Mar. 24th, 2017

yuuago: (DenNor - Be with you)
I recently discovered that my local library has a handful of Norwegian films, so I decided to go through them as a half-assed way of working on audio comprehension. (And was once again reminded that my audio understanding is terrible. This is what happens when you rarely study/primarily study in text, alas.) ...Anyway, from a strictly-film standpoint, I enjoyed most of them, which is always good. Details -

Flukt (English title: Escape) Kidnapping and subsequent escape during the years of the black plague, whoo! This one isn't the deepest film out there, but I did enjoy it; I've been wanting to watch it ever since the trailer first came out, and I wasn't disappointed. Nice visuals, a setting that I'm always up for, and - the best part - this is a good one to watch if you enjoy female villains. Ingrid Bolsø Berdal was great as Dagmar (the mastermind behind the roving band of bad guys); she was a pleasure to watch. In general, the female characters in this film had some pretty interesting relationships (in particular the situation between Dagmar and Frigg, and how it leads to the situation between Frigg and Signe). So, if you're into stories that are mainly about women, this might be one to look at.

Kongen av Bastøy (English title: King of Devil's Island) Period dramatic film about an uprising at a prison institution for boys; inspired by actual events*. I liked this one; the early 20th century setting interested me. And there were some recurring motifs that I really liked - the way they create a story/narrative for themselves, the bit with the whale, and so on. And of course the developing relations between Erling and Olav were great. And the bit where the navy is called in was very well-done, visually - I loved it, the way they're planning to escape on that tiny boat but THEN.... OH and also everything with the sea ice - okay, if I continue, I'll gush too much, there were too many moments that I liked. One thing I will mention; this is not a movie to watch if you want to end it in a good mood. It's a deeply unhappy film. Very good, but depressing. (As an aside, the English title rather bugs me. Why not a direct translation? Is it because it's assumed that English-speaking audiences wouldn't know how to pronounce "Bastøy"? Who knows.)

Bølgen (English title: The Wave) It is anticipated that one day the side of a mountain will collapse into the fjord below, causing an enormous wave that will overwhelm the village in on the fjord - but nobody knows when. One day, it happens, and the geologist who came closest to predicting the collapse is caught up in the middle of it. If you like disaster films, watch this one. If you're "eh" about disaster films, but love beautiful landscapes, then definitely watch this one - because of course, Norway's jaw-droppingly gorgeous mountains are the adversary here, and in the end this means that they get almost as much screentime as the protagonist. And finally, if you like imperfect but loving families, watch this one. (To my surprise, I didn't find this film too distressing, though there were certain moments - that line of cars up the mountain, not even moving but at a standstill because of the traffic jam... it reminded me too much of our own evacuation, brrrr.) While we're on the subject, this film is based on actual stuff - other rockslides in the past, as well as one that will happen some time in the future, in the Geiranger area, where this film is actually set.

And one finally, one anti-rec for Reprise. It's about two young novelists trying to make their mark in the writing world. This one was a disappointment, because it has been recommended to me on more than one occasion, so I expected to enjoy it, but I ended up hating it. I've sat through some films I've felt lukewarm about in the name of half-assed studying, but this is one of the few films that I haven't been able to sit through, period. It's possible that I just wasn't in the mood to watch this kind of movie, but regardless, I just gave up on it. I found both protagonists completely obnoxious, and just kind of annoying to watch - I ended up not caring about the story nor the characters; they reminded me of every blowhard novelist wannabe guy I've ever met. To make matters worse, I had difficulty telling them apart - and admittedly I do have difficulty with that, but it isn't a problem I had with the other films in this list, and it probably just boils down to - I disliked both of them so much that I couldn't be bothered to differentiate them. The point I gave up at was when one of them was going on about how he would have to dump his girlfriend, even though he likes her, because ~true artists~ don't have girlfriends. I'm pretty sure he's meant to look like an ass, but that doesn't mean I feel like watching it. ...And also this film didn't even have any of the other things that would cause me to sit through a film I dislike (IE very unconventional format, great cinematography, interesting effects, etc). So, yeah, if your tastes are like mine, don't bother with this one.
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