Join host Fred Craden for an exploration into director Henrik Ruben Genz’s unique and sometimes macabre vision of the darkest depths to which people will go to achieve a sense of security and belonging
The official Danish selection for the Academy Awards and winner of 7 Robert Awards (Danish Oscars) including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay, Terribly Happy spins a riveting yarn about Robert Hanson (Jakob Cedergren), a Copenhagen police officer who, following a nervous breakdown, is transferred to a small provincial town to take on the mysteriously vacated marshal position and subsequently gets mixed up with a married femme fatale. Robert’s big city temperament makes it impossible for him to fit in, or understand the uncivilized, bizarre behavior displayed by the townspeople. (Denmark, 2008, 90 min., color, 35mm – Director/Co-Writer: Henrik Ruben Genz – Co-Writer: Dunja Gry Jensen – Cast: Jakob Cedergren, Lene Maria Christensen, Kim Bodnia, Lars Brygmann)
DIRECTOR HENRIK RUBEN GENZ’s STATEMENT:
It sounded like a western, I thought… Erling Jepsen and I drank coffee in a café in Amager, Copenhagen while Jepsen shared his thoughts on his next novel. A foreigner-comes-to-town-and-all-hell-breaks-loose story. Not that I Am particularly interested in the western as a genre, but here was an author who spoke my native language. The characters were strangely familiar and the landscape more immediate than anything I’d worked on before. Understandable, considering Jepsen is a childhood friend from the street I grew up on, in the small town of Gram in Southern Jutland, Denmark.
The story unfolds on the flat marshlands of Southern Jutland. I had always dreamt of filming in the Danish marshlands, as this is the landscape that has left the strongest impression on me. Here was a story, finally, where the setting was more than just a spectacular backdrop – it was a dramatic co-narrator.
The characters are reflected in this somber, almost hostile landscape, in the way they engage their surroundings. People in these small towns live by their own set of rules and moral values, which may seem absurd and introverted. Like the landscape, their behavior can be perceived as hostile by outsiders. And of course you don’t really throw foreigners in the marshes in Southern Jutland. Cause when you do, they htave to either adapt or disappear . . .