The film is in competition for Politiken's Talent Award 2019. The award is founded to celebrate tomorrow's talents in Danish cinema. Five new Danish feature films are nominated for the award, that will be handed out by Politiken Film & TV on Sunday November 17th. The award includes a cash prize of 50.000 DKK for the director's next project.
Trine Dyrholm, Victoria Carmen Sonne, Lisa Carlehed
Amalie Lyngbo Hjort, Julie Friis Walenciak
Catherine Pattinama Coleman
Danish film is rich with new talent, but rarely do we get a debutant as confident in her story and style as Marie Grahtø and ‘Psychosia’. Grahtø has experimented courageously with cinematic expression and told a subjective story on psychosis and suicidal tendencies partially based on her own experiences.
Swedish Lisa Carlehed plays the suicide researcher Viktoria, arriving at a psychiatric hospital to conclude her research. But chief physician Dr. Klein (Trine Dyrholm) challenges her to accept the suicidal Jenny (Victoria Carmen Sonne) as her patient. Jenny has managed to chase away previous psychiatrists with her confrontational and transgressive behaviour, but the two slowly form a bond through their intimate late-night talks. Their relationship test the power structure between them, making it increasingly difficult to tell where reality ends and psychosis begins, a style dubbed ‘psychotic realism’ by Grahtø herself. She switches between intellectual formalism and intuitive, controlled chaos, underlining the complexities of the world the film takes place in and the subjective experience of psychosis. The film is largely carried by the dialogue between Jenny and Viktoria, sometimes formal and archaic, sometimes overwhelmingly direct and straightforward - just like the camera zooming in and out, not allowing us to fixate on any one emotion for longer periods of time, shifting between presence and distance before surrealism takes over, blurs the contours and the camera takes a 360 degree course around the characters, dissolving time and space.
Grahtø nudges her audience and demands their investment. It is difficult to comprehend how the world feels once the self and the surroundings dissolve, but it works surprisingly well. You’re sore and scatterbrained afterwards, but with a renewed sense of cinematic language and a plate piled generously with food for thought.
Marie Grahtø, born in Denmark 1984, graduated from the independent film school Super16 in 2014. She has travelled to festivals around the world with her three short films ‘Daimi’ (2012), ‘Yolo’ (2013) and her graduation work ‘Teenland’ (2014). She is a two time Danish Academy Award Robert nominee and has been appointed ‘Director to watch’ by the four largest film magazines in the Nordic countries. ‘Psychosia’ (2019) is her feature film debut, which had its world premiere at Venice Film Festival, where it was nominated for Critics’ Week Award and Queer Lion.
“During my youth, I had several psychotic episodes and was hospitalized. My phantasies pulled me towards suicide as if death was gravity. Existential pain creates a hopeless dream of being - not seeming to be but being. In psychosis, time can shift between linear and non-linear. Past, present and future can feel arbitrary - just like in cinema. Through the interweaving of images, light, sound and movement cinema is inherently capable of reproducing this subjective time; of rendering tangible the world of abstraction, and the inner world of love, hatred, death and eternity.”