28 March 2005 | larslande
"X" by Oddvar Einarson
I have very few Norwegian films in my collection, and as a Norwegian myself I find the movies a bit stiff.
So far only 3 movies have fallen into my private collection: "X", "Frida", and "Junkmail".
"X" takes place in Oslo during the Winter in 1986. It's very difficult for me to explain the movie without giving away the plot. I wound say the main theme is about loneliness and passion in a city wintertime.
We meet this young girl, probably 12 years old, who wanders the cold streets alone looking for her older sister.
The movie moves into the darker side of the city. One scene is when she spends the night at an occupied apartment building. The authorities breaks the window throwing an stone in, and starts spraying water with hoses in the window, leaving it inhabitable.
She runs into the photographer, the first things she asks if he has a place to live.
The photographer invites Flora over. She ends up sleeping over, crawling into his bed. (There is nothing in the movie that indicates a sexual relationship, except caressing) The girl catches the photographers interest, and he takes some black and white pictures of her, crawled up in bed.
He is being reminded about the photo-exhibition due by the manager that comes by, but he does not have a theme yet.
He makes large magnifications of the pictures he has taken of her later and presents them at the exhibition where he is credited.
The style of the movies is long takes, also a complete rock performance at a club where the camera is still, there is no rapid dialog, and the sound of the cold wind, and gray cold streets.
It is just as much about loneliness and coldness, as of love. Love for a person, love for art, love for music.
This film won a price at the Venice Film Festival.
If you are known in the streets of Oslo, you will probably recognize some streets. The insides of the buildings does not exist anymore, most have been torn down and renovated to modern apartments. (Oslo is today right below Osaka and Tokyo in living costs)
I saw a photo of the woman who played the girl several years later (2005) in a newspaper, and she was now leader of a larger department. She said in the interview, that one of the most fun things in life she had done was to participate in this film. (This was her only film role)
I recorded the movie off air to mono VHS in letterbox, clean without channel logos or subtitles probably around 1990.
I don't think the movie has ever been released, so I'm happy to have my own "clean" copy.
If you are into action movies and don't like to think for yourself this movie is not for you, probably you will only like the rock band in the film. It definitely comes into the "art" section today.