No Diving Bells or Butterflies 

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“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” Joan Didion wrote. “We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.” Blind, Eskil Vogt’s remarkable debut feature artfully examines this idea, but turns the sentimental narrative on its head. Five characters define the lonely landscape. The blind narrator, Ingrid (Ellen Dorrit Petersen), is a great beauty no longer able to recall herself, thus retreating into the most sordid recesses of her imagination. Her husband, Morten (Henrik Rafaelsen), seems to carry on an affair. His college friend, Einar (Marius Kolbenstvedt), struggles with a porn addiction, and creeps on a lonely divorcée, Elin (Vera Vitali). It’d be a shame to explain the ways in which these characters’ lives intersect; suffice it to say, Blind is more than it appears. Like an unwound version of Paul Haggis’s Third Person set in a Charlie Kaufman universe, Blind examines the junctures of memory and imagination, of fear and loss. Vogt exercises control throughout, inflecting the story with wryness and sadness, without submerging the characters in dread. In Norwegian.

By Alec Julian & Carrie White

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