(NOT) A LOVE STORY
Film type: Feature film
Genre: Drama/Romance/Magic Realism
Project stage: Preproduction
This film is a meditation about destructive relationships and social media. A woman who has given up on love meets online a man who is too broken to feel anything. During the course of one night they become lovers, enemies, friends and finally something beyond their expectations. In an era when everybody is online but no one is connected, these broken characters engage into a physical and emotional journey to finally feel something, one last time, or maybe even for the first time.
LIV (40) and DAVID (27) match on a dating app. Following their conversation they realize how different they are, and yet, they also notice a strong attraction between them. Liv, being the saucy and experienced woman that she is, suggests David they should meet. David accepts to meet not without showing his struggle to take things to "the real world".
Liv meets David at his apartment in Malmö, Sweden. Over dinner they joke about their age gap, the differences between Sweden and France and their social media interaction. While she is an international consultant, meeting occasional lovers but getting attach to no one, he's a freelance writer and photographer who spends most of the time in his apartment. Several bottles of wine later they begin to make out. David stops her, pleading her to ”slow it down” because he’ is tired of casual sex and wants something deeper. Liv, annoyed, decides to leave but at the door they have another exchange of words and end up having rough sex.
Later on they talk about their former relationships and their opposite life philosophies. Liv proposes David to help him explore the “mundane” pleasure before trying to achieve the “spiritual connection” he seeks. David accepts and they have passionate sex, challenging each other's limits. After sex they crash a party across the street where Liv meets Ida, an old girlfriend. They talk about their friendship and in private Ida confesses that she is still in love with her, to what Liv replies she has moved on. Heartbroken Ida leaves the apartment while Liv joins David and they party until dawn.
Back at David’s apartment Liv decides to leave. He asks her to stay but she leaves anyways. She walks for what it feels like an infinite street. Liv freaking out enter a random building only to find herself back at David's. Scared and confused she interrogate David, who tells her to open her eyes. Suddenly she sees herself lying in the street, bleeding to death. Back to David’s he reveals to her that she’s dying and that she has created a different reality to understand something about herself. She locks herself in the bedroom where she has the striking insight that she has never loved anyone in her life. She then speaks to self-made manifestations of David, her family and friends, and is finally able to let go of the burden she has carried all her life. Liv then makes love to David for the first time, as she becomes light.
Before she started acting, Czech-born Jasna Kohoutova, born in 1973, graduated as a doctor in psychology. But her artistic cravings were too strong. She played on the stage, experimented with contemporary circus (Exos Performance Project) and modern dance (Prototype Status) before falling in love with cinema. She first played small parts in short films, before starring in La Vrai vie est ailleurs from Frédéric Choffat. With her lead part in Olivier Beguin’s Chimères, she won 3 Best Actress Awards at various genre film festivals. At the moment, she stars in The Lake by Vincent Bonet.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Cristian was born and raised Valparaiso, Chile. After graduating with a Bachelor degree in Computer Engineering he moved to Malmö, Sweden, where he discovered his passion for filmmaking. Rather than going to film school Cristian decided to write, direct and produce several short films, documentaries and music videos. Years later he was invited to work on different productions in Sweden and abroad, including the BBC series "Wallander", a Moving Sweden film "Flaket" and Zebda Music video "Comme un guitariste chilien". In 2016 Cristian started writing the screenplay for this film
The year is 2012, I am 30 years old and, after a ten year long relationship I am single again. As a newly bachelor I discover that random hookups are easier than ever, but finding someone special, someone to spend more than a night with, is extremely difficult. I decide to have fun for a while but one day it hits me: What if I can’t fall in love anymore? This feeling scares me deeply. As I usually do with matters that trouble me, I start to write about it. These writings become the building blocks of this film.
One day a friend of mine introduces me to Tinder, a dating app. I begin to chat with women of all ages. I get fascinated by women around 40, since they carry so much history and therefore a beautiful mix of solitude and passion. After meeting a number of them I realize that I can relate a lot to their bitterness about relationships, choosing an independent career-focus life. At the same time, I find myself often being on the other side, trying to inspire them to give love another chance and to let go of the past. This is how I discove Liv and David, the main characters of this story.
I begin writing the script with the focus on three scenes that represent the three ways that we connect sexually with another being: to fuck, to have sex and to make love. The movie starts with the characters chatting over the internet, away from one another. When they meet they are still very away from each other, despite being in the same room. As the night progresses, they grow closer and closer together, and by the end of the movie they reach the maximum connection as they become one. Visually speaking we will move closer to the characters throughout the story, starting with mostly wide shots and fast editing, and then moving to close ups and long takes that will drag the audience into the story and into contact with the characters.
I see (Not) A Love Story as an intimate character driven film. It focuses on one night and two strangers who, through sex and conversations, get to discover something profound about themselves. As I developed the idea I kept telling myself ”This is NOT a love story, this is a story about Love”. Liv and David are two sides of us, the cynical and the believer, with fear and love as their weapons of choice. In an age ruled by CGI and superheroes, I wanted to tell a story we can all connect with and that will give the audience something to think about in the end, a deep emotional experience.