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Reflections of a working writer and reader

 

 

Elling – the video

EllingWe watched the video of Elling last night, Petter Næss’s 2001 Norwegian comedy drama. It’s a beautiful film, not as impressive on video as it was on the big screen, but if you haven’t seen it don’t procrastinate too long. You’re missing a real treat.
When his mother dies, forty-year-old Elling is sent to live in a state institution where he teams up with Kjell Bjarne, a sex-obsessed giant who Elling thinks of as an orangutan. Eventually they are given a shared flat in Oslo and encouraged to negotiate with a world that most of us take for granted. This same world, however, seen through the eyes of Elling and his friend is a terrifying and inhospitable place. So much so that initially they can’t even get out of the house.

Their need and desire for the world is such that in spite of their fears and disadvantages they begin to approach it in novel and often bizarre and comical ways, eventually, each of them triumphing in spectacular fashion.

Beg, borrow or steal it. But don’t kid yourself that it’s necessary to go for much longer without treating yourself to this very human and life-affirming film.

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