Before I even start this post I’d like to take a moment to appreciate what this lovely meme lady is holding in her hands; the horror series Goosebumps. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the first multilinear narrative (boyah Integrated Media!) I ever encountered. In one of the books I read you were able to choose different solutions to a problem, for example: You’re trapped in a hole filled with vicious man eating rats. What do you want to do? 1. Climb into the sewer and hope they don’t follow you. 2. Eat the rats. 3. Push your friend so the rats will be busy eating him while you escape.
You would then, after choosing, get a page number to go to, and the story continued from there.
Of course, it didn’t last forever. I went back and tried all the different solutions, and after 5 or 6 goes I had tried every possible outcome. However, it was a completely new way of reading for me. I was part of it!
Anyways. The reason I chose to start this post with that picture is because I’m pretty sure thats what I looked like as I walked out of the cinema today. At least I felt like that.
The movie that made me this excited is King of Devils Island.
I know I might be slightly biased and blow this movie out of proportions since it is from Norway, but so be it. It is without a doubt one of the best films I’ve seen this year (I’m guessing I’ve seen at least 40 movies so far), on every level.
The way the characters are built is one of the most impressive elements; We have Erling, a newly arrived inmate of the island, who appears to be a dumb, violent brute. As the story unfolds, we realise that he is indeed a violent boy, but his heart is in the right place; he pushes the other boys to stand up against the unfair treatment they receive.
The governor, played by the amazing Stellan Skarsgård, is also a bit of a puzzle; we keep thinking that he has a good side, that he will eventually see the situation from the boys point of view.
The story itself is quite extraordinary. Knowing that it is based on real events (from 1915), it becomes even more absorbing.
The cinematography is stunning. Again, it might be a common thing for homesick Norwegians to get such a kick out of slow pans showing the frozen landscape of mid winter Norway. Belen and I both agreed that we could almost smell the season as we watched.
The frequent use of depth of field is also a bonus. I know some people don’t like this (Paul), but I think it really brings out the object the cinematographer wants us to focus on.
They have managed to create a mood and feel of “the old days” by the use of lighting (and probably some decent colour grading). Why is it that this type of light connotate the past?
Perhaps it has something to do with how we are able to see the actual past today; low saturated images, or even black and white.
The whole movie is very blue, from the landscape to the uniforms the boys are wearing.
I really wouldn’t mind writing more about this movie, but I’m beaten and I’m going to bed. Definitely watching this one again.