Short of the Week

Dennis

A shy bodybuilder ventures out on a date against the wishes of his over-protective mother in this powerful character-driven film from Denmark.

Dennis is a massive bodybuilder prepping for the Danish national championships. He also still lives with his mother and dreams of finding the right girl. An awkward date spirals into a more awkward party and a newfound respect for his home.

Dennis is one of those rare films that creates a strong identification with a protagonist we rarely see in films. Dennis is played by Kim Kold, who with great subtlety shows us the deep longing underneath all that muscle. It is a film about loneliness, hope and trying to belong—no matter how big your muscles are you’re just as fragile as anyone else.

The masterful thing about this piece is that it takes a story we all know well—the date gone wrong—and imbues it with a fresh perspective. It’s expertly shot in that wonderful Dogme-95 style that makes every nuance of performance stand out up until its pitch-perfect ending.

It’s also refreshing to see a film that is interested in telling a story about a character we identify with. Of late, I’ve become frustrated with many festival darlings that seem more interested in creating atmosphere and having great shots than creating an emotional experience for the viewer. And apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so—the film has been viewed almost two and a half million times on youtube.

It deserves every one.

~
Michigan-born Jason B. Kohl is a half-Austrian but mostly American filmmaker. His UCLA MFA Thesis Film "The Slaughter" premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and was a finalist for the Student Academy Awards. At the moment Jason's in Berlin, Germany on an Artist Scholarship. jasonbkohl.com
  • Maggie_mcgll

    geeze- could you maybe hold the camera still?
     Couldn’t watch it , it was giving me a headache.

  • Timo Howard

    very well done. that is good film making and great story telling.

  • Mad Hatter

    Wow, this film was touching. Normally bodybuilders as extreme as the one in this film do not inspire good feelings, in fact, so much muscle is a little icky in my opinion. But Dennis is different, by the end of the film I wanted to hug him, he looks so nice and tender, so weak and troubled…it melted my heart, really it did. I remembered the bodybuilder brother in the film Leolo, “that night I learned a mountain of muscles is nothing in front of human fear”.

    Great short, and great performances. The tender and weak bodybuilder makes for a very interesting character, it’s a personality you would normally associate with such physique, and however it makes sense someone as troubled as Dennis would look to better himself through training like that. A way to cover up for his issues…which obviously does not work very well, as the film shows.

  • Mad Hatter

    Wow, this film was touching. Normally bodybuilders as extreme as the one in this film do not inspire good feelings, in fact, so much muscle is a little icky in my opinion. But Dennis is different, by the end of the film I wanted to hug him, he looks so nice and tender, so weak and troubled…it melted my heart, really it did. I remembered the bodybuilder brother in the film Leolo, “that night I learned a mountain of muscles is nothing in front of human fear”.

    Great short, and great performances. The tender and weak bodybuilder makes for a very interesting character, it’s a personality you would normally associate with such physique, and however it makes sense someone as troubled as Dennis would look to better himself through training like that. A way to cover up for his issues…which obviously does not work very well, as the film shows.

  • Mad Hatter

    Wow, this film was touching. Normally bodybuilders as extreme as the one in this film do not inspire good feelings, in fact, so much muscle is a little icky in my opinion. But Dennis is different, by the end of the film I wanted to hug him, he looks so nice and tender, so weak and troubled…it melted my heart, really it did. I remembered the bodybuilder brother in the film Leolo, “that night I learned a mountain of muscles is nothing in front of human fear”.

    Great short, and great performances. The tender and weak bodybuilder makes for a very interesting character, it’s a personality you would normally associate with such physique, and however it makes sense someone as troubled as Dennis would look to better himself through training like that. A way to cover up for his issues…which obviously does not work very well, as the film shows.

  • Soprano-1986

    If you like the short movie “Dennis” – then check out the the upcoming feature film “Teddy Bear”´s Facebook Fanpage. 

    http://www.facebook.com/teddybearmovie

  • koray esen

    an intense dramatic story, dance scene,good night scene…

  • Giulia

    Such a good storytelling…it makes you feel what he feels; it makes you wanna hug him!
    I talk about the short here: http://wp.me/p2C2IH-4v