An exciting film that is just hitting the documentary circuit is filmed in Denmark by Danish director Frigge Fi, and is a touching, darkly comedic debut called Dark Blossom.
About Dark Blossom
The film follows three goth friends – Josephine, Nightmare and Jay – living in a Danish countryside town that doesn’t quite seem to suit their dark style. We watch the three express themselves through their art, fashion, and lifestyle, and spending time together doing everyday things that young people do. Feeling like outsiders and facing judgement from others, they feel completely comfortable to be themselves with one another.
Josephine, Nightmare, and Jay share a passion for fashion, make-up, goth clubbing, and the skulls of dead animals. Their friendship is as intense as some of their outfits and when one of them falls in love with an outsider, their fellowship is put to the test.
What we thought of Dark Blossom
Dramatic, macabre shots and music appear to capture the dark, twisted side of the gothic movement – but actually shows the beauty and fragility of the people behind the make up. Frigge beautifully captures totally normal, touching moments between the three friends. She also wonderfully juxtaposes posed frightening shots and escalating music, with cuts to natural, carefree and often highly amusing interactions that make you laugh out loud.
Frigge creates a very hypnotic piece of film that juts between live social media videos, shots of dead animals, her subjects dressed in incredible outfits both in the nightclub or just walking in the countryside – they look the same either way, as this is who they are.
In fact their fashion is a work of art in itself, fascinating to look at and Frigge’s skill in art photography and visual narration allows us to take it all in, at times jarring but beautiful to watch.
This is not just a story about the day-to-day life of goths, but it peels back the layers of why these individuals choose to do what they do and at times it reveals some heart-breaking honesty about their past. Frigge doesn’t use this film to spell things out clearly for you – there are moments that subtly pack an emotional punch.
It will make you challenge your perceptions, assumptions and stereotypes, reminding you that there are complex humans behind the gothic style, who just want the same things as you and are merely expressing themselves in a way that feels true to them. It will leave you with great respect and admiration for these three characters who you grow to really like.
Conversation with director Frigge Fi
We were interested to know whether Frigge was aware of the love interest that was blossoming with Josephine before she had started filming or whether it was something that developed during the course of filming?
I was filming her for maybe a year before she fall in love with this guy, but I was kind of waiting to see how she was getting away from the countryside where she was stuck in somehow. Then this guy came and so it could have been different in many ways of how she found making her way to the city but in this love relationship the goth relationship disappeared from hers from somehow.
Before the love interest happened, what was your initial intention on what you wanted to convey to the viewers?
I think I was really interested in their friendship and how they kind of looked so odd amongst all these surroundings of where they were living. I really wanted to make some of tribute to those kind of misfits walking around in the cities where instead of just like looking weird at them to just try and understand what is going on.
Then again I knew that she was longing for something, I didn’t know it could be a love story, but I knew she would leave the small city and she was getting older. I was just curious about what will happen with this kind of girl becoming a woman somehow and having this movement.
The imagery and style of the film is absolutely stunning – there are shots that flash up in the movie that are absolutely beautiful. I wondered whether there was a particular artist, director, anyone who was a major influence or inspired by going into making the movie and the editing after as well.
I think what I will say is the subject would be the main inspiration because they are so colourful and I was just totally drawn into this – it was like they were shining for me and their surroundings.
The camera just got filled with so much amazing aesthetics. Of course I have other film directors who I love but I think it was more the music rather than the movies that I got my inspiration from. It was more a feeling I got in my mind from that.
The music in the film
Talking about the music I wondered how Frigge discovered the composer and how he got to come onboard for the film – his sound felt a like early Nine Inch Nails slapping you across the face with some church choirs.
It was really from Nightmare – one of the subjects from the film – he is making music though it is not that much in the film sadly but he is making some really nice quirky stuff.
He has this guy producing his music and when we met I was like ‘Okay you need to make the music for this film’ because he was this old punk in his fifties who is now into his more regular sound but he has such an inner darkness and sound along with this soft spot which is much like the goth culture.
There is this weird combination of darkness and softness – so this guy Sune is kind of like part of the community but more with the punk scene here in the Denmark.
The comedic elements of the film
There are various moments in the film that evoke different emotions, but there are also some very funny moments that come as a pleasant surprise.
I think it was the first stuff that I have made that was kind of funny – it is nice because it is really simple like when they are talking about Pepsi.
When we were editing the film we noticed that this was almost going to be a bit like a comedy – we didn’t notice it when we were filming but it was just funny to hear a guy with this big mohawk talking about wanting to be dentist.
That was kind of a gift I found out in the editing room but of course they are exceptionally funny people and Nightmare has just such good timing expressing himself.
There are moments that will make you chuckle and I think that is what makes the film so engaging and memorable with elements to it that shout cult classic in the making.
I think the movie will be amazing to travel around it is so nice that it is not just for the sub culture – I think this movie will be great to share around the world and have a community around it.
Like the subjects on the film there are so many Instagram followers all over the world – it would be great to have all the goth’s getting together and behind the movie.
Where to watch Dark Blossom
Dark Blossom is currently showing at CPX:DOX and will be HOT DOCs from Friday if you get an opportunity make sure you take the time to catch this wonderful piece of work. This is the first documentary we have covered at the festivals and we are extremely excited to see how Frigge’s film will do. We certainly think that as it grows to a wider audience in the future it will gain that cult status – if anything in the goth community but also beyond.
We will be keeping a close eye on the film and will keep you posted of any future news of it’s release.
Words & Interview by Alex Minnis