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    Authentic film art

    FEATURE FILM: Made with a different method than most feature films, Itonje Søimer Guttormsen's Gritt is a fascinating and rarely refreshing Norwegian debut film.

    The Norwegian feature film Gritt is about a performance artist who struggles to complete an ambitious art project and follows her experiences in Oslo’s alternative theater and art environments after a long stay abroad. Whether this starting point may seem somewhat navel-gazing, the debuting feature film director takes the metaphorical bull by the horns already from the impact. We are introduced to the film’s main character Gritt Dahl (played by Birgitte Larsen) in conversation with author and actress Marte Wexelsen Goksøyr – who, like many other cultural personalities in the film, plays a version of herself – about their respective project ideas, whereupon Gritt warns Goksøyr against not becoming more self-absorbed than $political in shaping their concept.

    The following scene takes place at a Norwegian-American cultural exchange event in New York, where Gritt participates, as what she calls, Undercover, support contact for Goksøyr, who has Down Syndrome. The sequence ends with actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal saying in a stage interview that they, as performing artists, should be careful not to become too navel-gazing. The statement is probably aimed at the Knausgård wind that blows over the event but nevertheless appears as one of the film’s many metafictional moves. And let it be said: despite the fact that the filmmaker obviously has personal knowledge of the challenges, as well as the environments she portrays, is experienced Gritt neither as self-absorbed nor navel-gazing.

    Gritt, a film by Itonje Søimer Guttormsen
    Gritt, a film by Itonje Søimer Guttormsen

    Authentic and distinctive

    Environmental depictions with genuine and recognisable roots . . .

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    Aleksander Huser
    Huser is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
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