Repressed

Repressed

****

Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

The camera moves around a noisy late night bus, moving from face to face as four friends remember previous drinking, previous misadventures. There is laughter, petualance, apologies, the slow slide of the camera from one point to another in what appears a single take of a single shot.

There is the mark of reality in Jimmy Olsson's depiction, in Frida Wendel's cinematography. There is no music, the lighting feels natural, the action such as it is consists of conversation, confrontation. There is no violence depicted, some harsh words and some concern but, for all that, in one bus and at one bus stop Repressed is a punch in the stomach.

Christoffer and his friends have been out. A boy and a girl board the bus and she is much, much, the worse for wear. While Christoffer's friend states that she "can't remember anything past high school", the two new passengers appear to have sparked a memory within him. What follows springs from a cryptic statement "I was his age once".

It's the detail, the amazing sound work, the camera's slight blurs, the slow unfolding as the bus rolls on, background behaviours of passengers, the boy and the girl, the four become three. It is not pleasant, but it is powerful, strikingly so, made all the more so by the level of technical skill displayed. The cast convince, but it's the naturalism of the presentation that makes it all the easier to overlook that this is a story presented as a fiction. There is the ring of truth in its off-set compositions, in its fidgeting camera.

Olsson's script and direction, Wendel's camera, and (if my Swedish is accurate and apologies if it is not) Sarah Jansson Patient's sound all manage a kind of hyper-real - one finds oneself asking whose perspective we have, like that circling car-bound shot in Children Of Men. That technical discomfiture is reflected in what's happening before us; we start to infer answers, and they are not easy ones. Motives become muddied, and the film is the stronger for it.

Reviewed on: 07 Feb 2012
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When two young drunk people board the bus, Kristoffer remembers something he has long pushed away.

Director: Jimmy Olsson

Writer: Jimmy Olsson

Year: 2010

Runtime: 15 minutes

Country: Sweden

Festivals:

Glasgow 2012

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