By Don Simpson | September 16, 2012
Strand Releasing will be releasing Oslo, August 31st on DVD in the United States on September 18, 2012. Since we consider Oslo, August 31st to be a pretty amazing film, we jumped at the opportunity when Strand asked us to give away a few copies of the DVD to our loyal readership.
Director: Joachim Trier
Writers: Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt, Pierre Drieu La Rochelle (novel Le feu follet)
Starring: Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olav Brenner, Ingrid Olava, Anders Borchgrevink, Andreas Braaten, Malin Crépin, Petter Width Kristiansen
The title of writer-director Joachim Trier’s film — Oslo, August 31st — obviously sets the time and place for us, but the date and location are also quite integral to the meaning of the story. August 31st represents the end of the summer, the last natural breath of life before the inevitable decline towards death. It is a melancholic time for contemplation, thinking back about the frivolous fun of the summertime. While thinking of the past, Oslo represents a city with a long history that finds itself in a transitional moment of reconstruction and rebirth. The city is riddled with construction cranes and demolition sites, as the old is being torn down and new structures are constructed in their place. In order to thrive, Oslo must let go of its past and start fresh; without renewal, the city would eventually crumble into a post apocalyptic pile of ashes.
With the visual poeticism and mise-en-scène artistry of Robert Bresson, Trier (a cousin of Lars von Trier) creates an incredibly complex 24-hour character study with the intellectually insightful panache of Camus and Sartre. In this modern day example of existentialism, Trier avoids the Hollywood cliche of drug addiction — which informs us that drug addiction is perpetuated by financial woes and unstable families — revealing that wealthy, intelligent and resourceful people can become addicts too.
For your chance to win an Oslo, August 31st DVD, tell us (in the Comments section below) the title of your favorite existentialist film.
***Please note: We can only ship DVDs to U.S. postal addresses.***
Winners will be picked at random on September 21, 2012. Good luck!!!