ONE TO WATCH. Parochial fiction meets new journalism
in self-taught director Christoffer Dreyer's blend of film noir, thriller, comedy and documentary reportage in his second film, "The Detective".
33-year-old filmmaker Christoffer Dreyer got his start in the business as an editor but increasingly felt the need to tell his own stories. In 2006, he made "The North Korean Friendship Society", a tongue-in-cheek look at a society which is still fighting to convince the public that the official position towards North Korea is based on imperialistic lies.
"Dig deep enough and you'll find drama hiding everywhere."
His new film, "The Detective", shines a light into an overlooked corner of Denmark, painting a portrait of a small town in grotesque and conspiratorial shades.
Dreyer plays the lead in his own film, travelling to Denmark's southernmost town to open a detective agency. The project soon reveals previously unknown connections and unravels complex conspiracy
theories. In kind of a Danish version of "Twin Peaks", Dreyer finds something rotten wherever he looks.
"My thesis was: dig deep enough and you'll find drama hiding everywhere. But of course the film dramatises and exaggerates how thrilling things get
in a place like that,"says Dreyer who took on the role of detective to spoof his own craving for sensation.
"Detective is a funnier word for a wacky journalist who blows every little story out of proportion. Of course I'm playing a role, but the character is rooted in my personality. I, too, have a tendency to make a story seem more exciting than it is."
The director isn't out to make fun of the town or its people, he stresses. "I hope I'm the one who looks like a fool in this story," he says.
"It sort of lampoons the feeling in a lot of small towns that they are victims of forces greater than
themselves. The railroad leaves town, the factory
closes and the municipality announces improvements that never materialise. I play around with that feeling by taking a conspiracy theorist's approach to my sleuthing."