Turning away from the pyrotechnics that made his first two films so distinctive, Danish helmer Christoffer Boe opts for a scruffy, ultra-realist look in "Offscreen." Star Nicolas Bro plays a crazed version of himself, falling apart after a split with his wife precipitated by his obsessive filming of their daily life.

Turning away from the pyrotechnics that made his first two films — “Reconstruction” and “Allegro” — so distinctive, Danish helmer Christoffer Boe opts for a scruffy, ultra-realist look in “Offscreen.” Star Nicolas Bro, also pic’s d.p., plays a crazed version of himself, falling apart after a split with his wife precipitated by his obsessive filming of their daily life. Despite escalating lunacy, result still feels like an empty aesthetic exercise or filmmaking in-joke. A few fests may put pic onscreen, but sales prospects are slim.

Opening segment explains that thesp Bro (Bro) has disappeared, leaving behind a mass of footage which his helmer friend Christoffer Boe (the real Boe) is editing. Assembled material shows how Bro borrowed a camera from Boe to make a film about Bro and his wife Lene’s (Lene Maria Christensen) faltering relationship. When Lene declares she no longer loves Bro and skedaddles, he mopes for a reel and then hires actress friend Trine (Trine Dyrholm) to play Lene in reconstructions of the split. Script by Boe and Knud Romer Jorgensen backs itself into an absurdly violent climactic corner. Tech package is deliberately crude and ugly.

Offscreen

Denmark

Production

An Alphaville Pictures Copenhagen production. (International sales: Alphaville Pictures, Copenhagen.) Produced by Tine Grew Pfeiffer. Directed by Christoffer Boe. Screenplay, Boe, Knud Romer Jorgensen.

Crew

Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Nicolas Bro; editor, Peter Brandt. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Venice Days), Aug. 30, 2006. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Nicolas Bro, Lene Maria Christensen, Christoffer Boe, Jakob Cedergren, Trine Dyrholm.
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