Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lyckantropen


Lyckantropen
Directed by: Steve Ericsson, 2002, Sweden
Drama /Mystery / Thriller, 29min
Distributed by Vedlus Records

Story:
In the quiet neighbourhood of a small town in Sweden, we find a family in turmoil as David [Felix Engström] struggles for balance in his relations to himself, his wife [Elin Klinga] and their daughter Rakel [Julia Brådhe-Dennisch]. Wrestling an inferno of emotions he ventures into himself, finding the most primal of all truths... ...the beast within.

Me: As I edited this movie, I'm obviously tainted by it and the postproduction period that I worked on, but to be frank I feel that it is a really good debut movie for Steve Ericsson. It's spooky, there's a feeling to the movie that gets under your skin and the craftsmanship put into the movie is amazing. Done on a budget that's almost nonexistent, it looks like a million dollars went into it. The actors are very focused, and I find it to be one of the best acted short movies for ages. Sweden being such a small country often tends to reuse the same key actors over and over, and it's often painfully obviously that the actors are just names and not giving their all to the performances that come off a pale and tepid. But here Ericsson has his actor’s full attention and they pull off great performances. The story is good, it works on several plains and even the director and I had serious discussions about the ending. I know that Steve has his interpretation and I have mine, but that was half the joy of working on the movie. Sets are impressive and nothing feels out of place. The scenes that Ericsson didn't feel completely satisfied with he removed in post. He even took a bold decision to remove elements from the first cut that where confusing and more or less refocused his tale on the father in the family instead. The mood and ambience that the Norwegian experimental band Ulver supplied for the film is awesome, I couldn't see any other soundtrack to this movie. The creative process for the score is worth mentioning. The band travelled from Oslo to Stockholm with their equipment and watched a cut with out music, then a temp track and then set up their gear and started composing. Bit by bit they returned to the edit and discussed with Ericsson where they where going, he gave them his feedback and they went back into the cellar to create some more. This close relationship evolved into the score which Ulver where so satisfied with that they released the OST on their own label Jester Records. Unfortunately the two series of 1000/picece printings that Vendlus Records released of this movie on DVD, (as no company in Sweden where bold enough) are since long sold out, but you can still find them on eBay every now and then. If you see one and want to see a great debut movie then this is a must.

Image:
Shot on 16mm and digitally mastered by cinematographer Linus Sandgren, the version on the DVD is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and looks wonderful.

Audio:
2.0 Stereo

Extras:
The Trailer, two deleted scenes with explanations from the director why they where removed, The Sound of Wolves a short featurette on the wolf sounds used in the movie and the recording of them. A slide show of production stills, Reflections on Lyckantropen-interviews with actors, and Shape shifters- The 1st Decade of Ulver a 20min interview with and about experimental sound creators Ulver.

As a joke I gave Steve Ericsson a copy of Paul Nacshy's Licántropo: El asesino de la Luna llena 1996 when he premiered the movie at the Swedish film institute. He got the pun and didn't enjoy the movie. Ericsson is working on a big budget horror movie right now and I sincerely hope that he gets it off the ground because that would be a great thing to happen.

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