V.A. JERNE

By Száva LAKOS

EUROFILM STUDIO LTD. - as PROD

Drama - Development 2008


    • Year of production
    • 2008
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • HUNGARY
    • Languages
    • HUNGARIAN
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Száva LAKOS
    • Writer(s)
    • Száva LAKOS
    • Producer(s)
    • Péter MISKOLCZI (Eurofilm Studio Ltd.), Gábor VÁRADI (Eurofilm Studio Ltd.)
    • Synopsis
    • On a wet, foggy spring day the streets are flooded with unstoppable rain and the river, which divides the city in two, bursts its banks. There is not a living soul on the streets, people are enjoying themselves in their floodlit homes. Except for a lone motorbike with a side car, which is speeding along the empty streets of the city to deliver a package in the night. The courier stops in front of an appartment block in the middle of a small lake of rain water. He goes up to the top floor of the house and rings the bell of one of the appartments. The door is opened by a naked woman, who takes the box, looks into it and sets it down next to the door. She pulls the courier into the appartment with one quick movement and then shuts the door. The box opens and first a mole cub then a hamster cub crawl out of it to explore their new home. Then a baby’s gurgling can be heard from the box, which soon grows into a loud cry sending the two little animals scurrying anxiously back into the box. The baby’s earsplitting crying echoes through the pouring rain, ringing out in the yard of the house. The door of the appartment bangs open, the courier is lying unconscious in an armchair with his trousers down at his knees and his shirt unbuttoned. The naked woman comes back out of the appartment annoyed, picks up the box and at that moment the baby stops crying. The woman turns back and takes the box reluctantly into the appartment. Thus the story of Jerne and her grandmother begins. Grandma is a beautiful woman who seems immune to the ravages of time. She has lived alone all her life when, unexpectedly, she becomes the guardian of this little girl, as yet still a baby. Little Jerne comes to evade the world from a very young age because she has never given, nor received love from anybody. Grandma has never cared about her; her every nurturing decision has been based on cold rationality and not emotion. Now that Jerne has grown up, she still enjoys hiding in her childhood shelter, the realm of fantasy. She has become a storyteller. Since her youth, she has lived with two imaginary friends, a mole and a hamster, who grew up with her. They all play together and the two follow the girl, her faithful companions even in adulthood. Besides them she has neither friends nor lovers. Her figure is slim and girlish and her face beautiful. Her eyes and her hair are both black. She looks almost like a boy, but certainly nothing like a woman. Neither does she dress like a woman, rather she is trying to find herself in the world without being sexual. She lives in a big and beautiful city, every corner of which is home for her, except her own home. She lives in a big appartment block with her grandmother, whose aggressive nature she tolerates. Her grandma encroaches upon every single aspect of Jerne’s life, trying to make the girl follow her example. Grandma cares about noone but herself. She has a perfect body, which she dresses in beautiful clothes that emphasize her femininity. Grandma’s life centres around men. She hates and despises them but feeds on them by sucking their blood. She is beautiful and confident with a perfect appearance. But she is in fact a heartless and evil vampire. She uses her thrilling body to eat up more and more men. She tries to get Jerne to live the same life, teaching her that sucking men’s blood is the only way to eternal youth, strength and independence. She tells Jerne that she too is a vampire and if she does not live accordingly, she will simply be denying herself. But if Jerne asks about her parents, Grandma tells her nothing and snaps at her aggressively instead. Jerne is disgusted by the sight of blood and the thought of blood-sucking fills her with dread. She works for a publisher, translating and lectoring fairytales, whilst hoping one day to see her own stories in print. Her boss, however seems unwillling to consider her works.
      The publishing firm is in fact owned by two people, a middle-aged couple, Norma Elektra and her husband Jermák. Their relationship is a never-ending drama. They cannot live without each other and they do not want to, but they have had many crosses to bear throughout the years and both of them feel their burden. Norma Elektra is an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her emotions are seemingly superficial. It is only her eyes that reveal her deep, repressed sorrow. She is a tough and rational businesswoman. She controls her environment as well as her husband Jermák with a light serenity and an underlying determination. Under her tough exterior, lies a fragile and sensitive soul. She is in love with her husband, who seemingly hands all control to the Woman. But the truth is that Jermák falls in love easily and has had countless affairs with women during their years of marriage. Norma Elektra is the only woman he really loves deeply, so he suffers from his own unfaithfulness. He always confesses his affairs to his wife and their love becomes a constant battle to gain the other’s attraction, trust and affection. They are eternal playmates, even being husband and wife seems to be part of their game as they cling to one another, returning one to the other time after time, like two children. Are the man’s affairs part of the game, too? Of course this game causes a lot of pain for Elektra and requires a great deal of resignation from her. The woman is the manager of the publishing firm, Jermák helps her with everything she needs.
      One day a young woman appears who writes fairytales and Norma Elektra gives her a job as an editor trainee. Jermák is interested in Jerne from the outset and tries to get closer to her. He is rejected by her as she refuses all human approach. Jerne also thinks that Jermák is a vampire and she fears for her life. But as she gets to know the pleasant and somewhat soft man, who does not look at all like an ageless blood-sucker, but rather like an ageing and tubby gentleman, all her doubts dissolve. As time passes, their relationship becomes stronger and stronger, which they cannot explain, even to themselves. Jermák calls it love, though his attraction is not sexual. Still, there is a strong desire for intimacy, some kind of deep, spiritual relationship with this girl. Jerne does not understand why she is allowing him to get closer to her, she has refused everybody until now and suddenly she is letting this man into her world. She realises that the more time she spends with Jermák, the more interested she is in sucking blood and the thought of it starts to thrill her. She no longer dreads it, imagining it to be an exciting, adventurous opportunity for her. The turning point of the film is a long weekend when Grandma expells Jerne from home saying that she’ll be visited by her husband and she wants to be alone with him. He has been Grandma’s only husband over the past five hundred years and Jerne has never even heard about him. Finally, Jerne ends up spending the weekend with Jermák in his country cottage. There, for the first time in her life, she sucks blood. This strengthens their relationship even more, while the man seems apparently not to notice what has happened.
      Meanwhile, Grandma meets her husband, the only man who has never really wanted her and who has now met his inevitable end, old age. He appears, a wizened old man imprisoned in a lean, little body. The old man inquires about his wife. Grandma pretends to be her own granddaughter so as to avoid having to explain her wondrous youth. But when it turns out that the man wants to get divorced so that his family can inherit his fortune, Grandma reveals her evil nature. Their meeting ends in the kitchen, where the woman kills her husband, chops him up and passes him through the meat grinder, then wraps his ground up body into several packets and stores them in the freezer. Something changes in grandma. She cannot get over this experience, no matter how heartless she is. She should be proud of her granddaughter who has started sucking blood at last. Jerne meets Jermák more and more often and she in bleeds the man’s neck more and more confidently. One day, when Jerne is alone at home, her room is flooded with light and a mute and naked angel enters through the window. The angel’s spotless body is completely hairless and it looks curiously at the girl with its huge eyes, then sits down on her bed and does not move. It has come to stop Jerne’s blood-sucking and from this moment it tries clumsily to keep the girl at home when she wants to meet Jermák. When Grandma gets home, Jerne is standing in the kitchen making a salad for herself. Everything around her is covered with dried blood and the angel is reading in the living room. When Grandma catches sight of the angel, she is furious and blames Jerne. Jerne escapes to her workplace, where she meets Jermák. In a careless moment, as the girl is sucking the man’s neck, his wife, Norma Elektra enters. When she sees what is going on, she runs away theatrically, her husband running wildly after her. Jerne leaves for home, heartbroken. She knows she will no longer have a job and she had just started to get used to it. Also, she knows she will regret not seeing Jermák any more. When she arrives home, she finds her grandmother sitting in the armchair with the angel’s head on her laps, stroking its bare head. The angel is the first creature to which Grandma has ever shown tenderness. From that moment the three of them spend their days together. Everytime she has to go blood-sucking in town, Grandma finds it hard to leave the angel. Meantime Jerne retires into her shell after her experience at the publishing firm, simply sleeping most of the day. The phone rings. Jerne hurries to answer it and when she picks up the receiver, Jermák’s voice comes down the line, he wants to meet her. Outside there is snow everywhere, this is the coldest time of the year. She meets the man in a park. They talk for a long time about their feelings and Jermák tells the girl that there is no way he would leave his wife because they are destined for each other and Norma Elektra will forgive him, as usual. Then Jermák turns to the girl, says goodbye, holds her in his strong arms, hugs her closely, then bites deep into the girl’s neck and starts sucking her blood. When he’s full, he places Jerne on the snow-covered bench, strokes her face and leaves her there. Jerne’s blood flows gently onto the white snow as she slowly bleeds to death.
      On a hot summer day, Jerne is sitting on the terrace of a café people-watching with the glance of a hunter. Jerne is completely transformed since she died. She is at least as beautiful and feminine as her grandmother. Her huge black eyes and black hair have a dangerous effect on every person she looks at. Jerne and her grandmother are sitting and talking calmly. Grandma’s face softens when she thinks of the angel and feels the urge to go back to it. But she brushes off the thought as she has not yet had dinner. Suddenly, their gaze falls upon Norma Elektra and Jermák, who happen to be walking across the square; they are arguing about something just like two teenagers. Grandma notices Jerne’s steely, cutting look as she stares at the couple. Apparently somewhat ashamed, she tells her that they are Jerne’s parents. Jerne does not even wince; says she does not care and indeed, she does not. Her face is cold and dignified, she uses her cruel beauty to hunt everything and everybody she desires. It was her own father who finally set her on this road; he killed her and made her a monster, sucking men’s blood. All because he would not stay with her. Revenge glows in an eternal flame in the girl’s eyes, repressing all pain in her soul. This is the end of her journey and the beginning of a new life at the same time.
      The film explores the life and fate of three women. It is about a mother, a daughter and a granddaughter, all living in a spiritually decadent world, in which people tend to fall into each other’s traps due to their own weaknesses. These women exist outside the norms of society; they have eternal lives, they see and analyze their worlds over hundreds of years. It is particularly the grandma and her granddaughter who can see clearly, impartially, as they have met all kinds of human weakness during their long lives They have almost nothing in common, though they are members of the same family. The lives of these three women reveal the wisdom, emotional fatigue and spiritual burden of eternal life, told from the granddaughter’s point of view as she sets out on this journey. They reveal the burden that every woman carries. This burden is only multipied when the lifespan is hundreds of years. Eternal life is infinite knowledge and power but the soul is restless. It is a long, alert and conscious reincarnation, a never-ending journey, a rebirth without an advent or the benevolent fog of oblivion. It is an eternal chase and struggle, in which every minute is infinite and one.
    • Partners & financing
    • Concord Ltd. (H) - 300,000 USD
      KGP (AT) - 150,000 USD
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