Norwegian director Ole Giæver reflects upon the Norwegian (Scandinavian) society and human existence in general in his latest film ‘Out of Nature’ that was screened at the Titanic International Film Festival, Hungary in April.
Since I had the opportunity to enjoy the talk ‘The Norwegian Way’ by Norwegian composer, percussionist, performance and sound artist Amund Sjølie Sveen, every time I read or see something related to Norway this is the first memory that comes to my mind. In his one-hour performance Sveen looks at his homeland as well as its culture and everyday life; using an ironic tone he gives an utterly brilliant analysis on how Norway has reached its current state.
Ole Giæver with his critically acclaimed drama also hikes on the trail of self-reflection exploring the soul of a human being out of nature. Martin playing by Ole himself represents the average Norwegian (Scandinavian) man, however, this is the life he actually wants to escape from. He works, and then goes home to be with his family, but this hardly satisfies his needs, he is actually drowning in the sea of boredom, surrounding by the heavy waves of his thoughts.
Everyone is eager to step onto a path she/he might think of is the best to fulfil their own mundane or somewhat extravagant desires. Martin, for instance, only wants to have a more interesting life, and therefore he intends to socialize more and be at least a bit more fun, or even unpredictable to a certain extent. He is taking off to spend some time away from home in nature, which means he can be alone and think about his slightly miserable, ordinary life. He is planning to give answers to the questions ‘who I am’, ‘what am I doing here’, ‘what am I good at’ etc.
The film works as a road movie both physically and mentally. Comic and dramatic elements take turns to guide us through the turmoil of feelings, while questioning the basic meaning of life. Without doubt, the director has a good sense of humour and is not afraid of placing his character in awkward situations to show that human beings most of the time are led by their instincts.
Amund Sjølie Sveen also mentioned that in all probability Norway produces the most self-help books in the world thanks to the lifestyle provided by its oil fields. People don’t really have to be anxious about so many aspects of their life, and this is what every person presumably longs for: peace and calmness. But what is life without uncertainty and the excitement that comes with it?
‘Out of Nature’ was presented as a result of the collaboration of the festival and magyarhangya (with its initiative called Scope 50). Magyarhangya is a Hungarian independent community film distributor that happens to be the first one of its kind in Europe.