by Ron Swanson
Just before Christmas, the issue of film release scheduling was brought up as part of the ugly contretemps between New Yorker film reviewer David Denby and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo producer Scott Rudin. While Denby’s claim that he had to break an embargo he’d agreed to because of release schedule madness (in this case, keeping all of the films aimed at a literate, adult audience to be released at the same time) was clutching for a proverbial drinking device, there’s a kernel of truth to the fact that most of the interesting releases aimed at an older audience do tend to be squeezed into a three month (at best) period.
Continue reading Preview of 2012 – Awards and Art House
Oslo, August 31st (Joachim Trier, 2011)
I adored Joachim Trier’s last film Reprise, a brilliant, understated drama about an academic rivalry between a pair of close friends in Oslo. His follow-up, Oslo, August 31st, is an equally impressive effort, again about some of the difficulties of educated, middle-class living.
Like Reprise, Trier’s new film stars Anders Danielsen Lie. Lie gives an astonishing performance as a recovering heroin addict, who has been in rehab for nearly a year. The film opens with him attempting suicide, before being allowed out into Oslo for a job interview. He takes the opportunity to see friends and family members.
The film is almost unbearably tense: we know he’s in terrible shape, yet his counsellors, friends and family don’t. We know his life is potentially at risk, and that he isn’t free of the demons that led to his addiction. We know that August 31st, in Oslo, is the day that will define his life.
Continue reading London Film Festival 2011 – Day 8