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[Tiff Review] Pyromaniac

Going in with no expectations besides the recent news that the film had been shortlisted for Norway’s 2017 Oscar selection, director Erik Skjoldbjærg‘s Pyromaniac could not have delivered a better start. With extended camera movements capturing subtle detail from a car driving to an older woman’s look of panic inside the house as she searches for her husband with ominous words, “He’s here,” I was enraptured. Glass breaks and fire bursts out from door to hallway to living room at an extremely fast pace. The homeowners do escape, but she decides to go back for a photo book, only to discover her way out blocked. It’s a chilling scene: fire everywhere, hope erased.

Unfortunately, the film never really matches this level of intensity once it travels back in time three weeks to show nineteen-year old Dag (Trond Nilssen) playing with matches in the forest. We’re suddenly at his house,

See full article on The Film Stage