HUMAN (25', Norway, 2009)

 

Will getting really close to someone’s exterior wrapping actually tell us something meaningful about him/her? A noteworthy and problematic pondering underpins this visual essay, otherwise endowed with a crystal clear cinematography. HUMAN challenges its viewers in a way they can’t elude facing their perhaps battered social labeling instincts and, therefore, deal with the fact that our perception on others is never really built on a solid ground, but rather on a dynamical sense of uncertainty. This is a visually mature experiment whose final note played on Puccini’s music definitely strikes some chords.

Director: THOMAS A. ØSTBYE

 

Cast: MARI SLETTEN, MILAD MAJID, RAGNHILD ØSTBYE, EMANUEL AGARA, AGNETE SKARET OFSTAD, TONEKATRINE SJURSÆTHER, TOMMY BERG, LEIF EGGE, MATHILDE SØNDENAA, VIKRAM KOLMANNSKOG, LISE NORDUM

Screenplay: THOMAS A. ØSTBYE, ØYSTEIN MAMEN

Cinematography: ØYSTEIN MAMEN

Editing: THOMAS A. ØSTBYE

Music: GIACOMO PUCCINI

Sound: RUNE VAN DEURS

Producer: KRISTINE ANN SKARET

Production: MEDIEOPERATØRENE AS, PLYMSERAFIN



World Sales

NORWEGIAN FILM INSTITUTE

TORIL SIMONSEN - HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, SHORT AND DOCUMENTARY FILMS

+ 47 22 47 45 00

www.norwegianfilms.no

ts[at]nfi[dot]no

 

Director's contact: plymserafin[at]gmail[dot]com

 

 

THOMAS A. ØSTBYE (b. 1979) – visual artist, film director and editor - graduated from film editing at the Norwegian Film School. He runs his own production company, PLYMSERAFIN, and works with documentary material in film, photography and installations. Known to combine artistic reflections on the documentary genre with contemporary political dilemmas, he has received numerous awards and nominations - among which the Prix Française at the National Art Exhibition, the Best Short Film Award at Bergen IFF and the Award For Best Documentary at Euganea Movie Movement - for his 2005 short IN YOUR DREAMS. His 2008 VEIL was also screened at various festivals around the world, while his latest documentary Imagining Emanuel premiered at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto in 2011.

 

The Golden Chair, the Film Critics Award and the Filmworkers Award - Norwegian Short Film Festival 2009 / The Golden Key Award - Kassel DocFest, Germany 2009  / Festival International du Film sur l’Art, Montréal 2010 / Festival International Signes de Nuit 2010 / Odense IFF Denmark 2010 / Norwegian Documentary Film Festival 2009 / eDIT Filmmaker’s Festival Frankfurt, 2010 etc.

 

"A living gallery of individuals, orchestrated in small chapters tallied with personal pronouns. Thomas A. Østbye aims to deconstruct certain human behaviors or gestures that we are either accustomed to take for granted in daily life or that at least, we are used to envision as continuous actions, based on a causality norm and integrated in specific contexts. By using a recurring black background, like a painter displaying his subjects on a canvas, Thomas dislocates different types of persons from their designated environment. For instance, someone would repeatedly perform a habitual action, like the man that politely asks for money from an invisible audience of passersby. The fact that a partner in an action - whose existence we indirectly imply - is missing is also illustrative of how bizarre things and humans appear when the context is gone. Seeing a dancer performing in the absence of music, a call operator talking on the phone not followed by a reverse shot of the interlocutor, or a man caressing his dog and sleeping alongside it on the floor - all these will strike us as peculiar. Other times, simply by juxtaposing somewhat contrasting individuals in the same shot or by taking extreme close-ups of skin textures without pursuing to attain editing continuity, this Norwegian artist manages to create a bewildering spectacle of what is characteristically human." (Andreea Mihalcea, BIEFF 2012)

 

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