the fresh films reviews

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Den siste filmen (2023)

Directed by:
Karianne Førland Vennerød
Olaug Spissøy Kyvik

The Last Movie



83 minutes

Produced by:
Karianne Førland Vennerød
Olaug Spissøy Kyvik

Written by:
Karianne Førland Vennerød
Olaug Spissøy Kyvik

Cast includes:

As themselves Petter Vennerød
Karianne Førland Vennerød



A heartrending but also uplifting documentary about Norwegian cult filmmaker Petter Vennerød, who along with Svend Wam created a whole canon of always idiosyncratic, sometimes groundbreaking, and oftentimes panned films from the 1970s to the 1990s, starting with their magnum opus Lasse & Geir. Now struck by a very degenerative form of Parkinson's, Vennerød allows his wife Karianne to make a film about him – a combined portrait of his career and his accelerating illness, in which Vennerød shares his thoughts on his artistic life and current challenges. Den siste filmen has become a remarkably forthright and unveiled account which certainly accentuates this man's inherent goodness. Somewhat paradoxically, through his illness and his wife's lens, Vennerød is able to convey the emotion he arguably always aimed for but often wasn't quite successful at in his own movies. Still, Den siste filmen is far from an elegy; it's a celebration of a life well lived in which the man shows a deep appreciation for everything he was able to accomplish. If there's one thing missing, it's Svend Wam's voice in it all (he died in 2017) and a somewhat more in-depth dissection of their art and methods. But then again, it's an ailing filmmaker we meet here, who certainly is laying himself bare. And how fitting is it not that when the inevitable end is closing in and Karianne asks his husband how he wants the movie to end, he states that "it doesn't always have to end with death". And instead we get a wonderful celebration of life, art and music in the form of a beautiful party sequence – which was always something of a leitmotif in Wam & Vennerød's movies.

Copyright © 19.02.2024 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang