Terribly Happy has won many awards at various festivals, and it was selected by Denmark as its entry into the Oscars–sadly, it didn’t make the short list–and Genz is clearly another innovative Scandinavian filmmaker we should be hearing more from in the future.
A few weeks back, ComingSoon.net sat down with Genz and the film’s producer Thomas Gammletoft to talk about the film in this exclusive CS video which includes:
* How the movie came about and collaborating on the novel before adapting it for the screen
* Developing the script
* Talking about the area of the country where they grew up and ultimately made the film
* How some of the movie is based on true incidents in Jepsen’s life
* Influences and how the tone differs from other Danish films
* Getting the distinctive style and look for the film
* Casting the film and how that process is different in Denmark
* We talk a little about their plans to do a shot-for-shot remake of the movie
* And More!
Terribly Happy opens in New York at the Angelika Film Center on Friday, February 5, and then in L.A. and San Francisco on February 12.