“A Human Position”
Screened at the 58th Chicago International Film Festival (0.5/5); Letterboxd (0.5/5), Imdb.com (1/10)
Billed by some as “a love letter to the banality of life,” this utterly pointless offering could just as easily be billed as “a love letter to the banality of pretentiously esoteric filmmaking.” Writer-director Anders Emblem’s second feature follows the life (if you can call it that) of a bored journalist living in the Norwegian seaport of Alesund, reporting mostly on fluff pieces and minor news stories. She lives a reasonably comfortable life with her girlfriend while recovering from an undisclosed medical procedure, spending much of her free time refurbishing chairs, doting on her cat and playing board (or is it bored?) games. But, when she stumbles upon a story involving the unexplained disappearance of a foreign asylum seeker, her work gives her life new meaning – or so the film’s production notes claim. The fact is, there’s really no telling that anything has changed with this revelation, given that the picture’s tone and style remain just as flat and uninteresting at this juncture as they do at the outset and throughout the entire duration of this tedious slog. The protagonist’s deadpan performance is a genuine snooze, and the film’s countless overlong incidental exterior shots supply enough cinematic padding to try the patience of even the most tolerant viewer. But, above all, given how banal real life truly can be, do we honestly need a longwinded cinematic tribute to it? This one is easily skipped – a phenomenal waste of time, energy, talent and celluloid. Don’t waste yours watching this.