Krister, a husband and father, wakes up to the consequences of a tragedy. He is a broken man, but not aware of it yet. Confronted with everyday reality, there is no place for escape and Krister is soon forced to face up to his actions. The Ape is about the struggle to hold on to things around us already lost. The question arises: What is left, when the life you once had is completely gone?
The Ape is only Jesper Ganslandt’s second feature film, yet the 31-year-old Swedish director proves that he knows a thing or two about suspense and building anxiety. For a third of the film we follow the whereabouts of a driving instructor whose uneasy demeanour, worried looks and sudden flare-ups of anger make us increasingly tense. The first image of him waking in caked blood is obviously haunting us. What murky affair has he been involved in? What has he done? Fredrik Wenzel’s photography, clear and steely, complements this story of a man’s undoing while Jesper Ganslandt’s nervous mise-en-scène and fast-paced editing gives it a modern edge. An impressive cast –first among them Olle Sarri in the lead – complete what turns out to be a very accomplished second feature film. –Agnès-Catherine Poirier, Venice Days
Born in the small town of Falkenberg on the west coast of Sweden. He moved to Stockholm in 2000 where he formed the production company Fasad together with sound designer Torbjörn Olsson. From the onset the aim of the company has been to make feature films matching the best work coming from Europe and the US.
In 2006 his first feature Farväl Falkenberg/Falkenberg Farewell (2006) premiered, the script for which he wrote as a means of saying farewell to his manic longing for home. The film was screened at festivals such as the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, and won several awards as well as five National Film Award nominations.
Having made several documentaries since then, he hit the cinemas with Apan/The Ape in the fall of 2009. It is certainly one of the most talked about and critically acclaimed Swedish features of 2009 and opened internationally at the Venice Film Festival. Jesper is now, along with his fellow directors and producers… read more
Harrowing and disturbing tale of a man on the brink of chaos when everyday life gets turned upside down. The style of the movie is reminiscent of Haneke's but Ganslandt's austere and assured direction is far from plagiaristic. His cinematic voice is strong and demands attention to the subtle nuances of the story. Olle Sarri's central performance as Krister is admirable in all it's naked desperation.
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I was practically nailed to my seat in the first half of the movie, but alas, what was a convincing portrayal of suffocating anxiety and hellish guilt culminated into an uninspired ending that was… read review