The problem with making end of year lists is that they can never be fully inclusive of everything that was released that year. Then you spend the following months catching up with the Oscar nominations, and before you know it the year before is a distant memory. Which is why this year I have made a concerted effort to ensure I don’t forget about the many great documentaries and 2015 releases I wished I had made time to see.
I had heard a lot of talk of “Blind” on the Film Movement website among other outlets, and this surreal feature from Eskil Vogt that blurs the lines of reality with dream-like memories, completely blew me away. It focuses on Ingrid, a woman who is now bound to her apartment through the inability to see. She wasn’t always blind, this is a result of slowly degrading eyesight and it captures the difficulties faced when having one of your key senses slowly stripped away from you.
She stays at home, in the same routine, just wondering about people she knows or perhaps had met. She thinks about her husband and what he gets up to, the mind playing tricks on her as she is unable to know for sure whether he actually leaves to go to work, or if he just stays and watches her plod about the house in a state of voyeurism. Or maybe that’s what she wants to think is happening.
The story skips between this relationship, and other individuals subtly tied to her either through previous visions or tenuous links that she may or may not have created in her subconscious. It’s a confusing tale at first, suitably designed to give the disorientation Ingrid experiences on a daily basis. As the clarity and control of the situation begins to slip away, the paranoia and uncertainty creep in, culminating in scenes of uncomfortable tension.
It is a skilfully executed drama, with outstanding performances and a story that lures you in out of pure intrigue. Much like Ingrid, we are never really sure what is taking place on-screen, but it remains a consistently elaborate yet competent tale that by the end will have you questioning all of what you just watched. Very few dramas manage to accomplish this level of understated thrill without actually stepping into thriller territory – unnerving, but refreshingly honest.
I will definitely try and see this, it sounds really good. I remember reading a couple of bits and pieces about it last year, but it disappeared from cinemas pretty quickly.
You can rent it from Amazon for pretty cheap. It’s definitely worth it. I love films that fuck with your mind, and there’s something really indescribable about this film. This one, along with “Oslo, 31st August” (same writer), are prime examples of how less is more, and how a compelling story with solid performances is sometimes all you need.
I’m trying to do the same thing as you and watch all the stuff I missed in 2015 as soon as possible! I’ve got a list with Lovefilm and still have about 20 on there as ‘high priority’ from last year. I’ve added Blind to that now, but Oslo, 31st August has been on the same list for two years and I still haven’t seen it!
Although those two are unfamiliar to me I think I like the same feeling of being fucked with…I’ve just watched Ben Wheatley’s first four films in the past 24 hours.
Outstanding work. Gearing up for High-Rise? Such a good film. I caught it at the LFF and can’t wait to see it again.
You should add Reprise to that list too, the film before Oslo. Nordic dramas really get me going – King of Devils Island is another.
Also excited to see Louder Than Bombs, Joachim Triers newest effort is getting decent enough reviews. Big fan of Eisenberg in quirky weird dramas.
Yeah, I thought I’d check them out before High-Rise…been meaning to for a long time. Really enjoyed them, particularly Kill List and A Field In England.
Cheers for the recommendations. I will get round to Trier as soon as I can!
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