Danish director Ole Bornedal will be gracing The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge on March 27 with the exclusive area premiere of his genre-bending thriller iJust Another Love Story/i. Mixing elements of film noir, art house cinema and surreal gore reminiscent of a Dario Argento film, iJust Another Love Story/i is Bornedal's second tryst with the silver screens of the United States.
Known to American audiences for his 1998 English language release of iNightwatch/i, which puts a young Ewan McGregor in a morgue where he is working as a night watchman, the film is a bizarre chiller of a movie involving college students, morgues and a potential corpse-raping serial killer.
McGregor's character soon becomes involved in a series of situations with police, necrophiliacs and prostitutes that leave the viewer in a dazed state, not knowing which way is up, who is good or who is bad.
The claustrophobic settings and realistic cinematography make the viewing experience all the more creepy. The English version of iNightwatch/i was a remake of Bornedal's 1994 Danish film, iNattevagten/i.
The script was rewritten by Steven Soderbergh, and Patricia Arquette and Josh Brolin were cast as McGregor's girlfriend and best friend, respectively. A Hollywood budget was thrown in for good measure.
The product was a slightly more polished version of the Danish original, with plenty of suspense and plot twists to go around.
Much like iNightwatch/i, iJust Another Love Story/i features Bornedal's trademark terrifying realism, but without all the Hollywood sheen.
The film is set in Copenhagen and tells the story of Jonas, a middle aged man who feels so trapped in his suburban life that he will stop at nothing to get out.
Jonas (Anders W. Berthelsen), a crime-scene photographer and a married father of two, inadvertently causes a horrifically awe-inducing car accident that, in Bornedal's humble opinion, is, "one of the scariest ones in recent film making." He comes out all right, but the woman in the other car isn't so lucky.
The accident puts the victim, Julia (Rebecka Hemse), in a coma. The grief stricken Jonas visits Julia in the hospital where he is mistaken by her family for her current boyfriend, Sebastian. Jonas, in all his midlife-crisis-fueled desperation decides it might be fun to just roll with it and pretend to be Sebastian. But wait, it gets better.
Julia wakes up from her coma a blind amnesiac, allowing the emotionally unstable Jonas to take advantage of the situation and start a sordid love affair with the unknowing woman.
What ensues is an exploration of what it might be like to, if only for a few days, escape the day-to-day monotony of the life you lead and engage in something unknown, something new, something exotic.
But Jonas can only hide the truth for so long. As mistaken identities and passionate emotions mix in a dangerous stew of deceit and love, the audience is taken for one hell of a ride.
iJust Another Love Story/i, which was filmed in Danish with English subtitles, had its American premiere at the Fantastic Fest film festival in Austin, Texas last September.
Following a series of well received screenings in New York and other select cities, iJust Another Love Story/i began to pick up steam with critics and audiences alike.
The film is still on a limited distribution, and will be showing at the Brattle Theatre from Friday, March 27 to Thursday, April 2.