Filmborders 3: Brent av Frost
Se film med en forsker! Filmgrenser/filmborders er en serie med filmvisninger annenhver mandag gjennom hele høstsemesteret på Verdensteateret.
Visningsrekken arrangeres av forskningsgruppa Border Culture ved Institutt for kultur og litteratur.
Vi inviterer til filmvisning med diskusjoner og kreativ tankeutveksling.
Hver film blir innledet av en forsker.
FILMVISNING 19. november kl. 18.30 på Verdensteateret:
BRENT AV FROST/BURNT BY FROST (Norway 1997), 97 min.
Directed by Knut Erik Jensen. With Stig Henrik Hoff, Ketil Høegh, Gørild Mauseth, Stein Grønli.
In this introduction to Knut Erik Jensen’s second feature film Brent av Frost (Norway 1997), I will not write about the notorious sex scene involving the sea, a boat, and hundreds of slimy newly caught cod. In the context of the film as a whole this scene figures as little more than a footnote. Nevertheless, taken to signify an allegedly typical Northern-Norwegian promiscuity and permissiveness it quickly attracted the attention of (predominantly Southern) mainstream critics and audiences. In many circles the scene is treated as iconic of the film even today and on imdb.com’s full cast & crew entry on Jensen’s film the female character involved is particularly emphasized as ‘naked woman in the boat’, while no other characters are commented upon in any manner. This peculiar reception, I argue, indirectly illustrates the theme of Jensen’s film and its significance for Norwegian memory politics – the misperception and misrepresentations of Northern identities and subjectivities in a centralized political and historical discourse.
This introduction is a continuation of the presentation of Jensen’s first feature film Stella Polaris (Norway 1993) during last year’s Filmborders series. Then, I argued that Jensen presents the county of Finnmark as a liminal zone in-between Norway and Russia, rather than a marginal location at the fringes of Norway. From this liminal position, I argued further, both opposing centres can be critically inquired and potentially subverted. In the case of Brent av Frost liminality is played out in relation to a character – Simon (played by Stig Henrik Hoff) - and his individual life trajectory that makes him repeatedly cross various borders and dividing barriers.
Posed with the question of belonging, Simon in one scene of the film replies ‘I am from Korsfjord… and the sea beyond’. Here the film’s main character articulates a local identity that is grounded in access to the renewable resources of the sea that have nurtured life along the coast for millennia. Throughout the ensuing narrative this local identity is repeatedly challenged and threatened by external historical events – the German occupation, the liberation by the Red Army, NATO membership, and the capitalization of maritime resources. These external events force Simon again and again to renegotiate allegiances. This is often achieved through the crossing of borders – between Norway and the Soviet Union, between legality and illegality, between NATO and the Warsaw pact.
Through these repeated crossings the liminal character of Simon constitutes an implied challenge to hegemonic orders that position subjects within implicitly objectified generalized frames. The above mentioned overemphasis on one particular sex scene precisely directs attention away from the subversive, liminal potentials of the presented narrative and securely confines it with reference to an inherently colonial discourse that draws a suggestive chain of equivalence between the North-as-such and an unadorned life close to the bosom of nature, thus successfully veiling the political alternatives represented in and through the various different and competing identities of the people actually dwelling in these areas.
Gratis inngang for studenter og ansatte ved UiT.