A Danish Drama Plucked From the Past

A film still from Jesper Just's A Vicious Undertow (2007).Courtesy of the artist and Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York.

Jesper Just's new film, A Vicious Undertow, currently on display at the Perry Rubenstein Gallery, plays like a poetic forties-era drama. Shot in Just’s native Copenhagen, the black-and-white film features three professional Danish stars weaving in and out of each other’s arms in homage to various sensual tropes plucked from the media and film history. Though it is not explicitly narrative-driven, the artist manages to suggest quite a few possible story lines — it’s part Graduate (not pictured is a feisty Mrs. Robinson type), part Evening (maybe it’s a flashback?), part Hitchcock (cue the eerie lighting!), and part De Beers commercial (probably not Just’s intention … maybe it’s the black-and-white?). —Rachel Wolff