Winter Brothers Screen 4 articles

Winter Brothers


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  • Pálmason is probably capable of making a good movie: among the virtues of this debut are the amazing sound design of the factory scenes...; a facility with expressively filming bodies; and two or three truly smart, subversive scenes, including an homage of sorts to the nude fight from Eastern Promises with an emotional, casually frank coda. But the movie's many revenge and sex fantasy sequences generally comes across as more arbitrarily macho than representative of a coherent throughline.

  • Chilly scenes of workplace discord dominate Winter Brothers (Vinterbrodre), a confidently handled, promisingly edgy feature debut from Copenhagen-based, Icelandic writer-director Hlynur Palmason... While impressive in parts, the picture oscillates between the profitably enigmatic and the frustratingly obtuse.

  • The film was created on location (written, rehearsed, and with the editor on set) as per a methodology of immersion dear to visual artist turned filmmaker Pálmason. An expatriate in Denmark, Pálmason seemingly reproduces in his work a process of electing a new place and making it his own, after stripping it from too recognizable attributes. And indeed, an acute sense of space and texture (ice, chalk, wood) helps involve us in the ritualistic life that so maddens Emil.

  • The process of caulking in its narrative gaps might be frustrating for some, and there are certainly flourishes, such as Emil’s magic tricks, that don’t seem to add anything but another knot to the tangle. But while we may not always know what Pálmason means, there’s the undeniable sense that _he_ does, and mostly, that’s enough to add up to an impressively original, auspiciously idiosyncratic debut.

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