(2008)

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4/10
Dealing with suppressed feelings
OJT11 August 2013
Ole Giæver's "Sommerhuset" (The summer house) is his longest film before "Fjellet" three years later, which also was quite sport with 73 minutes. A long short film, or a short feature if you like, clocking in on 45 minutes. The film has the feel of small budget, made with approximately 400.000 dollars.

We meet two sisters living in Oslo, which are dealing very different about their mother's death a while ago. The oldest decides to go up North, to see her remote childhood home again, the summer house. There are some memories which aren't dealt with. The trip doesn't go as planned. The theme of the film is vulnerability, about managing and daring to show it.

It's an interesting premise, and some thoughtful moments are very beautifully patched, but is ruined by abrupt cutting over in new scenes. I'm also a bit annoyed by camera shaking. It's popular to not use steady cam nowadays, but it way too often disturbed my pleasure in watching. Besides that, the film is beautifully shot by Øystein Mamen.

However the actors are professional, and doing a good job, and it's clearly a very heartfelt project. It doesn't fulfill my expectations by far, and the film is very slow. There's a resemblance to "Fjellet" which is quite substantial both in theme and feel. But it is difficult to comprehend this, if you've not experienced something like this yourself.

The DVD edition to this also contains three of Giæver's six other earlier short films, "Tommy", "Blokk B" and "The pledge", as well as an interview with audience as a bonus with director and main actor Maria Bock. Tommy is much more gratifying to watch, being a funny short with great actors.
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